2016 Senior Showdown Final Four Interviews & Cast Picture

The dogs, owners and handlers listed herein have won a prestigious PKC Truck Hunt in the years indicated.

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Jerry Moll
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2016 Senior Showdown Final Four Interviews & Cast Picture

Postby Jerry Moll » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:42 pm


By; Amy Thomas

All year long dogs across the nation run the road trying to earn enough to qualify for a truck ticket. That is only the first hurtle to the process though. When the time comes, those lucky 64 then have to travel to the Isle of Capri Casino in Lula, Mississippi to begin trying their luck to make it to the Final Four. Early cast winners return with hope of making it through that late round to become one of the Final Four standing on Saturday. All the score cards are in and we now know which of our senior hounds will be heading out tonight to try to return to the casino with the ultimate in bragging rights. Let’s take this time to look at each of these hounds, their owners, and their handlers before the play-by-play.


Blue Ghost
Owned by Deloach and Beaty
Handled by Gary Tom Beaty Jr.

When he was younger, Gary Tom Beaty Jr. was very active in competition hunting. During his hard hunting days was when he came across the Bluetick male Blue Ghost. Then when Gary Tom took a break from competition hunting for about three years, he sold Blue Ghost to Buddy Deloach. Luckily, when Gary Tom was ready to get back into the sport, Buddy brought him back in on Blue Ghost as a co-owner. Now the two men are looking at driving home the Ford truck tonight. To them, the fact that the truck is a bright blue seems like a good sign that it will be leaving the Isle of Capri casino with a blue dog in the back.
The six year old Blue Ghost is not off of any famous dogs. He is off of Gator and Vier. Gary Tom was looking for a good, young started dog and his friend Dennis Messer found the one year old Blue Ghost for him. Gary Tom talked about what it is that he likes about Blue Ghost, “He is pretty much same dog night in and night out. He likes to be by himself and he can tree about any type of coon from lay-up, to a hot one, to a cold one. He is consistent about having one.”

Since Gary Tom has returned to hunting and Buddy sold him half of Blue Ghost, the two have been competing for the past two years. Some of their accomplishments include winning second in Bluetick race this year, winning fourth in the South Carolina State Race, making the Final Four of the Breeders’ Showcase and getting the truck ticket that month, and several cast wins at other major events.”

Gary Tom has also had his own share of accomplishments as a handler. He made the Final Eight of the 2008 Nationals, the Top Ten of the Youth Race, the Top Ten of the State Race, the Top Ten in two Breed Races over the years, and he has won tickets to the Youth Nationals. However, this is his my first truck ticket and what a way to start off the experience! This will also be the first time that Buddy Deloach has a dog in the Final Four of a major event. Needless to say, it is already a weekend these two men will not forget and the most important part is still to come.

In their early round, Gary Tom and Blue Ghost drew out with Quick Dash, being handled by Richard Moore; White Oak Bottom Ringer, being handled by Dewayne Matlock; and Tennessee Primetime, being handled by Corey Sexton. They would win the cast with 100 plus. Gary Tom talked about that cast, “We cut loose and Ringer and Dash made a treed right in front of us. Ghost split treed about 400 yards from us. They took minus and Ghost took 125 plus. Primetime was struck, but going in the opposite direction. We cut back loose and I struck Ghost back in for 25 points, but took minus when he came back in to us. In that time, Ringer made two more trees; one was a circle and one had a coon. Dash also made a circle tree. Primetime was still running at this point. Then Ghost split treed again and took 125 points on a den tree. Ringer treed again for 25 and 100, but it was another minus tree. At this time, Primetime and Ringer withdrew leaving me and Dash. Then Ghost treed again, but I did not have to tree him. He had another coon after the end of the hunt.”

