"Hounddog Man"


   My first wife came from a ranching family ‘way back up in the hills of California and had a cousin, Ted, who was a hounddog man.

  I talked my way into hunting with him, of course.

  All went well until we were on the way home and a badger ran across the road and dove into a large culvert pipe.

  “Oh wow!” said Ted, “Let’s get him!

   He released most of the hounds and they plugged the culvert pipe at both ends with bawling insults. In the dead center of the pipe was a snarling badger.

  “Gotta smoke him outa there,” Ted said, lighting a cigar and handing it to me. “Now crawl in there and smoke that sucker out.”

   “You sure?”

  “How many badgers you hunted?”

  So I crawled into the pipe with the cigar in my mouth, puffing and coughing, and the badger actually backed up a few steps.

  Then Ted released his old dog from the car. He screamed into the other end of the pipe and grabbed that badger right in the butt. The record for backing out of a culvert pipe with a glowing cigar in one’s mouth like the afterburners on an F-18 was shattered. I became something of a local legend, actually.

  My wife told me that, as a member of the family, I could hunt with Ted all the time.

  After the divorce


Listen to the new radio show, “Home Country with Slim Randles” at www.homecountrydemo.com.



Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011. His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque. Home Country reaches 3 million hometown newspaper readers each week

Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.

Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.


  Huntington Beach News

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