History

NOTHIN' BUT A HOUN' DOG


by Boyd Simmons

The American hound dog, which for centuries has been used to trail bear and members of the cat family, has never been well known or advertised. A few years ago it became know when a group of so-called do-gooders, having nothing better to do, began a campaign to outlaw their use in Oregon and Washington. It was an easy task to get people to vote for it because neither the proposers nor the voters had any knowledge of this type of hunting. Very few had ever experienced it, and most of all none them knew anything at all about this marvelous member of the canine family, or of it's history.

In the twenties and thirties as I was growing up in Kalama, Washington my family raised and bred these great animals. There are several different members of this group; the Bloodhound, the Blue Tick, Walker, and our favorites the Black and Tan, named for it's coloring.

In that time period the running of hounds was a very popular sport. As well as having our own, we also boarded some for people who came out almost every weekend during the winter to run them. There is probably no other outdoor sport that calls for better physical condition than following the hounds for 10 to 20 miles through snow sometimes knee high or more. The do-gooders made it seem that this was like shooting fish in a barrel and the poor cats had no chance against their foe. They would soon change their minds if they ever saw one of their favorite dogs that had been disemboweled by one swipe of a cougars paw. For every ten times that a cat was chased probably no more than two would be treed.

The sad part about this great animal is that it has been raised and bred for hundreds of years and it's only reason for living is to trail the particular animal they were trained for. Ours were trained only for wild cats and cougars. We had broke them from running bears, coyotes and deer. They would run through a herd of deer and pay no attention to them. They are kind, loving animals to their owners, but in no way could they be house pets. As a result of the do-gooders action, this proud and majestic animal is now doomed for extinction. If they cannot do the things they have been trained for years, far better they become another animal that will soon be a memory. Also the breeders will have no reason for raising them if they cannot meet their destiny.

So sad that so many people today are on band wagons to change things that others have enjoyed for lifetimes without ever bothering to learn the full story. Live and let live, I say.

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