Blue Ghost and Gary Tom were one step closer to their goal, but that next step is not an easy one. This time they drew out with Rough Mtn. Money Bawls, being handled by Chris Hayes; Hooker Mayhem being handled by Josh Campbell; and Mr. Gibb, being handled by Scott Perkey. Blue Ghost won this cast with 600 plus. Gary Tom talked about how this cast went, “Right out of the truck, I took 100 and 100 on a coon. Hooker took 75 and 75, Gibb took 50 and 50, and Money had 25 deleted and 25 on it also. They had a coon. We cut back loose again and this time Hooker had 100 and 100 and Ghost had 75 and 75 on a den. The other two also came in. We pulled them off and recut. Hooker took 100 and 100, Gibb had 75 and 75 on the same tree. She left it, but he stayed, so he was minused. We walked the minute and cut back loose. Ghost struck again, worked the track, and treed for 100 and 100. As we were walking in, Mr. Gibb and Hooker treed about 40 to 45 yards from Ghost. All the dogs had coons. By that time, Money was struck in too. We walked the minute and as we did the six got Money. Then Money and Mr. Gibb treed another coon together. At this time, Hooker withdrew. There was about 30 minutes left in the hunt. Then Ghost took 100 strike and got treed, but I let the stationary run on him before I teed him. Mr. Gibb and Money Bawls treed split from him about 40 yards. Ghost had another coon. Mr. Gibb and Money also had a coon. By this time, there was only about fourteen minutes left in the hunt. We cut back loose and Ghost took 100 strike and Gibbs got in for 75 points; that is how the cast ended. We had a great cast and great judge with Eric Henry.”

Gary Tom and Blue Ghost made their way back to the casino to join in the Final Four. When Gary Tom was asked about how he felt being here and what strengths Blue Ghost is bringing to the last cast, he replied, “Buddy is tickled to death to have us here. I am feeling good and confident in my dog. I hope Blue Ghost is going to be by himself somewhere opposite of the other dogs with a coon.”

When asked if there were any people out there rooting for him that he wanted to mention, Gary Tom said, “Buddy, Nancy, Will, and Sarah DeLoach and a bunch of them at home are pulling for us; my phone is blowing up today. I want to thank my mom, dad and sister for supporting me in all my hunting that I do. I really have to thank Buddy for giving half of Ghost back to me to hunt. Buddy and Will treat us like family when we stay with them in Saluda, South Carolina. I want to thank Dennis for finding Ghost for me. I also want to mention Austin ‘Red’ Dake for spending all those night out in the woods with me hunting him. I also have to thank GT Hunting Supply for keeping us in whatever we need in equipment.”

2016 will be a year that Gary Tom and Buddy will always remember. Not only do they have the Final Four at the truck hunt tonight, but next month they will be back down here with a Walker female, Junkyard Worm, that they are partners on. If Gary Tom wins the truck tonight, he plans on keeping it and driving it back to Lula, Mississippi next month to try his luck again! Good luck!


Simple Life Sissy
Owned by Soles and Burdue
Handled by Jeffery Burdue.

Jeffery Burdue from Ohio did not know Rodney Soles from Georgia until about eighteen months ago. It would not take long for them to form a friendship and a partnership. The dog that brought them together is also the dog that has brought them to the Final Four tonight – Simple Life Sissy.

It was through Nick Miller that the distance between Georgia and Ohio was spanned to bring Jeffery and Rodney together. Jeffery did not have a dog to hunt at the time and Nick told him that Rodney needed someone to handle a dog for him. That dog was four year Black and Tan Simple Life Sissy and not only would Jeffery stay on as her handler, but he would come in as a co-owner on her and begin a partnership with Rodney on several other dogs.

Jeffery talked about how Rodney came to own Sissy, “He bought Sissy two years ago from Mike Crockett of Mississippi. She is off of Black Hawk and GI Jane.”

When asked if he has always hunted Black and Tans, Jeffery said, “I hunt whatever I think I can win with. I thought I could win with her because she trees coons and stays out of trouble.”

Jeffery has been handling her since July 2014 and they have started adding to their list of accomplishments since then. Their bigger achievements include winning the Breed Race last year and earning their truck ticket in June. They got their ticket through $30 hunts and earned $412 that month.

This Final Four will be a nice addition to Jeffery’s competition resume. In the past, he placed fourth in the PKC Youth World Championship and then recently he and Rodney won the Breed Race. Now at his first time to the PKC Truck Hunt, he finds himself in the Final Four and with a one in four chance of going home with a new truck. Those are some pretty good odds when it comes to winning big at the casino.

Jeffery already has accomplished what he first hoped for when leaving Ohio to make the trip to the Isle of Capri. He said, “I left the house and said that if I was getting my interview Saturday morning, then I would be happy. So I am happy! This is my first time to the truck hunt and I really like it.”

