Lula, MS -
Saturday March 03, 2018
By PKC National Youth Director, Amy Thomas
It is very fitting that spring is the time of year that the PKC Pup Shoot Out Truck Hunt is held at the Isle of Capri in Lula, Mississippi. Spring is when all of the young buds begin popping out and giving us a taste of what the future holds. The Pup Shoot Out, co-sponsored by PKC, Purina, and the Isle of Capri, is when 64 of the top young hounds show up to battle it out for a brand new pickup truck. This year the water was up, but there were four young hounds who worked around the obstacles to win those very important two cast wins last night. We are about to find out which of them will be the lucky ones to drive home the truck and who will be going to the bank Monday morning to cash a check for either $2,000, $1,000 or $500! This year we have two seasoned veterans to this last and all important round and two handlers new to the experience. Let’s take a closer look at the final four standing….
Wipeout He’s A Threat
Owned by Landreth/Bane
Handled by Dustin Weed
If you were betting on odds down at the Isle of Capri based on handler experience, Dustin Weed is definitely one of our four handlers to put your bet on! This young man has now graced the Final Four of the truck hunts four times now. This time seems a bit like déjà vu with Dustin just being in the Final Four last month for the Senior Dog Showdown. With it not just being one hound that has gotten him to this spot, it shows the talent that Dustin has a handler. Even though he has fallen just shy of driving the truck home before, one would think that surely it is about his time!
The hound that he is handling tonight is four year old Wipeout He’s A Threat (aka Threat) out of Zeb 3. Threat was bought as a backup hound for Dustin to handle, but this ‘spare’ has gotten the team of men back into the Final Four of a truck hunt for the second month in a row. With a pedigree like this young hound, hopefully Dustin’s odds of bringing home the truck tonight have just increased.
Dustin shared what it is about this hound that he likes, “Normally he trees coons. I have not been very happy with his performance this weekend, but usually he will get a coon treed.”
Dustin has only been handling Threat since last June after they bought him from Johnny Brown. Andy Landreth and Kasey Bane partnered up on him to start before Andy bought him out before this weekend. Threat has not been in too many events because he has been considered a back-up hound for Dustin. However, for a “spare” Threat has been doing a nice job. For what little he has been hunted in, Threat’s bigger successes leading up to tonight’s performance include getting him in two nights at the Breeder’s Showcase and some semi-finals at the Pro Hunts.
Threat has also had a good showing this weekend. Things started off well on Friday night when Threat and Dustin drew out early against Lay Em Up Lexi and David Haley, Mr. Greens All Star and David Lunsford, and Wipeout Little Creek and Jeremy Montgomery. The two won their cast with 187.5 plus points. Dustin talked about how things went for him and Threat on the early round, “Threat treed a coon and stayed out of trouble after that. That is about it.”
Dustin knows that one win gets you closer to the truck, but there are still two more important wins to be had before the win can be claimed. Luckily, Threat would bring home the second needed one after his performance on the late round. Dustin and Threat found themselves heading back out against Wipeout Scout being handled by Bradley Beaver, White Oak Bottom Jim and Dewayne Matlock, and Delta Dawn and Jake Brasher. It would not be the greatest of scores to earn Dustin and Threat this second cast win, but the 25 minus would move them one step further! Dustin discussed how that late round went for them, “It went real sorry. Threat stayed out the most trouble. It was probably one of the sorriest cast I have been on.”
Though the last round may not have been the best Dustin has been in, his score got him into the Final Four tonight. Dustin is just hoping that Threat trees coons and gets them the elusive win that he has worked so hard to achieve for many years now. No matter how things turn out though, Dustin is truly grateful to those who have been there for him along the way, “I want to thank Andy and Dillon, my mom and dad, my wife and daughter, and my family for always being there for me.”
Dustin Weed has been a threat to all who have found themselves in this Final Four position with him before. Now he is about to see if Threat will be the one to make things reality for him when it comes to winning the truck. There is no doubt that Dustin and his team are hoping that this will be the time that everything falls in place for Dustin and his hound. The odds seem like they should be in his favor especially since he was just in this position last month!
