Nickey Hale of Red Boiling Springs won a 2012 Chevy Silverado this week at the Purina/SportDOG Senior Dog Showdown. Or, to be perfectly accurate, Smirnoff Ice won it.
His walker coon hound, Smirnoff Ice, or “Noff,” is a hunting champion. The dog has accumulated $52,862 in prize money over his 4-year lifetime, including the $20,000 value of the truck.
The truck was the grand prize of an annual showdown, which pits 64 dogs against each other, all of whom have to pre-qualify. These 64 dogs are slowly eliminated over the course of three two-hour rounds. Standard coon-hunting rules apply: hunt as many as you can until the time runs out. Every ‘strike’ wins you points. If you don’t make the points, you don’t make the cut.
Noff has won other large events such as the Baby Stakes, the Futurity, the Breeder’s Showcase, the Labor Day Classic and the Dupont Pro Hunt. He’s done very well on a larger national scale as well, winning second in the New York State Race, and qualifying for a lot of major events such as the Breeder’s Stakes, the Nationals, the Super Stakes, the World Hunt, and now the Truck Hunt, where he has taken the victory.
The dog has a strong coon hunting lineage, with breeding that Hale has personally directed. Hale himself has won over $77,000 at coon hunting, using Noff and other dogs.