On the early round, Jeffery and Sissy drew out with Hurricanader Harley, being handled by Shelby Danner; Hardwood Jammer being handled by Michael Deaton; and Pettits Bo, being handled by David Pettit. They would win with 400 plus points. Jeffery shared how the cast went, “It did not go good for them. I started out with 50 and 100 on a coon. When we got to the tree, there was another dog there, so it took tree minus because Sissy had a coon. We recut and Sissy had 25 and 100 on another coon. When we came off that, one of the other dogs had treed. We had almost got to him when we realized he was in the ground and so he took tree minus. Sissy was treed again, so I had another 25 and 100 on a coon. We walked a good piece to the English dog and he had a coon. That gave him 100 plus. Sissy was treed again and had a den. Then the hunt ran out.”

First time to the casino and first cast won. Things were looking good for Sissy and Jeffery. For their late round, they drew out with Smoky Mtn Out of Pocket, being handled by Brett Roberson; Scipio Big Timber, being handled by Jeff Ronald Pedrow; and Northern Backwoods Fly, being handled by Mike Denn. Sissy would win this one with 250 plus. Jeffery shared the details of this round, “We went to a 7,200 hunting club and it was nice. Doug Compton was our judge and he was a good one. We turned loose and Sissy had 50 strike. She ran a track in some water hard for a while and then got treed. Another one of the dog’s covered on it. That one was a den. We walked a minute and another dog treed. We scored it and it was another den. Sissy was treed in there in the other direction. I called her. We walked to her and she had a coon. Then we walked the minute and cut off there. Sissy ran a short track and treed again. She had another coon. We recut off that with about eighteen minutes left and the hunt ran out.”

Jeffery was happy to be giving his Saturday interview and is feeling awesome about being in the Final Four. When asked what strengths Sissy will bring to this cast, he said, “She likes to stay alone and when she trees she normally has a coon.”
If she does that enough, she will also have a truck at the end of the cast! When asked what his plans would be if he won the truck, Jeffery said, “I cannot put the horse in front of the cart.”

There will be some people who will be rooting for him tonight as he tries to bring home the horsepower. He shared, “There are a lot of people who are rooting for us. My phone has been blowing up today. I want to thank Rodney’s wife Mandy and my wife Stephanie for putting up with us running the dogs this year. I am very grateful to Rodney for letting me partners on her.”
Simple Life Sissy has lived up to her name and made this trip to the Isle of Capri Casino very simple for Jeffery – he showed up, won his first cast, then won his second cast, and she put him in the Final Four. Not a bad way to remember his first trip to the PKC Truck Hunt, the rest is just up to Sissy to simply get treed and have those coons so they can bring home the new Ford truck! Good luck!


Little Bit of Nothin
Owned by Johnston and Clifton
Handled by Billy Johnston

What would a PKC Final Four Truck Hunt be without a dog bought from James Baskins in it? Little Bit of Nothin is going to keep up that tradition once again. This four year old female off of Buckwheat will be heading out tonight to see if she can scrounge up something on the scorecard that is worthy of a brand new truck.

Eighteen months ago, Billy Johnston and Larry Clifton bought the two going on three year old Walker female. They did not hunt her before buying her and at first, were a little worried about their purchase. Originally named Little Bit, the female did not make a smooth transition to coon hunting in Oklahoma. It was for that reason that Larry Clifton added ‘of Nothin’ to her name when he went to register her. However, it only took her about forty-five days to get acclimated to her new home and once she did, there was nothing Billy and Larry could complain about. Billy said, “After that, she was a fine dog to hunt and did everything she was supposed to do.” She usually trees coons and she gets struck pretty quick, which helps.”

Since owning her, some of her bigger accomplishments for Billy and Larry include getting into the Paris Pro Hunt Final Four, winning over $7,000 and making Silver Champion, and getting into some of the Final fours a the Little Dixie Jamboree. Little Bit won her Truck Ticket in May. Billy said, “We did it at $30 hunts, but she got moved up for winning over $700.”

With the ticket she earned, Billy and Larry made their way down to Lula, Mississippi to see what Little Bit could add to the thirteen years on their partnership resume. The friendship and partnership between Billy Johnston and Larry Clifton started in an unexpected way. Billy talked about it, “I work in an archery store. I have always deer hunted deer and I have bird and rabbit hunted with dogs. I decided that I wanted to try coon hunting. Larry lives right up the road from me, so I called him looking to buy a dog. He just gave me one. Then Larry took me to my first competition hunt and I was done. I really liked the competition of coon hunting and also watching a dog get better.”

This is not the first time that Billy has been to the truck hunt either. He had a female off of Cabo Wabo that he named Katie. He went to the Truck Hunt with her three times and made the semi-finals two of those times. He may have not made the Final Four before at this event, but he has been in the Final Four of Pro Hunts. This trip to the Isle of Capri Casino could be his biggest pay out in a Final Four so far!