Shot Through The World
Owned by Shabel/Jones/Drew/Stallard
Handled by Jeff Stallard
When it comes to picking a winner, it is obvious that Rodger Shabel and Randall Drew have a knack for that looking at tonight’s Final Four. Shot Through The World (aka Shot) has proven that he can bring home the cast wins time and time again. He is one of the two hounds in the Final Four tonight that have a handler who has been in this position before. Jeff Stallard has graced the truck hunt Final Fours four times. He may not have brought the truck home himself yet, but he has had the proud moment as a parent to watch his son Casey bring it home last year! There is a saying about following in your parent’s footsteps, but tonight we are about to see if Jeff can follow in his son’s!
Jeff’s odds are increased by the hound that he is following behind tonight. Four year old Shot is out of Cowboy, who goes back to Mojo’s Mr. Green and What’s Up Casey, who goes back to Fightin’ Side and What’s Up Doc. Shot has proven that he has all the ability needed to win big. Last year, Shot won the 2017 Spring Super Stakes Junior Division. Though they have not put him in many hunts other than that, Shot has won the Ohio Pro Hunt and split at the Indiana Pro Hunt.
It was hard to believe that Shot was purchased by Randall Drew after reading an ad on Prohound. Randall was banking on Mike Gilbert’s thoughts about making that cross when he bought the hound. Things have evolved since then and tonight Shot has a pretty stout team of men behind him with Shabel/Jones/Drew/Stallard listed as owners. That gamble that Randall made has already paid off and now the men are hoping to cash in big tonight at the Isle of Capri Casino!
Friday night started out with Shot and Jeff getting lucky and drawing a three dog cast. However, they were not lucky enough to be out of the water on their casts. That did not hold them back though! On their early round they found themselves heading out against last year’s PKC Male Leader Whip It Out Buzz and Gene Driggers, Pickin Up Styxx and Chris Simmons. They won the round with 150 plus points. Jeff talked about how things went on that first round of the night, “He treed way through there and had a coon.”
It was time to see if Shot was going to be heard from again before the night was over. For their late round, Shot and Jeff drew out with Mafia’s Late Night Trax and Jeremiah Roller, The Buzzman and Judas Bowling, and Knights Hill Buzz and William Baker. Their score of 250 plus would shoot them right into the Final Four tonight! Jeff shared how that late round went, “He got out of there and when they were making trees, he treed two coons.”
Getting out of dodge and being solo is a trait of Shot’s that Jeff likes. One thing that cannot be trained is heart and Shot has that. Jeff has really enjoyed how hard he goes. That may be rough on Jeff tonight as he is feeling pretty sick. Luckily he has a good cheerleader along and a possible back up handler with his son Casey, who has proven that he knows how to get a truck won. However, he would not share any pointers with his dad because he wants to be the only Stallard to have bragging rights on winning a truck. Casey did share what he feels that Shot will bring to the Final Four, “He will give 100% effort. He usually hunts hard and is by himself 100% of the time.”
Rodger Shabel also added in his thoughts about Shot being in tonight, “I think we have some pretty good odds tonight. Shot is no big secret. We have not tried to push him hard and have wanted to keep him fresh. This is his first big hunt in a while.”
Before heading out tonight, Jeff did want to give some thank to those who are there to support him in this sport, “I want to thank my wife and kids for all their support. This week my girls have helped me get Shot ready. I have a ten year old daughter who has been hunting pretty hard this week. She is going to be a winner in a couple years after I get her right. I am very fortunate to have the family that I do rooting me on.”
There is no doubt that Jeff Stallard and Shot Throughout the World have a good chance of having a Stallard win a truck two years in a row between Shot’s ability and Jeff’s experience. It just all depends on who gets the lucky breaks as the Final Four round unfolds. We are about to find out!
Owned by Drew/Johnson/Shabel
Handled by Tony Bowman
Randall Drew and Rodger Shabel have increased their odds of winning big at the Isle of Capri tonight by owning two of the hounds in tonight’s Final Four and Don Johnson is known to be a good luck charm at the truck hunt! Tonight with all the moisture surrounding the Final Four as they head out to hunt along the river bottom, it will be time to see if The Fog has rolled in to stay or if she will dissipate as the evening progresses.
Four year old Fog is out of Charley’s Sam and Coy’s Slugger Girl. Her pedigree goes back to Tequila Sunrise and Demon. It was her handler tonight Tony Bowman who first saw that she was for sale about six months ago. He talked about how she came to be owned by the current team of men behind her, “Derrick Baxley in Indiana put her on the Prohound site for sale. She had like $6,000 won on her.
