The Red Oak Foxhounds (ROF) came to fruition under the guidance of Harry and Theresa Miller in June 2013, when Reedy Creek Hounds folded. One of the MFHA’s new registered foxhound packs, the Red Oak kennels are located at Oakwood Farm in Brunswick, VA. Theresa has been hunting for over 25 years, first with Princess Anne Hunt, then Reedy Creek hounds. When Harry and Theresa met, Harry did not ride much, but that soon changed and he was riding behind the Master and later leading first flight.
I am the hound person, and serve as MFH and huntsman, while Harry is the people person. He leads the field. ROF has great staff who work hard even at turning the coyotes! Wanda Johnson, our truck whip, is an expert at getting in front of the coyotes and turning them. Foxhunting is all about carrying on a great tradition and having fun and ROF is certainly doing both. ROF’s recent registration with Masters of Foxhounds provides authenticity.
When we started out, we were also hunting with Stonewall Hounds, and Lili Wykle, Stonewall MFH and huntsman, drafted ROF many great hounds. Andrews Bridge Foxhounds drafted ROF hounds also, which increased the pack to 13 entered couple with a combination of American and Penn-Marydel hounds. Having whipped in with Reedy Creek, I knew which hounds we wanted. ROF drafted three couple of PMD black and tan dog hounds. The ROF pack is growing! The first litter arrived in December 2013 from Reedy Creek Soda and Stonewall Keystone. The “A” litter is out hunting now and have the drive and nose of their sire and dam. ROF’s second litter was born in April 2014 with the same promising traits, followed by the third litter of American/PMDs, born in March 2015, and fourth litter of PMDs due this summer. Harry and I have been raising gun dog labs for over eight years, so raising a litter of foxhounds came easy. Along with the labs, we have a house full of Lurchers, and one Jack Russell, who rules.
When we moved to Brunswick County in 2003, we moved right in the middle of the local deer hunting club’s prime territory. Harry became one of the first “outsiders” allowed into the deer hunting club, and now is an officer in the club and I became one of their first female members. ROF and the deer hunting club support each other and are all great friends. When it comes down to hound people, we are all the same, whether you hunt deer or fox. A hound person loves to hear the sound of a pack in full cry. We continue to work together with the new Sunday hunting law and set aside areas for fox hunting on Sunday. Landowner relations are a big deal. There are the actual landowners, then the farmer that farms the land and the deer hunting club that hunts it and relations need to be great with everyone involved. ROF’s opening meet has become an event in the neighborhood. Ben, the local Methodist minister, performs the blessing and the ROF opening meet is in the church bulletin with an invite for all to attend!
We are very lucky to hunt the thousands of acres leased by the local deer hunting club and much more. Many neighbors and farmers have invited them to hunt their lands and the territory is plentiful with coyote, fox and bobcat which provide for great sport. Membership has doubled from the first year with many new people introduced into foxhunting. They love it! ROF had their first junior pony club this year with a field of 18 juniors, including some on lead line.
It is very refreshing to have such enthusiastic members, as they come out to do kennel projects and walk puppies as well as go hunting. We look forward to a very bright future!