On their way to get to this point, Billy and Little Bit drew out with Big O’s Awesome Pudge, being handled by Ryan Morgan; Peek’s Stylish Big Easy, being handled by Claire Peek; and Big Lake Honey Bun, being handled by Jonathan Barnes for their early round. They would win with 325 plus. Billy shared how that cast went, “On that first round, right out of the box Little Bit had 100 and 100 on a coon by herself. Then Pudge had a coon by himself and the other two had a blank. Then Honey Bun struck and treed and Pudge backed. I treed Little Bit for a quarter on that one. They had a coon there. That tied Pudge and Little Bit up. They had us on the tie breaker. Then Little Bit had another den tree by herself. At the end of the hunt, all four dogs split treed. Honey Bun had a coon, but he had the minus points from earlier. Big Easy had a circle tree. Pudge was treed on a small tree that Ryan felt went into a den, but it had been minused by the judge. I won the cast.”

The next cast would be one that when looking at the score card, could intimidate many coon hunters. There were some well-known hounds and handlers on it that were definitely not new to being in the Final Four of the Truck Hunt. For their late round, Billy and Little Bit found themselves heading back out with Thousand Dollar Bill being handled by Coy Sullivan; Hillbilly Deluxe being handled by Jeff Stallard; and Rice’s Rock Star being handled by Jason Martin. Little Bit of Nothing would end up winning the cast with 125 plus. Billy talked about that cast, “It was a tough round early on. The dogs got deep fast. Coy struck Bill for 100 and Jeff had the other Bill struck for 75 points. We were walking trying to keep up with the dogs. When we all stopped, we could hear the roar of dogs treed. I treed Little Bit for 50 points. We walked a mile into them and Bill and Bit were together and the other Bill was split a couple yards further. We had a den and Bill had den. Then Rock Star came back into the cast and took strike minus. We turned back loose and all of us struck back in for 25 points. Little Bit treed and Stallard’s Bill dog backed for 50 points. It was a den, but they found the coon. We never made another tree. The rest of the hunt was ground and pound. The dogs were literally a mile and a half apart from each other and it was hard. Stallard’s dog Bill was probably deep and in water. They all trailed the rest of the cast out.”

Little Bit of Nothin showed Larry Clifton that she really was ‘a lot of somethin’ when she made it to the Final Four. Larry has been a member of PKC for a very long time. In fact, his number is 507, which proves that this is no understatement either. He has been to the Truck Hunt several times, but this is the first time for him to have a dog in the Final Four. When asked how it felt, he shared, “It is great. It is a good feeling.”

The pressure though will be on Billy tonight since he is the one heading out to the woods. When asked how he felt about being in the Final Four tonight, Billy said, “It is going to be fun. Her strength is being by herself with a coon.”
There are a lot of people rooting for Billy and Larry at this time and they are very grateful. However, they wanted to mention some very special people who have been there for them. Billy started, “I want to thank my wife and family that area always sitting at home waiting for me to get back.” Larry added, “I want to mention my wife. I also want to thank all those on the committee that put me into the PKC Hall of Fame.”

Little Bit of Nothin may be what puts Larry and Billy on the cover of Prohound if she can pull off this last win for them. Now that would be something! Good luck!


Parsley’s Wipeout Jake, Walker,
Owned by Parsley and Morgan
Handled by Jonathan Parsley

Well, if you are going to have a hound bought from James Baskin in tonight’s Truck Hunt’s Final Four, you might as well keep up the tradition of having a Wipeout hound in it too! Tonight seven years old Wipeout Jake is filling that role. Jake is showing that he is ready and able to continue the winning streak that he had last year.

In 2015, Wipeout Jake, out of Wipeout Zeb Again and Hardwood Stylish Molly B, had a great year in PKC. He won the National Male Leader Race, was the High-Scoring Dog at the Springs Classic, was crowned the Walker Breed Champion, and continued to have a series of top placings at other big PKC events. Now Jake is giving his owner Jonathan Parsley the chance to leave the Isle of Capri Casino as the owner of a bright blue Ford 4x4 truck from Lynn Layton Ford. This win would definitely be at the top of Jake and Jonathan’s resume of success!

Jonathan Parsley has now owned his Wipeout Jake for a little over six years now. Jake was the hound that brought him back into the sport of coon hunting and Jake has been the hound who has also brought him into many winning circles. Owning a hound like this is something all coon hunters dream about and for Jonathan, it is his reality.

