While the Woodpont breeding program certainly emphasizes pack work over individual greatness, I am of course still breeding for the best hunting hounds possible. It is necessary, however, that good hounds fit into the pack. For example, you don’t want a hound so dominant that he runs away from the others, or that is so independent that he is constantly off running his own rabbit. A great pack is one that works as a team, with many good hounds all contributing when they have an opportunity to do so.
Having said that, I wanted to give recognition to the hounds from years past who I consider to be the best I have hunted. Following is a brief description of my best over the last 40 years….
1. Woodpont Birdsong 5/11/95 – 12/17/10. By FC. Northway Ninja x Woodpont Beauty.
With 5 generations of the Woodpont female line before her, Birdsong was best I have hunted at solving the most difficult checks, many times restarting the chase long after all hope was lost. Not an overly fast hound, Birdsong could run anywhere in the pack and had great line control. She had a beautiful clear chop voice the other hounds would fly to. She used her voice perfectly and would never speak to a cold trail. She was a good searcher, but not as great in that respect as her son, Woodpont Bruiser. She was bred 3 times: to New City Brass Chip, to FC. Blue Banks Pleaser, and to Cannon’s Joker. Despite having small litters each time, two of her puppies have carried on her line: Bruiser and Woodpont Birdseye. Through those two, Birdsong is all over the Woodpont pedigrees today.
2. Woodpont Birdbaby 7/20/06 – lost 12/17. By Woodpont Chaplain x Woodpont Birdseye.
Birdbaby (Baby) was a granddaughter of Birdsong mentioned above. Baby was one of the most exciting hounds ever to run in the pack, with a loud screaming voice that got instant attention from the other hounds. She was a good searcher and a fast, driving, front end type of hound. Like many of my hounds, she was especially good as she aged, doing her best work at 8-10 years old. From litters by Woodpont Tackler and Woodpont Mayor, I have puppies running in the pack today, including the current best hound in the pack, Woodpont Timber (see below).
3. Woodpont Manager 9/1/03 – 8/25/14. By FC. Deaton’s Black Magic x Woodpont Cheerful.
Manager was one of the pack leaders for many years. He was a tremendous running hound with a deep roaring chop voice and excellent line control. While not an extremely fast hound, he was tough and relentless on the line. Manager was excellent at marking hole, often returning covered in mud when a rabbit had gone in. Despite his excellence afield, Manager had a genetic flaw that excluded him from the breeding program, so I have none of his offspring today. However, through his very good littermate sister, Woodpont Mascot, this line is very strong in today’s pack.
4. Woodpont Timber 4/7/10 - By Woodpont Tackler x Woodpont Birdbaby.
Timber, from the Birdsong/Baby line mentioned above, is the best hound in today’s pack, although I believe age is slowly catching up with him. Like his dam, Birdbaby, he has a very loud exciting voice that other hounds recognize instantly. Timber is an excellent searcher, never appearing to work hard, but finding rabbits consistently. Probably a lot of his searching ability comes through his sire, who traces back to Woodpont Bruiser. Timber is not a fast hound like his dam, but runs more like his granddam, Birdseye, who seemed to be always right on the line despite what others were doing around her. Timber has Birdsong (above) in the 4th generation on his sire’s side, and the 3rd generation on his dam’s side. Timber has produced beautiful puppies when bred, and I hope to get another litter or two before he is finished. Currently there is an excellent hunting daughter, Woodpont Matchless, and three of his sons coming on.
Timber can be seen running turning the track downhill at 0:54 of this video:
At 1:21 in this video, he straightens out the line for the others:
Others to mention:
Woodpont Brandywine – Foundation female for the Woodpont strain was a very solid running hound. She set future expectations for the combination of conformation and ability.
Woodpont Bruiser – Best “jump dog” ever in this pack, a trait he passed on when bred. Beautiful chop voice.
River Hills Majer – Top running hound who won the National Beagle Club’s Triple Challenge event for me in 1998. Excellent nose and control of the line.