I saw it and texted Randall about her and that she sounded good and appeared to be what he looks for in a hound. I started calling around and asking about her and found out that she was a loner and a coon treer. Randall went and bought her. He had her at his place about three months before I started hunting her.”
Tony was right about the type of hound she was too. When asked what it is about her that he likes, Tony replied, “She is going to be by herself with a coon.”
Rodger Shabel and Don Johnson also know a dog with potential and when Randall was talking about selling The Fog, the two men partnered up on her with him. This was great for Tony because it meant that he would still be able to hunt her in this Pup Shoot Out.
The trip down to the Isle of Capri was an interesting one for Tony since he ended up riding along with Jeff Stallard who is also in tonight’s Final Four. Tony shared, “I normally do not like to ride with someone because then you do not have your own truck when you go out, but I rode down with Jeff, Casey, and Don. So far, it has worked out and it is nice to have company on such a long ride.”
The winning would start early for Fog and Bowman. They would start the night out going up against Hi Rollin Gas Monkey and Terry Gregory, Slow Talking Helper and Colton Judd Perryman, and Big Time Tucker and Justin Wallace. Fog’s score of 175 plus would earn them their first win of the night. Tony talked about how things went on that early round, “They all treed a coon out of the truck. One dog left and took minus. Fog ended up getting through water to the left of them and treed a coon. She stayed out of trouble and won.”
The Fog was still hanging around when it came time for the late round casts. This time Fog and Tony would be heading out against Wipeout Squeak and Squall and Doug Heavener, Mills River Jill and Weston Radway, and Little Kay and Dale Girdley. Their score of 125 plus on that round would keep The Fog in the forecast for Saturday night’s Final Four! Tony described how things went for them late, “The dogs all jammed a coon out of the truck. She was struck in for 25 points, but she got out of there. The others had that coon. They would tree another coon, but some took some minus. I could hear Fog and then not. The other dogs got close enough to her on their coon that I could finally hear her again. I treed her in. She was swimming and treeing at the bottom of a tree. I had to wade in water up to my chest to get her. She had to be tired.”
Luckily today The Fog is acting just fine. When asked what he is hoping for out of her performance tonight, Tony replied, “I just want her to be herself, tree coons, and stay out of trouble.”
Before they head out, Tony did want to express some words of gratitude and mention some people. He shared, “I want to start off by bragging on Randall Drew. He buys a lot of good dogs and hunts them hard and gets them right. He may not go to a lot of the hunts, but he gets these dogs ready for us and deserves a lot of credit. I want to thank Rodger Shabel and Don Johnson for buying in on her and allowing me to hunt her. I want to thank my boys Hunter and Easton’s mother Jessica for taking care of our sons while I am hunting. I really appreciate all that she does to support me. I have to mention my buddy J.R. Gray who comes down and hunts with me every Thursday. I work four tens and when I get off, he comes down and together we get a lot of training done on these dogs. He helps me out so much. I want to thank my superintendent Darrin Herald for allowing me to take off for the bigger hunts. Last, I want to wish all the others in this Final Four the best of luck.”
With all the water and moisture in the air down at the Isle of Capri Casino tonight, it may just seem natural for The Fog to roll in with the winning score. One thing is for certain and that is that there is a 50% chance for Drew and Shabel to be owning a new truck tonight and for Tony to be glad that he decided to just ride along so they can get it home. We are about to see how the forecast will be on tonight’s Final Four, but Fog is definitely in it!
Bowling and Redwine’s Babe
Owned by Bowling/Redwine
Handled by Ryan Redwine
Though her name is based on her ownership, it sounds like a typical weekend night for most. However, there is nothing else about the experience in Lula, Mississippi for Judas Bowling and Ryan Redwine that has been typical. Bowling and Redwine’s Babe (aka Babe) was the dog number 64 to get in and they almost did not have a truck to come down with. Babe may have been the last dog at large to get called down for the Pup Shoot Out, but with a borrowed truck and Babe’s performance, they have earned a spot in tonight’s Final four.
