Cedar Creek Keena descends from Mountain Cur, Treeing Walker, Black Labrador, and Tri-color Rough Collie ancestors. The Mountain Cur is known to listen so well they can be called off a track. The Treeing Walker hound supplies her keen cold-nosed trailing ability. The Black Labrador provides the 'birdiness', her flushing and retrieving expertise, and the love of water. And the Tri-Color Rough Collie is seen in her beauty and brains. She's the epitome of a good 'mongrel' hunting dog. The key was in her training. She always suprising me, one time by finding half of a 12 point buck shed and bringing it to me when we went for a short walk in the woods. What a companion! Her Veterinarian told me we're lucky to have one really good dog in our lives, and she thinks Keena is mine. I agree. The way she acts, she might be related to this Missouri dog. Keena made the November 20, 2008 U.S. Armed Forces Stars and Stripes Europe Edition and the Mideast Edition.
Turkey Dogs on Dan Small's Outdoor WI Public TV.
Read 'Turkey hunt going to the dogs' in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - pictures.
Read about Keena - a Wisconsin Turkey Dog - scroll down Column Archives to Turkey Dog (2/2/09).
Turkey dogs in Wisconsin featured on the Big Wild Radio Show. Click here to listen (use RealPlayer).
Below she's wearing her camoflouge boonie hat with headnet to disguise her white markings.
She tolerates it just fine as long as the brim doesn't fall down in front of her eyes. Her ears stick out of the face mask
and alert me to the turkeys approach. The hat has a drawstring that cinches under her neck to keep it on.
She's getting so well trained I almost don't have to tie the leash to my leg any more. She'll lay down on command and stay still.
We're getting to be a real team. She tells me if they're hens or gobblers by her body language. And I can tell if they ran off, flew up in the trees, or flew away, by the intensity of her barking, long before I reach her.
Keena was wearing her camo hat when we hunted Monroe County, WI with the outdoor writer Jim Lee in October 2007.
His story about that hunt was in the September 2008 issue of the Wisconsin Outdoor Journal (pdf).
Acting like a Terrier! Her personality really shows, when she's digging just for the sake of digging!
Dark colored dogs are harder for the turkeys to see, but they get hotter on warm days. Click on Keena in the mud!
Keena likes turkeys, and hates the raccoons, skunks, and possums that steal 'her' hens eggs in the spring.
Keena from 3 to 6 months. She's a natural at finding turkey eggs (like her mother, who'd gently pick up the eggs
and carry them home!). Keena was #10 in a litter of 12 (all survived). Born Dec. 14, 2003 near Big
Cedar Creek, Iowa. Mother Emmy is a black lab and registered purebred tri-color rough collie cross, 5 years old.
(she's really thin in these pictures from nursing 12 puppies), her first litter (she was from a litter of 11 and all survived).
Mountain Curs are an interesting breed. Here's a link that explains the types. Keena resembles a cur dog from 1790.
"At Jamestown in 1608, the only domestic animals kept by the Indians were curs such as the keepers have in England. They were used for hunting turkey and other game." The Wild Turkey - Its History and Domestication; A.W. Schorger, Univ. of OK Press.
In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a Mountain Cur (like Old Yeller) was trapped for 16 days.
More pictures of father Jamie, bonding with me at 14 weeks, showing good treeing form, in the field at 5 months, and swimming at 20 months. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Now after scattering the flock (video), she comes right back and lays her head on my lap, and naps while I call.
She loves people and other dogs, and is a great companion.
Especially to hunt turkeys with.
The great state of Tennessee allows hunters the use of their dog to hunt turkey during the spring season,
so we scouted it in 2009. In that big country, calling is only heard by the turkeys in that hollow.
Having a dog along to confirm if they smell a turkey is a big help, when the next hollow is a mile or two walk.
|Keena has been the 'poster dog' for
hunting wild turkeys since the AWTHDA was founded in May 2004, when she
was six months old. It 'only took five years' to get dogs allowed for fall turkey
hunting in Wisconsin. Here she is celebrating her sixth
birthday, with a turkey I took in a foot of snow December 14, 2009,
during Wisconsin's extended Winter season (11/30 - 12/31). Then 3 more
Dec. 19, 21 & 23. There's no state with a longer season, or
more turkeys than WI, and no better dog than Keena. I think she's smarter
than half the guys I went to high school with! Keena's
gone mostly deaf now at 10 years old (March 2014), but she still does
more with her brain, than some humans can with their eyes, ears and
nose put together. If you see this license plate, honk for the #1
30, 2016. Keena was over 13 years old (born Dec. 14, 2003) when she
trailed and caught this wounded turkey in the creek. Without her, we'd
of probably never found it. She might be 13 years old,
deaf, her eyesight is going, a little stiff, and it's hard to get
up the steps some days, but today her nose and brain prevented the loss
this bird. A prime example of why dogs should be allowed in the spring too. Studies show 160,000 birds are lost each year, and the
majority of them are gobblers.|
When she didn't follow us out to the truck, after 10 minutes of waiting, I walked back in looking for her. That's not like her, she always sticks with me. I expected she was fatigued after the second hunt of the day and then the exertion to find that turkey. I'm thinking, she likes the cold, and may have laid down to rest. Earlier, I saw her scale a 3 foot vertical wall of the creek tracking down that turkey, didn't think she'd make it up (she wouldn't listen to me, when I told her to go around, she's deaf!). Fearing the worst, I walked back, searching the thickets and blowdowns, to where she found the turkey, but no Keena! When I got back to the road, there were 4 cars and trucks next to mine, with 5 or 6 of the best people anywhere! They hollered across the creek when they saw me coming, they said she had been laying near my car, in the middle of the road! I think she was going to make sure I didn't leave with out her! This was one more time she did more than expected. I nominate my 2006 Turkey Dog of the Year, 10 years later for the 2016 Dog of the Year.
By the time I got across the creek and snapped the pictures above, two of the vehicles had already left (I didn't get their names). When I got home, there was a message on my answering machine from Scott, that they were standing by my dog in the road. Thank you Scott and everybody else that was blocking the road for my beloved Keena. I know she'd rather die outdoors, especially hunting turkeys, than laying around in the house, so when the snows not too deep and it's not too hard walking, I take her along. Most of the time, she just walks nearby, but this time she saved us a turkey too. Was she ever happy and were we ever proud, this old dog sure surprised us today. Glad we got pictures of what might be her last bird. For the next 3 or 4 days, she had a little more spring in her step! Jon
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