This site is dedicated to bringing awareness to the less prestigious of hounds; the coon, squirrel, and rabbit dogs. Through the lens of current news, art, and poetry I delve into what dogs mean to us.
We explore the timeless relationship between humans and dogs. Through paintings and prose, we portray contemporary sporting recreation in Appalachia, with its traditions rooted in times of survival. These paintings reflect my experiences raising floppy-eared, bawl-mouthed, coon, squirrel, and rabbit hounds and watching as these well-bred animals morph back and forth between skilled hunters and spoiled lovable companions. The poems and writings are my dad’s memories and first hand accounts of the hunt. It will take you back to a more simple space and time.
My first word was “dog”, and the only word I spoke for a while. While growing up on Lone Willow Farm in Tuscarawas County Ohio, I explored the outdoors with my brother Adam. While having never taken game myself, this site illustrates my view of “hounds and hunting”: the bond between people and canines, the ability to obtain food locally, and the tradition and legacy of the hunting culture passed down through generations. I am inspired by the beauty of color and light in nature. Using loose brush strokes, watery layering technique, and dry brush with acrylic and oil, I explore the timeless relationship between humans and dogs. My home base is Athens, Ohio where I live with my beagle, Chunky, 4th generation of my dad’s best rabbit dog, Zoar Woods Crackers (though Chunky never inherited Crackers’ hunting prowess!) Currently I’m exploring the coffee & chocolate scene in Seattle, Washington while going to UW’s Scientific Illustration Program.
With humor, humility, and awe, Jon captures the essence of the hunt. Using vivid imagery of the night sky, nature, and the timeless primeval sound of a dog’s howl, the journey of pursuit comes alive. Jon’s first hand accounts are memories that will renew your spirit, add to your passion for the hunt, and long for the camaraderie of the hunting group. It will take you back to a more simple space and time. Delve into your memories, and explore your soul. It is our hope you too may journey with us.
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Hounds of Appalachia Background
Humans have hunted with canine companions since prehistoric times: it can be considered the world’s oldest sport. In Appalachia, dogs were vital for survival in frontier days. It has been said that without Mountain Curs, the mountains could not have been settled by pioneers. Mountain Curs guarded the family and provided meat and pelts which could be sold or traded for other goods. Today many people in our area still continue to hunt with hounds for both pleasure and sustenance.
To me, the Mountain Cur captures the Appalachian Spirit. This hardy little dog is resourceful, intelligent, self-sufficient, multi-talented, sturdy, misrepresented (“cur”), underappreciated, fiercely loyal, and is most at home in the woods and hills.