By PKC National Youth Director Amy Thomas
It started out with 64 dogs, but in the course of a day, it has been narrowed down to just four contenders battling it out at the 2017 PKC Senior Dog Showdown co-sponsored by PKC, Purina, SportDOG, and the Isle of Capri Casino for the brand new pickup truck from Cullman Auto Mall in Cullman, Alabama! There has always been something elite in the bragging rights that goes with winning this event and many PKC coon hunters travel up and down the roads throughout the year working hard to earn that ticket to play. This year, our Final Four may be hunting senior dogs, but there are a lot of young legs that will be following behind these hounds. Casey Stallard is the youngest competitor at 17 years old, then we have Cody Jacob Mayne who is 19 years old, Bartlett Kimbrough is a little older at 29 years old, and Derrick Roberts is our oldest at 32 years old. These hunters are in the prime of life and they are packing dog power that has gotten them to this elite spot. However, only one person and one dog will emerge the top winner. Let’s take a look at tonight’s players in our Final Four who are hoping to hit the jackpot in Lula, Mississippi!
Wipeout Anna Belle
Owned and being hunted by Derrick Roberts
Coon hunting has been a way of life for Derrick Roberts. His dad was a field rep for UKC and it was just an easy transition for Derrick to become involved in competition coon hunting. Needless to say, he has done well in UKC events such as winning the Winter Classic and Triple Crown in 2011. Now he is getting a taste of PKC success by making it into the Final Four of the Senior Dog Show Down with his four year old Wipeout Anna Belle.
Anna Belle is out of P CH American Express and P CH Stylish Bonnie. Derrick bought her when she was just seven months old from a gentleman in Florida. Derrick had been wanting to try a Wipeout hound and Anna Belle was out of two Platinum Champions which made her even more appealing. Derrick talked about what it is about Anna Belle that he likes, “She acts really good; she listens and minds as good as a kid. She is also a really accurate dog.”
He has experienced some tough luck with her being a female though since her cycle seems to fall during the Super Stakes and the PKC World Championship. He said that because of this, Anna Belle will be the last female he owns. In spite of that bad timing element, Derrick and Anna Belle got to hunt in the Pup Shoot Out last year and then managed to win $1700 in $30 hunts to get to this Senior Dog Show Down through the at-large. This was quite the accomplishment since Derrick’s hunting time is quite limited. He shared, “I do not have a lot of time to go to a lot of hunts. I have a boy playing basketball along with a 13 month old son and my wife is due to have twin boys in July.”
Taking time to head to the Isle of Capri Casino has been more work than play for Derrick, but it has paid off. Things started out with an early cast win with 150 plus point. Anna Belle and Derrick found themselves heading out that round against Last Hope’s Belle being handled by Mark Maginn, Weed’s Mr Doc being handled by Dustin Weed, and Slick Hill Slice being handled by Kevin Hembree. Derrick talked about that round, “Slice struck for 100 points, Doc for 75 points, and Anna Belle for 50 points. They treed and Slice was in for 100 points and Doc for 50 points, but it was slick. We walked the minute and Anna Belle was treed 550 yards past them. They recut their dogs. We went to Anna Belle’s tree and she had a coon. We walked the minute and at that time Doc was struck with 25 points with line under it. The six was put on him and got him. Slice then struck a mile to the right for 100 points, I struck Anna Belle about 100 yards from us, and Doc treed a mile left handed from us. We walked to Slice who had a coon and that put him even on the board. We walked to Doc who also had a coon and that put him even on the board too. We never heard my female again and the hunt was over.”
