She ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, but what a dog! Lone Hill Joline, owned by Ashby Nuckols and Dennis Messer, won the 2012 Black and Tan Purina Breed Winner. Joline participated in 17 casts and won eight, which gave her a total of 400 points to win fourth in the nation.
A cast is anywhere from three to four dogs in a group. The hunters draw their cast and then are guided to a piece of woods and turn their dogs loose. According to Nuckols, some places have a lot of coons and at others there are hardly any.
“It’s a lot of luck on how you draw as to whether you do any good,” Nuckols said.
The nighttime sport of coon hunting involves hunting raccoons, which are known to be clever and mischievous, according to the United Kennel Club. Each hound has its own distinctive voice, which is often recognizable to its owner from a great distance.
Nuckols has been coon hunting with his family since the age of nine and began with his own pup at the age of 16.
Ashby’s father, Aubrey C. Nuckols, Jr., brothers, A.C. Nuckols III and Garland Nuckols, and sister, Diane, have all been avid hunters, including his wife Anita. It’s a family tradition that is loved by all.
Nuckols’ first black and tan was the whelp of his brother Garland’s dog, Rebel.
Before Joline, his greatest achievement with a black and tan came with ‘Tree Choppin’ Katie.’
In the mid-90’s, Katie won the United Kennel Club Virginia State Hunt and placed in the top 20 at the UKC Zones for the World Hunt. She was the American Kennel Club World Nite Hunt Black and Tan Champion Female.
“When Katie died, I almost quit hunting,” Nuckols said.
There have been many dogs since Katie, but she still holds a special place with Nuckols as his favorite dog of the past, and for the present, it is Joline.
The only handling strategy Nuckols had was to call Joline for what she did, go by the rules, and be fair and honest.
Joline is the daughter of Fletch’s Black Smokin’ Windstalker “Wendy” and Lone Hill Brutis, who are listed in the top 10 national reproducing females and males.
“Joline is a real personable dog,” Nuckols said.”She does okay for strangers, but she strives to do good for me.”
Nuckols obtained Joline when she was 15 months old. At the time, Joline would not hunt alone, but would with other dogs.
To read the entire story, see the June 13 edition of The Central Virginian.