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CH. White Crook (F.)

The following article about White Crook was written in the 1944  chase magazine by  C.W. Tilson.

A Hunt with CH. White Crook (F.)

By C. W. Tilson Durham, N. C.

(From June 1944 The Chase magazine)

 In mid-April I had to be in Union County, N. C., on business and I made it convenient to spend the night foxhunting with Weaver Meggs and 16 of his hounds, including the 1943 National Field champion, White Crook. I was seriously interested in this hound because I have been trying for 12 months to decide on the foxhound to my liking to cross on Lena Weldon II, one of my outstanding Buzzard Wing matrons. I was also eager to hunt with J. W. Meggs who is admired by many of our North Carolina hunters as one of the best hunters and the most exacting judge of running hounds in this or any other state.

 I arrived at Meggs' farm an hour before sunset and he showed me his 22 hounds and answered my many questions about their breeding, running, handling, etc. At sundown we were called to supper with his industrious wife and fine family of girls. His only son is a husky paratrooper in England of whom the family is rightfully proud. As we finished supper Lawrence Braswell, a keen young hunter of the neighborhood, came up to join us. We loaded 16 hounds into the back of Weaver's Ford sedan with the back seat out and drove 4 miles to the casting ground. We hunted right where we held the N. C. State meet 3 years ago. We drove into the hunting ground and Weaver opened the car door and turned the hounds out. They didn't come out and go off wild running but loped off hunting from the time they hit the ground.

 Besides Champion White Crook other notables among the 16 turned out were White Della, littermate to Crook„ who won 3rd H. G. A. at 1943 National, and White Finley, the winner of 3rd H. G. A. in the 1940 National when he was only 10 months old. White Finley is a littermate to Meggs' Lizzie, the mother of Champion Crook. There were some extra good dogs with wonderful mouths by White Finley and there were two Big Sam W. bitches. The rest were mainly of the same family and breeding as Crook and Finley and they were good sized with strong bone and backs, deep chests, good heads, and rugged running hounds.

  Within 15 minutes after we turned out White Finley and 3 or 4 others started trailing on the branch to our left. soon we heard a strong clear course squalling Y-E-O-W followed by a shorter yeow-yeow clear and loud, trailing a half mile in front of us. Meggs said, with a lot of reserve, "That is Champion Crook down yonder in front of us." He was soon joined by a fast, clear loud driving chop, his littermate, White Della. They worked the trail steady but moved rapidly in the next 10 minutes. Then suddenly young Amos, a son of Finley, apparently met the fox at the edge of the field while casting for a better track. He started driving him fast and came by us right away from the other hounds we had heard trailing. Immediately every hound, including Crook_ and Della who were almost out of hearing, turned loose their trailing and went to Amos in short order. When we heard Crook open in the race he was at the front calling the signals and he stayed up at the front. Della gave him a fight every second for the front and all those 15 other hounds drove like they wanted the front every step. This race lasted only an hour and they shut off suddenly about 2 miles from us. We drove around to where we heard them last and heard old Finley open up two or three times in the woods near the road. Meggs walked in and found they had run the fox into a large brush and log pile. He came out to the car calling and blowing his horn and in 15 minutes we had 13 hounds in the car, including White Crook who came up raring-to-go but willing to be caught and loaded to move.

 We drove back to the same casting ground where we turned out first and turned out again. The wind had been blowing light all the time and there was no dew so that running conditions were not good. In 5 minutes they opened on a running track and Champion Crook was among the first to open. The hounds covered them up and the race was soon on. We hoped it was the old red dog fox which had been running good and we could hear a real race. Luckily for me it was and from then, 11 o'clock, until daylight we had a fox race that any born fox hunter would walk 10 miles to hear. I would walk 20 miles to hear that pack and Champion Crook do it like that again.

 They pulled out across the branch up a long ridge and made a good round through the rolling country nearly out of hearing, then came right back and across the branch through a big field and into the woods right at use. As they came back in hearing and on into the big field Crook was calling them at the front but he had plenty of company all the way. When they came through the big field they fairly flew and Della took the front a few feet for two hundred yards or so but they couldn't leave the pack, and there were no stragglers. The hounds packed good and ran close and I never heard as many good hound mouths in 16 Walkers. They made a big round this time and went out of hearing a few times. I could hear Champion Crook's strong, clear, medium coarse mouth, at last when they were going out and among the first as they came back into hearing.

 They came back over the same long hill they first went out over and the fox went around the side of this hill to the branch, then cut back short under the hill and across the branch and thicket and through the big field toward the little mountain again. They made a run-over here and Champion Crook picked it up quick across the branch and was gone through the big field close behind the fox. Crook drove that fox fast and for about 40 minutes before any other hound s got up with him and they all shut up as he left them at the branch and did their best to catch him. All I heard out of those 15 hounds was grunting and brush breaking until they were up on the line with Crook. Crook drove that fox just like he had it under control and Ioved the way he gave that good driving mouth.

  When the hounds  started falling in with him it was not long until they were all back in the race and it was glorious. Those hounds packed wonderfully and ran hard and close. Champion Crook runs the line and has a wonderful nose and plenty of sense with it. He ran over the line very few times and he picked it up quickly and nearby. You can easily tell his long squall on the pickups and he is dead right and gone when he gets it. He caught about two-thirds of the pickups during this race and carried the front fully two-thirds of the time.

 When they holed this fox at daylight they were about a mile from us. Within an hour 9 of them, including Champion Crook, had come back by the casting ground and we picked them up. I told Weaver Meggs I had never hunted with a National Champion before, but I was sure glad to learn that the judges of our National Field Trial scored that hound a winner and a National Champion. He conducts himself like I want a foxhound to do in an all night hunt and race.

 While we were waiting for the other hounds to come in after the race, I asked Meggs how he came to produce Champion Crook. He told me the following; how he planned the breeding to get this hound and his valuable littermates:

 "I was judging at the South Carolina State trials and saw 3. C. Ch. Sir Galahad and his littermate. They worked, I thought as near perfect as hounds could. I also watched Cord Blair, the Futurity Winner in 1937, when, he and Sir Galahad were running at the same National Field Trial, and I though then worked so good and were so near mike that the blood of both of them would make a great cross with my hounds. I first bred Nellie Beats to Sir Galahad and raised 8 puppies. They were all good foxhounds and out of that litter were Megg's Lizzie and White Finley."

"I was judging at a field trial again and got to watch the good work of White Cord W. He really worked to suit me. I began inquiring what blood he was and found out that he was by Cord Blair out of Wallis Warfield. That made me like him better and I made up my mind to breed to him instead of Cord Blair. I bought a half interest in him from Dr. Ross and bred him to Megg's Lizzie. She whelped 11 pups, one got killed by a car, the other ten were raised to be grown hounds. I sold all of them when pups, except three, and one of them got hurt after I began running it. This is where I got my Champion White Crook."

"You see I really found out about these hounds while going to field trials. I think every foxhunter should attend some field trials. I know a lot of them are poor like me and do not have the money to go to all of them but they could go to at least one or two a year and watch the best hounds work and breed to the ones they like best."

"I think that is the best way to make an improvement on our hounds."

(Article from June 1944 The Chase magazine)

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Revised: 22 Nov 2007 19:23:00 -0500