The two had made it past round one, but they still had work to do that night. On the late round, Derrick was going to have to go up against Dirty Whiteboy handled by Ashley Hopkins, KY River Hobie handled by Trevor Jones, and Rough Mtn Owl Hollow Bell handled by Trey Hewitt. Both of the bells were ringing a melody of 225 plus at the end of the cast, but it would be Anna Belle who would emerge as the winner with most first trees. Derrick talked about that round, “Bell was struck for 100 points, Whiteboy for 75 points, Anna Belle for 50 points, and Hobie for 25 points. Whiteboy treed with Hobie and we went in to them. They had a den. While shining there tree, Anna Belle got treed about 300 yards from them. She also had a den. We walked and recut. The Hobie dog treed left handled and the Bell dog treed deep straight ahead. We went to Hobie and his coon was one tree over, but the trees did not touch so it was minused. While walking, Anna Belle treed. We walked by mine and I leashed her. Then we went to Bell and she had a coon. Anna Belle also had a coon. That gave me 125 points and gave Bell 100 points. Bell and Hobie came into my tree and were handled while the coon was scored. Whiteboy treed, but it was another den. We walked the minute and cut loose and White Boy struck in, I struck Anna Belle for 75 points. White Boy treed and we went to him. It was another den. We walked the minute and put the six on Annabelle and it got her. Whiteboy was cut after that and he struck for 100 points, I struck Anna Belle for 75 points and treed her for 100 points. Bell covered Anna Belle for a 25 points. Anna Belle had a coon and that put me at 225 points and Bell at 225 points and I won on the tie breaker.“
Being in the Final Four Spot has Derrick feeling pretty good. He talked about it, “It feels great. Like anything, when you do not get to go to many hunts and get to cash in when you go, it is a good feeling. My wife asked if I won if I was going to take the money if we won since I had a hunting vehicle and one that I drive back and forth to work. I told her I would sell my hunting vehicle then and keep this truck because it is like a trophy to have.”
With finding himself in this elite position, Derrick had some words of thanks to express, “I would like to thank my dad Allen for all he has done over the years for me. I also want to thank Tater’s Hunting and Feed Supply that hunt out of our local club. They keep me supplied with everything I need like the new Pinnacle Dakota Light I am using. I also want to thank my wife English for not griping at all the long hours I do.”
As they head out tonight, Derrick is hoping that Anna Belle continues to be accurate and keeps up the performances she has had to get here. They only have one more round and three more dogs to beat to drive home a new truck. Having that new truck to be able to tote around as the ultimate PKC trophy sure would be something that Derrick Roberts is hoping to see happen tonight. He may not chose the cash out option that his wife asked about, but you can bet that if he wins, they will be putting two car seats in the backseat as they add to their family this summer! Good luck!
Flat Run Pete’s Image
Owned by Stallard/Shabel
Being hunted by Casey Stallard
Casey Stallard is the youngest of all the handlers heading out in this Senior Dog Show Down Final Four. However, he is not getting his hopes up to high about winning it all. Like Derrick, Casey’s dad Jeff has played a big role in his involvement in coon hunting and PKC success. However, the Truck Hunt has been the Achilles heel for the Stallard family. With Casey getting in, this makes the fifth time in three years that one of them has been in this spot. Casey said, “I have not thought about winning it yet because we have not won this yet and I have the worst dog out of the ones that we have had in it before.”
The Stallard may have not won this truck yet, but they are always packing a hound, even Image, and that always gives them those good odds to get that one step closer. Maybe this year Casey will be the one to defy the odds for this hard hunting, successful coon hunting family and be the big winner. After all, it is Flat Run Pete’s Image, Casey’s pup off of Flat Run Pete, who has made quite the name for himself and his young handler. In 2014, Image was crowed the Pup Leader and he has made Casey the Youth Leader. Image won the State Hunt last year, won the State Race two years in a row, got into the quarter finals of the Nationals, doubled up at the World Hunt two years, has been in the semi-finals of Prohunts, and won the PKC Youth World Bench Show for Casey. He even made Platinum Champion. Casey said that happened because of $30 hunts, “I can only win in those.”
Though Casey is obviously not one to brag in an interview, Image has given him plenty to boast about. Casey was only 12 years old when he started hunting Image and as he said, “We have grown up together.”
