This month’s featured hound is Stonewall Bernadette (Stonewall Charlie x Stonewall Bonnie), a 7-year-old female owned and bred by Lili Wykle, MFH, and huntsman for Stonewall Hounds, based in southwest Virginia. We caught up with Lili to learn a bit more about this special hound.
What can you tell me about Bernadette's background and bloodlines?
Her bloodlines, which are all-American, go back on both sides to a draft from Jill Summers, MFH of Farmington. His name was Farmington Sailor. He is her great-grandfather on both sides. He was old when I got him, but he had a fantastic nose and drive. I think those two qualities go together and have been passed down to Bernadette.
Both of Bernadette’s parents, Stonewall Charlie and Stonewall Bonnie were excellent hunting hounds. In fact, Bonnie’s parents, Stonewall Solomon and Stonewall Sally, were two of my favorite hounds. Sally and Bernadette were very similar – and typically the first ones to speak!
What is her personality like?
Bernadette’s personality is what you want in your kennel. She is smart and listens, and is neither wimpy nor aggressive, which means she gets along with everyone. She is calm and loving, too. She has excellent conformation—she’s very well put together. She’s never lame and never seems to get tired.
What makes her a suitable hound for your hunt's territory?
Bernadette is perfect for our territory, which is about average, meaning neither very open nor very wooded. She is an independent hunter with the best nose and a “never quit” desire to find game. It's like she is obsessed when we hunt. I have to keep close tabs on her walking out in the summer months because her nose always stays down looking for any scent.
What qualities make her a good hunting hound in general?
Her great qualities are scenting ability, drive, conformation, and kennel attitude. She lacks one thing and that is a strong voice, which is why I bred her twice to a hound with an excellent voice. They both have some PMD in their breeding.
Has she had puppies before? How many litters?
The first litter, by Stonewall Henry, is hunting and doing well. The second litter, by Red Oak Bishop, will start this fall.
She's also participated in performance trials – what were some of her notable results?
Bernadette was the best overall hound at the 2019 Sedgefield Performance Trials, as well as third in 2017. She didn't attend the trials in 2018 because she was ready to whelp. Obviously, I'm very proud of this hound!
Any other fun stories about her?
The best story about her (you can watch the short video demonstrating this) is her ability and desire to climb out of the kennel and go hunting. I almost drafted her because I could not keep her in. First, she would scale the shorter 4-foot fence, so we hotwired it. Then she would climb over the 6-foot fence, and so I had to hotwire our whole large hound yard. At the time she was getting out, we had a few red foxes on my farm. You could hear her going around and around over to my neighbor's farm and back again!