Rock and Boots

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Here’s a photo from way back in 1962 when I was a young fella of 24 years.  These were my very first hounds, Rock and Boots.  Rock, on the left, was a good coon, bobcat, and gray fox dog; but he wanted nothing whatever to do with a bear.  Boots, the blue tick on the right, had never been hunted on anything but coons when I got him as a young hound, but he eventually became a good bear dog.  If there is such a thing as a hound being to cold nosed, Boots was it.  “Cold nosed” refers to a hounds ability to smell and work a cold track.  Boots could be called extremely cold nosed.  What is the point of a hound being able to work a 3 day old bear track, if the bear could already be in the next county?  I had to be careful of the tracks I put him on.

Looking back

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One thing about growing older; you have a lot of memories stored up, some good and some bad, to look back on.  I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to live my life pretty much as I wanted to, and the good memories outweigh the bad.  I’ve been able to spend far more time than the average in the mountains and timber country accompanied by 1 or more good dogs, and riding the mountain trails on several good horses and mules.  I’m getting a little long in the tooth now, and I’ll readily admit that I can’t do many of the things I used to do, or do them as well, but I’m not quite ready for the rocking chair yet.  I still like to set up a summer camp in the high country, away from the heat of the valley, and treat myself to a trout dinner now and then.  I haven’t actively hunted any big game in years, but prefer to shoot them with a camera these days.  I still do a little small game hunting in the fall, and tree squirrels rate high on my menu.  Fall and winter are good times for predator calling and will find me hunkered down somewhere in the brush or timber, a good dog at my side, while I make funny squeaking sounds like some small animal in a world of hurt.  Amazing the things that sometimes show up; bear, cougar, fox, bobcat, coyote, and a host of various birds.  I’ve called them all, and sometimes been fortunate enough to capture them with still camera or video.

At the top of this page I’ve posted links to pages where I have uploaded a few stories that were written in years past.  I’ll eventually include a page of photos from long ago.  As I said, I’m not quite done yet, and I’ll be posting more recent happenings in this saga we call life.

The photo was taken in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area of northern California, a short drive from my home.  Smokey was the best mountain horse I’ve ever owned, and Casey was the best Airedale I’ve owned to date.  Both now long gone.  I have a youngster now that is a ball of fire, but he has big shoes to fill if he is going to catch up with the old man.

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