This weekend, Image has kept up his winning for Casey down in Lula, Mississippi. Things started off well for both the Stallards when both Casey and his dad got past the early round. Casey drew out with Out of Bounds being handled by Tim Christie, Red Rock Banjo being handled by Don Pearson, and Full Throttle (Jiggers) being handled by Dillon Landreth. Casey won the cast with 125 plus. He talked about how that cast went, “It was all right. The other dogs stayed together all night and Image stayed by himself all night. Image treed 3 coons, but I only got to score on one. There was a question on our cast and we had to call back. My one tree got deleted. I treed another coon, but they all quit so the hunt was over.”
When he got back in, Casey found out that he would be the only Stallard going out on the second round. On the late round, Casey drew out with Clean Tequila Sippin Sadi handled by Earl Hochstetler, Imel’s Johnson Creek Abby handled by Nicolas Imel, and Rough Mtn Trix handled by Bobby Lowe. Casey and Image would emerge as the cast winners again with 125 plus. Casey shared how that round went, “Abby had a den for 100 strike and 100 tree points out of the truck. I struck Image for 25 points and treed him for 100 by himself. He had a coon. Trix made a tree, but it was a slick. Sadi was treed and when we went to her, she had a coon. Image was treed again, but it was slick and that put me back behind. I recut him and he went about 200 yards and treed again real quick. Abby treed one way and Sadi also treed, so the judge had me go to my tree and handle Image. I waited at my tree until the hunt was over. Abby was winning. If I had a coon, I would win on tie breaker and I did. Shane wanted me to put in here that he did an awesome job.”
Once again, a Stallard is in this game. Casey is not getting too excited, but when asked how he felt about being in this position, he said, “I feel pretty good. There have been a lot of people that have texted and called to congratulate us. My Mom, sisters, and brother are all home rooting for us. Nick Otterbacker has been my cheerleader this weekend. My leg is hurting a little from all the walking. I do have to say that my dad is the one who hunted Image and got him ready for me. He put all the leg work in. Don Johnson guided me and saved me many miles on this trip. My neighbour Tim Smith hunted with me a lot when Image was young and helped me train him. Tim died a couple years ago, but he helped get us here. Curtis Eldridge made this cross for me to get Image. Roger Shabel has taken really good care of us. There are just a lot of people who did a lot to get Image to where he is now. I was just along for the ride.”
Roger Shabel was also pretty excited to see the young Stallard in the position that he is in right now. He shared, “Casey is such a great kid and I am just tickled to death for him. We call Image the Beagle. They better watch out for Casey and the Beagle tonight. Either way though, it is a wonderful thing for him to be in the Final Four. I just hope he goes out there and has a big time. Between the Cubbies and the Beagle, it has been good year for him.”
It really has been a good year for Casey and when asked what he felt would give Image an edge in this last cast, he said, “Me and him have the luck going for us right now and he stays out of trouble. Also, Image likes to be by himself, but now when I say that he will probably go back everything.”
Winning a truck has been an elusive task for the Stallards, but once again, out of 64 others who made the attempt this weekend, once again one of the Stallard is in the Final Four. Tonight Casey Stallard is about to see if it will be Image who can come home with the big Jackpot from the Isle of Capri Casino! If he does, Casey truly will just be along for the ride, but it will be involve him being in the drivers’ seat of a new truck!
Timber Rattlin Swag
Owned and being hunted by Bartlett Kimbrough 29
Bartlett Kimbrough is experiencing the PKC Truck Hunt for the first time this weekend. Little did he know when he arrived at the Isle of Capri Casino that he would be one of the last four players trying to win a new truck. He also has the only non-Walker hound of the bunch in tonight’s Final Four. Timber Rattlin Swag is a five year old English male off of Briar Creek Chrome and Bartlett’s female Timber Rattlin Cat Woman. Cat started off Bartlett’s success in PKC when he made her a Silver Champion and won the 2011 State Hunt with her. Now her son Swag is keeping up that winning streak and it is one that Bartlett hopes is going to pay out big tonight!