Three year old Babe is off of Shane Maxey’s Breanna female and Ol Ross from in Indiana. She is a crossbreed off of a Walker and a Redbone. The Bowling and Redwine team acquired her a year ago this past January. She had initially been bought out of Kentucky by an Amish hunter in Indiana, but the fit was not quite working out. When asked if they could help get Babe straightened out, Judas and Ryan began hunting with her. Once they saw her in the woods, they decided she had potential. Judas shared, “She was a natural with a lot of good ability. Instead of arguing over which one of us would buy her, we decided to just partner up on her.”
The men talked about what it is about Babe that they like, “She has a lot of go for a hound. She is the kind of dog that if she is on, she is very accurate and hard to beat. Treeing a coon is the easy part for her. When she puts her foot on a tree, she has a coon. She also has a great personality.”
Babe just started being put in hunts last summer, but it did not take her long for Judas and Ryan to realize that the work that they put into her to polish up her rough edges was paying off. Babe was the number one crossbreed female in the nation and placed second for the Crossbreed National Race. This was no easy feat with the competition that Ryan and Judas have to face locally. Judas shared, “Babe has not won anything real big, but she has won some local hunts in Indiana; that is tough for dogs in our area because it is nothing to have 30 or 40 dogs on a Tuesday night at our Bear Creek Club.”
Ryan and Babe showed up to the Isle of Capri hoping to continue Babe’s wins and that is exactly what they did in the early round. They would begin their winning streak going up against Bone Collector’s Lacey and James Bassage, Knock and Scott Christen, and Slow Talking Captain Hook and Will Byrd. Ryan and Babe would bring in the win with their score of 225 plus. Ryan described how that early cast went for them, “She treed two coons and they were the only two we scored on. I have never hunted her in the water and was not sure how she would do. We had water over our ankles and she went right on through it and treed those coons. She was treed at the end and I could have treed her in, but I did not need to.”
Babe was one step closer to that new truck, but she still had one more round to go and they would draw some stiff competition. On their late round, Babe and Ryan would head out against Backwater Bubba and John Granberry, The American Billionaire and Michael Ward, and Stroudbraidedrugs. comlou and Nickey Hale. It was a score of 75 plus that would take Babe into the Final Four. Ryan talked about how things went for them on that late round, “She treed two coons again. She got backed by Billionaire on the first one. Then on the second coon, they minused her. She does not take much minus, but she had her head in the hole of a den and it made it her sound muffled and more distant, so I got minused. Billionaire was with her and he treed Billionaire. Then she pulled head out and went back to treeing and I treed her right at the end. We went in and shined in the hole and she had a coon in the bottom of a den. They could not beat me.”
When asked what edge they bring to this final four, Judas shared, “This is Ryan’s second hunt with a non-hunting judge. So far he is undefeated with non-hunting judges. What is neat is that she is red and this is Ryan’s first big hunt. He has done a great job so far! Since she is red, she has a lot of the Redbone people pulling for him even though she is a Crossbreed.”
Both men also wanted to express some words of gratitude before this Final Four. Judas started, “I have to start off by thanking my brother Shafter and sister-in-law Paula for making it possible for us to be here. My truck broke down before we headed here and it was in the shop. If they not allowed us to use their brand new truck, we would not even be here tonight! I want to thank Chris Hatfield for hooking us up to help out with Babe before we bought her. Chris and I are partners on other dogs. I want to thank Ryan for all the late nights that he has put on her chasing her around and making her the dog she is today. I want to thank my wife Laura for her support and the good Lord for getting us to where we are tonight.”
Ryan continued, “I want to thank Katie for all her support. I also want to thank Chris and Judas for their part in where we are tonight. Last, I would like to thank PKC for having this event.”
Babe has shown how the power of lady luck so far this weekend at the Isle of Capri Casino. Will she continue to have the odds in her favor as she heads back out tonight? Ryan is hoping that the Babe he brought along for the trip this weekend will end the Final Four with a new ‘ride’ for both of them before the night is over…they definitely are in need of it! We are about to find out if it is ladies’ night for or not for Babe at the casino since she is one of our two females in this last and very important round!
Now that we have learned a bit more about each of these handler/hounds heading out tonight, get yourself set up to watch the Final Four. Will the Threat become real or will the Shot be on top of the world when he comes back in, will the Fog leave everyone else in a haze tonight, or will the Babe show us that lady luck really does pay off at the Isle of Capri Casino? We are about to see…
The dogs, owners and handlers listed herein have won a prestigious PKC Truck Hunt in the years indicated.
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