This month’s featured hound is NMMVH Yukon ’16, owned and bred by New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds, which hunts out of Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland and portions of Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia. We caught up with NMMVH’s Huntsman, Emily Melton, and Katharine Byron, MFH, to learn more about what makes Yukon so special.
Yukon is out of NMMVH Widget ’14, a beloved hound who was grand champion at the 2015 Bryn Mawr Hound Show, and by Millbrook Humphrey ’11, a prolific stallion hound who was recommended by Donald Philhower. “After Widget won the Bryn Mawr Hound Show, we decided we wanted to breed her,” explains Byron. “Following conversations with various huntsmen, Alasdair Storer, who was our huntsman at the time, brought the suggestion to the Joint Masters and we agreed. It was the perfect opportunity to add some PMD into our otherwise mostly crossbred pack. We were looking for a bit more cry and some help with scenting ability.”
The club was delighted to see that Widget had passed down so many of her wonderful qualities to her offspring. “Widget is very correct and athletic,” says Byron. “She’s attentive and biddable, and a very steady hunter. Her biddable nature, steadiness, and kindness were also qualities of her mother NMMVH Olive ’09 and her mother HCIB Bliss ’04. They were great hunters, had a wonderful drive, and were just super foxhounds to have in our pack.”
Ever since he was quite young, they knew that Yukon was going to be every bit as special as his ancestors. “He was good looking and his personality shone through early on, though he lacked a bit of confidence to start,” says Byron.
For Melton, who took over as huntsman with the club last year, it was early in her first season with Yukon when she took notice of his determined qualities. “The hounds were hunting high in the woods above my head,” she recalls. “They checked for a few moments, and then I saw Yukon working along a giant boulder in the cliff — no dirt, no soil, no turf. He found on the sheer rock face, spoke, and the rest came to honor him, and off they went.”
Besides Yukon’s incredible drive and cry, Melton would soon discover his other impressive qualities as well. “He is very biddable and he pays close attention to his huntsman,” Melton says. “With respect to the rest of the pack, he is one of the top dogs and the other hounds honor him.”
When coming in from morning walk-outs, says Melton, Yukon likes to jump on the counters in the kennel room to surf for treats. “He’s learned how to shake paws,” she adds. “He is probably one of the most athletic hounds in the kennel and he clears fences with ease. And he is fast and agile.”
Because of his outgoing personality, Yukon also has an adoring fan club. “He knows how to pose for the camera,” says Melton. “He’s a ham!”
“If Yukon were a high school student, he would be the rare guy who gets along with everyone,” laughs Byron. “He fits in with all the different crowds and cliques and brings them together. He can be smart, he can be goofy, he’s athletic and he has such focus when he’s engaged in hunting. He’s always happy and he’s such a fun hound to have in the pack. We love him.”
Do you know of a special hound who should be featured? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.