Bartlett loves hunting and has been at it since he was 3 years old. He started coon hunting when he was 15 years old and got a Mountain Cur named Dixie to squirrel hunt with. It turns out that Dixie was also a nice coon dog that won PKC hunts for him also. Bartlett went on to add to his coon hunting brigade and got his first English hound out of Michigan Swamp Rooster when he was 16 years old. However, when he went off to college, he sold out of hounds and only kept Dixie to take to school with him so he could continue squirrel and coon hunting.
How Bartlett got back into the English breed would be a little round about in manner. He talked about the events that transpired to get him where he is tonight, “While at Starkville, PKC had a Futurity Hunt at the horse park. My neighbor David Carroway bought two pups, an American Bluetick and Cat from Jim Ridge. David kept Cat a couple months and then gave her to me because the Bluetick had started first. Cat was Super Staked and Performance paid up. I had missed the sound of a hound up on a tree.”
Cat began Bartlett’s love for the English. He bred her and raised Swag as a pup and he has definitely liked what Cat reproduced for him. He talked about what it is about Swag that he likes and what they have achieved so far, “He is consistent and deadly accurate. He is the same dog every cut. When he trees, you are going to look at a coon. I got Swag in the semi-finals of the 2013 Super Stakes. He made Grand Nite Champion with 8 first place wins. He was in the Top 16 in Alabama this year and in the Top 10 of the English breed this past year. I also have some pups off of him that are also doing good. I hunted Swag at Sunshine Jamboree and won my cast on Thursday and Friday night. Then I hunted a pup off him and won my cast on Saturday night. He is reproducing.”
Things started off a little rough for Bartlett on his first cast for his first trip to the Truck Hunt when he drew out on the Early Round against Wipeout Zoom handled by Jordan Westrick, Kays Blue John handled by Bobby Tarlton, and Our Dog Ragin Cruse being handled by Grayson Harrell. Swag started off in the hole, but luckily for Bartlett he bounced back and won the cast with 275 plus. Bartlett talked about that initial experience at this event, “We started out with 100 in a hole when Swag left a tree where there was some ruckus going between two dogs. Blue John stayed on the tree even with the ruckus going on around him and he got plused. Blue John went on from there and got another coon so that put him at 325 plus and Swag was still minus. Then Swag got in a garbage pile and was circled. Blue John ended up taking 200 minus. We were in some rough stuff so we called time out and walked back to good woods. I turned Swag loose and he ended up going 650 yards away and fell treed on a layup. He had first strike and first tree on it. As we walked the minute, Blue John got treed and that leash locked me for about 20 minutes. Blue John had a den tree. We walked the minute and Blue John struck off the leash. He went right-handed and Swag went left-handed. Swag was struck for 75 points and treed on another layup for 100 points. He had the coon laid up in vines on that one. Blue John got out of pocket and took minus when the six caught him. The hunt was over two minutes after that.”
Swag’s second round brought another win and the important one to keep them in the game for Saturday night. This time they drew out with Coon Collector Slim handled by Rodney Himes, Halftime Ruby handled by Wes Hamilton, and Bust that Bark Skinny handled by Jimmy Lambert. Swag won that round with 200 plus. Bartlett discussed how that round went, “We cut loose and probably for a minute and a half after cutting loose, nothing had struck. My dog is dead silent, but he fell treed about 850 yards in there and I struck him for 100 and treed for 100 points. He had a coon. We walked the minute and I cut him loose. Two of the other dogs struck in. One of the dogs treed, but it was slick and they withdrew. Another dog treed about 200 yards away. When we walked in there, they had a coon in a hollow tree and you could touch the coon with your hand, but the dog could not get to it with its mouth. We plused that and walked the minute and ran the six on Skinny. We heard my dog bark and tree, so I struck in for 25 points. Swag was a mile and a half out. The dog that was released from the coon in the hole went back and was put on warning. We walked the minute again, turned him loose, but he went back. They put the stationary on him and he got scratched. That was the only break I got. They ran the six on Swag and Skinny and Swag were treed through the country. I told judge I wanted to tighten up. We walked about 30 yards, when Jimmy Lambert withdrew. He was struck in for 50 points, but his dog had not made a tree. He had his dog close and since we hunt together pretty regularly, I think he knew that Swag probably had a coon and that he would have needed two coons to win and did not want to make the walk. The hunt was over when he withdrew. Swag did have another coon.”