Jonathan shared what it is about Jake that makes him so special, “For the longest time, I felt like the underdog with him. It is not often that you have someone like me who trains and handles their own dog. No matter where I have taken him, Jake is always competing. He just loves it. In fact, I do not know who loves it more, him or me. I have been lucky and been on a lot of good casts with him. He has put up scores about everywhere that he has been. At some point or another, I think he has been the High-Scoring dog at every major event that I have taken him to.”

Jake definitely earned his ticket to this event. He officially got it in May of last year when he earned $1120 for the month. However, Jonathan added, “He actually was the High-Scoring dog of the month three or four times last year.”

This weekend is only the second time that Jonathan has been to the truck hunt. He came down last year, but got beat on a tie breaker by Hell Chamber. This second chance has definitely turned out much better for him. On their early round, the Jonathan and Jake drew out with Eli Stone being handled by Scott Faulkner; Moonlight Gomer being handled by Jeremy Shafer; and Hope I Got It, being handled by Chris Farrar. They would win the cast with 125 plus points. Jonathan described how that cast went, “The dogs stayed to themselves. I think we about killed Steve Yant with the walking. A couple of dens were treed to start. It did not seem that the coons were moving as well early as they did late. Jake was the only dog on the cast who did not take minus; he just stayed off to himself. I had 75 and 100 on a den and then had a 25 and 100 on a coon.”

Jake had made it into the late round. This time Jonathan and Jake drew out with Loose Tin Rush being handled by Layne Leverette; Markus’s Ginseng Zeeva, being handled by Chris Chapman; and S and M Captain Jack, being handled by Waylon Morrell. Jake would win this cast with 325 plus. Jonathan talked about this late round that he really enjoyed, “We had beautiful hunting in that late round. There was a little water in the woods and the coons seemed to be down walking and we had decent tracks. Rush had 75 and 100 on a coon. Zeeva took some minus. Then she treed and Jake treed. She had a coon and Jake had a coon for 200 points. After that, the other dogs started taking some minus. We heard Jake treed way in there by the highway and when we got to him, he had a coon in the first forks. At that point, there was almost no way for me to lose. I turned Jake loose and then the others ended up withdrawing.”

Jake has done a lot of winning for Jonathan and now he has put him in the Final Four spot for tonight. When asked how he felt about making it to this point and what he thinks Jake brings to the cast, Jonathan stated, “I am pretty pumped about it. Jake is very independent and good about having those coons. I say we will have a good hunt tonight. It seems like a lot of good guys and I think this one is going to come down to the dog that trees the most coons. I think it will be close and the dog that makes a mistake is beat and the handler who makes a mistake is beat.”

Jonathan and Jake have a lot of fans out there tonight rooting for them. They also wanted to give a shout out to their supporters, “I want to say thanks to all for the calls and messages. They all know we appreciate the support, but it is nice for them to see it. Once again, I have to give a big thanks to my family who have always supported me hunting. I love my momma and my dad was the one who got me started in it. My new lady Raegan supports me hunting and that is a really nice thing. I want to mention Ralph Byrum. He is not with us anymore, but he helped me a lot with Jake when he was younger. I want to mention Randy Morgan. We have bene hunting together three or four years. Randy has helped me by hunting Jake a couple of times while I was working young dogs. Randy just loves Jake. I would like to mention Dan McVey for all the help he gives me with the young dogs. We are back down her next month with Highway, a pup off of Jake that I did not start hunting until July of last year. Also, I have hunted with some really good guys down her and had really good casts. Steve Yant is one of the best judges out there. I really just want to say thanks to the coon hunting world. Everyone talks the about the sport dying, but it is not. I see a lot more young hunters then I did before and having honest people helps that. Also, good competition helps make it better for all of us and adds to the quality of events.”

Wipeout Jake has won a lot of things for Jonathan Parsley and tonight could really add to that if he is able to bring home the new Ford truck. We are about to see if 2016 is as big of a winning year for these two as 2015 was in PKC! Good luck!


So we have a Bluetick, a Black and Tan, a James Baskins sold female, and a Wipeout hound – this is quite a combination and should be interesting to see who will walk away with the top honors. Speaking of walking, each of these dogs are known for their independence so there is a good chance that there are going to be a lot of split trees that will need to be shined! Good luck to our Final Four – let’s find out who is going to win the Ford!

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