Showsight Presents the Treeing Walker Coonhound

We’re called the Treeing Walker Coonhound

was first advertised within this new breed. Two years later, after much discussion and negotiating, Dr. Furhman, then owner of the United Kennel Club (UKC) agreed to meet with a group of breeders at the home of F. C. Reeder in Loagansport, Indiana. Small groups of avid, dedicated coonhunting houndsmen were able to convince Furhman to accept these spot- ted dogs, but as a part of the English breed which he already recorded. They had to accept the name English Coonhound (Walker Treeing) or nothing at all, so the new breed started off as a strain of the English breed. Within a few years the breeds were complete- ly separated with the breed registered as Walker Treeing. It wasn’t until the late Mr. Fred Miller took ownership in UKC that the English was dropped and they were actually called Treeing Walkers on the official pedigree.

states used for big game hunting – lion, cougar, and bear. You will find the Nance strain in the large tim- bered Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where coon, bob- cat and bear are the prey. While many enthusiasts in other regions of the United States, simply coonhunt. In the 80 years since Lester Nance first treed a coon, many changes have occurred. A new breed has been formed, a competition hunts started and have reached a high level of intensity, conformation shows flourished, publications have begun, the faces have changed, and the equipment demanded by hunters is as different as night and day. However, the goal is the same. It still takes a dog with desire and ability to achieve that goal. The mountain is still there for those who set their sights high enough.

After a long battle with Parkinson’s dis- ease, Lester Nance, of Arcadia, Indiana joined many of his beloved hounds, hunt- ing friends and their Lord, on December 9, 2001. Etched in the headstone is White River King, from a photo taken in 1933. The cemetery is located near a creek where Lester used to hunt, and empties within two-three miles into the White River, and about four miles from where King was buried in 1946. Along with his registry and breeding accomplishments, Lester was blessed with three grandsons, Kip and Trent Gordon and Mic Newby all residents of Indiana; all of which hunt as much as they can with

The dreams of the young boy had reached new levels; he no longer had to keep the fires. He was the fire that was the center of their attention.

The first meeting of the (UKC) National Treeing Walker Association was held at Lester’s home in 1946, where he was elected president. The first National Treeing Walker Days was held in 1951 at Arcadia, Indiana. A son of White River Boone won the hunt-making the dreams of a 14-year-old boy and the goals of a breeding program a reality. In 1946, Lester was impressed by a hound owned by Bernard Hole of Indiana called Boone. Lester purchased the dog for $500 and three years later White River Boone won the second held American Coon Hunters

Association (ACHA) World Hunt. Finishing second was White River Rowdy, Lester’s favorite. The dreams of the young boy had reached new levels; he no longer had to keep the fires. He was the fire that was the cen- ter of their attention. By the early 1950’s, with both King and Boone gone, and King II, Rowdy and Sparkie at ten years of age, Lester concentrated more on the swine business and raising his family. His hearing was beginning to fail, which hindered his ability to follow the hounds. He was diagnosed as having Parkinson’s disease which created a whole new set of priorities in his life. By 1955 he withdrew from active completion in the coonhound world, but all serious and avid coon- hunters knew they were welcome to stop at his place any time. Several people continued the breeding that Lester started, and the strain lives on today. From central Indiana and the times of coonhunting with lanterns, came a strain of Nance blood in the western

their sons, and have some of the closest relatives to the “originals” as possible. They process the apprecia- tion and drive that Lester passed along to them, and in their own way have contributed to another generation devoted to the breed. Daughter Beth (Snedegar), who can be found in many of the old pictures and records, played an active role in breed activities for 25 years, and has shown many Treeing Walkers to local, state, and national show championships. Beth could often be found curled up with Rowdy when she was small. Today, Granddaughter Tricia Snedegar plays a very supportive role in advancing the Treeing Walker breed into the AKC Hound Group, by exhibiting her hounds nationally in the Miscellaneous Group as breeder-owner-handler. Another milestone that is proudly displayed by this family of nearly 90 years a love, devotion, and dedication of a breed called the Treeing Walker Coonhound.

90 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE • O CTOBER 2010

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