Now Bartlett finds himself in one of four very important spots. When asked how it feels, he said, “I am very honored and thankful to be here. I know what kind of competition was here and to be in the Final Four means a lot to me. This is the first truck hunt I have ever been to and it is the first time that I earned a ticket. I got it in August when I hunted Swag in 18 casts and won 12 of those. I am also very grateful to the people that have been there for me along the way. I want to mention my fiancée Emma Stinson. We are getting married June 10th and she puts up with all my hunting every night and does not give me too much trouble. My mom Mary, dad Larry, and my grandparents Benny and Sue Kimbrough and Allen and Willadean Counts have supported me and been there for me when I needed them. I want to thank all my buddies that hunt with me and help me promote my dogs. I also want to mention Mike Knewman from Sun Spot Lights and Bible Belt Outdoors Game Calls who sponsor me. It would be hard to find these coons without a good light and squaller. We have a hunting show getting ready to start up in April 2017 on the Hunt Channel on Dish Network and we will have coon hunts, dog training tips, call making, deer and turkey hunting, anything hunt related.”
It would be nice for Bartlett to be sporting a new truck won in a PKC coon hunt on that show and Swag is going to have a big factor in that happening. How he does in tonight’s Final Four is important. Bartlett shared what strengths he feels that Swag will bring to this last cast, “Swag is a last strike dog, but I get lucky with him a lot and he can get a first strike. He wins casts by not drawing any minus. It is rare for him to take minus. He is a dead loner and will not back a dog. He run through the woods with his head up and trees a lot of lay ups that other dogs cannot smell. That makes him a good dog on the late rounds. The other dogs ran right under his coon last night.”
Swag has already proven that he has what it takes to get through two of the three needed cast wins to leave Lula, Mississippi with a truck. It is time to see if he can pull off this last one and make his first trip to the Isle of Capri one that will not be forgotten.
All Jacked Up
Owned by Mayne/Mayne
Being hunted by Cody Jacob Mayne
This 19 year old young man has had the honor to win a PKC Youth World Championship and now he is hoping that he will have the chance to add winning a Truck Hunt to his PKC resume of success. A World title and a truck are two things that most PKC hunters want to achieve and Cody is halfway there. Tonight could make all his dreams come true if All Jacked Up can keep up the winning performance that he has already been showing at the Isle of Capri.
Cody is another of our hunters tonight who is following in his father’s footsteps. His dad Darrell is a well-known PKC competitor who passed on his passion for competition hunting to his son. Cody grew up handling hounds in the hunts and now as a young man, he is hoping to cash in on all that experience by bringing home a truck on his first trip to Lula, Mississippi. In fact, every time Cody goes anywhere in the casino, he gets ID’ed. He said that he just keeps telling the staff that he is not there to gamble, but to win a truck!
The hound that has gotten Cody to this Final Four is All Jacked Up. Jack is out of Tequila Sundown and Shine like Habit. He is a grand pup to Tequila Sunrise and Bad Habit. The Mayne’s bought Jack from Rick Powers, but it was Joey Craver who told them about the hound. Cody talked about how they came to own Jack, “We have had him going on two years this April. Joey had hunted him for a guy in New York and knew the dog. Then Rick bought him. Rick bought another dog and decided he was going to sell one of them, we called Joey to ask about Jack. He told us all about him and we decided to get him.”
This accomplishment is the biggest one that Jack has had so far for the Maynes. When they first got him, they just pleasure hunted him the first year. Then once they felt he was ready, they took him to one Pro Hunt and made the semi-finals. They also placed him third in the State. This year they have him qualified for the State Hunt, the Truck Hunt, and the Nationals. Not a bad start once they decided it was time for Jack to hit the competition circuit.
