Woodchuck Hunter…

Miss Putz, our smallest Aussie… a real throwback to old Jake…just loves to try and dig out woodchucks as you can see in the photo below! It can be hot or even raining and she along with her big brother Grissom, make the rounds almost everyday; through the pasture, corn field and gravel pit out behind the barns!

This ritual reminds me of years past when my Father, having purchased a suppoed coonhound from a wannabe dog trainer in New Jersey. Leaving very early one morning my Father and his friend Maurice headed south to retrieve the dog, to be home in time for a hunt that night. The big Black and Tan…named Gunner…. had but one major flaw; he was AFRAID after dark! If you could get him out of the truck, he’s crawl up your pantleg or in your boot!

For at least 2 months my father and many people he hunted with tried every trick they could think of to get Gunner to be a coonhound, even a poor one would have been ok! Shortly after that, he got demoted to life on a run protecting the gas pump area and spending afternoons in the fields with us. There he became very good at lying in wait to catch woodchucks when they strayed too far from their holes!

One day, someone (me) forgot to let Gunner loose when we headed to the field. Must be Gunner didn’t like that too much cause in the middle of that night, up at the end of the valley behind our other house where my Grandmother lived at the time, echoed howling that you know could be heard way down the valley. Gunner had gotten loose! yes, that I’m not scared after dark but rather a woodchuck hound not a coon hound, telling us to come help home dig this woodchuck out of this stone wall or I am waking up the whole town!!

Well, I can’t tell you the number of days and nights we went to help Gunner get his prize! To this very day when fixing fence I still chuckle when coming upon places in the stone walls where stone are strewn on the field’s edge, show the place of a prize fight between Gunner and one of his foes!

To this point, I have never heard Miss Putz or Grissom bark while woodchuck hunting, but like Yogi said ‘ if they do it will be like deja-vue all over again…

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