Cody talked about what it is that he likes about Jack, “He is a hard hunting dog, stays to himself, and has coons most times. He is also a good strike dog and stays treed. Having a hard going hound in my country is what it takes to win. He may not act that way tonight, but he normally is.” (It seems that our handlers tonight are experienced enough to know that as soon as you brag on a dog, they will do the opposite!)
Cody’s first cast this weekend would find him and Jack heading out against Long Shot Bigfoot being handled by Mary Elizabeth Sigmon, Johnson Creek Dolly being handled by Doug Heavener, and Hardwood Jukebox being handled by Justin White. Jack and Cody won the cast with an impressive 475 plus. Cody talked about how that round went, “We cut loose and Box struck for 100, Jack for 75, Dolly for 50, and Bigfoot for 25 points. Box treed for 100 points, but left. Dolly got on a den. Jack and Box then treed on a coon. Bigfoot also had a coon for 125 points. We cut loose and Jack went 250 yards and slammed a coon by himself and Dolly and Box came in and backed. Bigfoot was at large. Off that tree, Jack struck for 50 points and treed another coon, but this time nothing backed him. Bigfoot was still at large. Dolly treed, but the two caught her. Mary treed Bigfoot and Jack treed just as she handled Bigfoot. Bigfoot had a coon, so he had 325 points and I had 350 points. Jack had another coon. That gave me 475 points. Mary recut Bigfoot and he got in there treed again, but by the time we could get to him the hunt was over, so we did not score that tree.”
First trip and first win in the bag. However, it appeared that Cody was going to have his hands full with his late round draw. He and Jack found themselves going up against M&A Hector Side handled by Waylon Morrell, Hissy Phitt handled by Drake Roberson, and Posted Land Bone handled by Jeff Stallard.
Cody talked about that cast, “We turned loose and Hector got first strike and Bone got struck in for 75 points. Jack and Phitt went to the right and the other two went to the left. Hector ended up treeing on the water and Waylon withdrew to go get him. Bone was treed. I struck Jack in for 50 points. Jeff treed Bone for 100 points. Bone had coon for 175 points. We walked to where we heard Jack and then I treed Jack for 100 points. It was circled. Drake withdrew Phitt at this point. I walked the minute and recut. I struck and treed Jack for 100 points and he had a coon there. We recut and Jeff struck Bone for 100 points and I just knew then it was over, but the six caught him. At that point, the hunt ran out. Jack was treed again, but I could not hear him.”
Now Cody is in the Final Four! When asked how it felt, he enthusiastically replied, “It is hard to get a ticket and here I am in the Final Four of it. If I were to win this, it would be a dream come true. This is the first time that I ever got to come down there. I would rather win this than anything. If I win, I am taking the truck not the money option. My mom said she said she would have to come down here to drive it home since dad and I would be fighting on who got to if we win. I am very thankful to God to have this opportunity. I also am grateful to the support from my mom, dad, and girlfriend Sierra and to all the friends back home who hunt with me and helped to get Jack ready. This is my first time here and I plan to be here every year now. I like it down here.”
Cody is the first one between him and his dad to make this Final Four and he hopes that this last cast will be the one to show he really did come to the Isle of Capri to win a truck and not gamble. However, there is one thing that he is counting on and that is Jack! When asked what he hopes Jack will bring to this last round, Cody said, “Hopefully he gets by himself with a coon; that is what I am banking on since that is his strong point.”
No matter how it turns out though, you can bet that Darrell Mayne is proud of the success that his son is having with their new hound especially on their first trip to the Isle of Capri Casino. All Jacked Up is proving to be a worthy investment!
Now the time has come to see which of these Final Four hounds and handlers will be smiling for the cameras from behind the wheel of a new truck! They made it this far and already beat many odds, but there is one more round and as we know…anything can happen!
The dogs, owners and handlers listed herein have won a prestigious PKC Truck Hunt in the years indicated.
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- Director - Field Operations
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