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April 2024 All-Star: Drake Roberson

Since he could hold his head up, Drake Roberson has had a huge passion for coonhunting. Drake’s grandfather, the late Terry Roberson, raised and trained many hounds for people throughout the years. The most well known hound of Terry’s was Roberson’s Little Deacon, who can be found deep in the pedigrees of a lot of Black and Tans today. His father, Kevin Roberson, traveled across the U.S. to Blue Ribbon events as a judge, and also owned and handled a lot of dogs in the major events. When Drake was a child, Kevin and his best friend, Bryan Davis would carry him through the woods on their shoulders just so he could go along with them.

 

Being raised in the sport, Drake had always been passionate about running hounds and coonhunting. He attended his first competition in 2005 at the Breeders Challenge. There were 100 contestants and there had been puppies donated that the winners of the challenge would take home and train for next year’s challenge. Drake won and took home a pup out of Fletchers Style Jake and Pine Ridge Chic named Stylish Coshema (this dog would go on to win the 2007 Youth PKC World Championship with Hunter Jones handling). Every day Drake and his brother would train with an old shop rag and coon scent or squirrel hunting. One time, while squirrel hunting after school, his dog actually treed a coon in broad daylight. This is when he knew that he was ready to start coonhunting at night.

Being raised in the sport, Drake had always been passionate about running hounds and coonhunting. He attended his first competition in 2005 at the Breeders Challenge. There were 100 contestants and there had been puppies donated that the winners of the challenge would take home and train for next year’s challenge. Drake won and took home a pup out of Fletchers Style Jake and Pine Ridge Chic named Stylish Coshema (this dog would go on to win the 2007 Youth PKC World Championship with Hunter Jones handling). Every day Drake and his brother would train with an old shop rag and coon scent or squirrel hunting. One time, while squirrel hunting after school, his dog actually treed a coon in broad daylight. This is when he knew that he was ready to start coonhunting at night.

The next year came around and Drake won the Breeder’s Challenge, winning 1,000 dollars and a new tracker system. This lit the fire under Drake’s feet and he got hungry for more wins. He started to compete in more hunts, winning the 2009 TN State Championship at age 16, placing in the top 6 of the 2012 Spring Junior Super Stakes Championship, and making the finals of the AL State Championship two different times. Drake won the 2012 Youth Handler showdown, with his brother, Payton, being in the finals with him and placing 2nd. Growing up, winning a Blue Ribbon Pro Hunt was always a highly recognized achievement and something Drake had always dreamed of doing. He went on to make the finals of multiple Pro Hunts, winning his first Pro Hunt in 2016, in Crowville, LA with a hound named Hissy Phitt. In 2019 Drake and his father both made the finals of the Goodsprings, AL Pro Hunt, where Kevin got 1st and Drake took 2nd. To him, making the finals with his father was the most special moment of his coonhunting career. Drake raised and trained a dog he still hunts today named Dirty Dealer, who has went on to be a PKC Platinum Champion, winning 2nd in the PKC Spring Sophomore Super Stakes, 2nd/3rd split in an Arkansas truck hunt, placing top 30 in the PKC World Championship, and getting 3rd in the AL State Championship. In 2020, another special moment came along for Drake, in Mount Orab, OH where he made the finals of the very first Pro Sport truck hunt with one of his best friends, Michael Ward. To Drake, being able to enjoy the sport he loves with his family, and making friendships that will last a lifetime, is what he loves most about the sport.

The sport of coonhunting and the spirit of competition wasn’t the only family tradition in the Roberson family; they also shared a love for Joy Dog Food. His grandfather and father fed it to their hounds for many years; Drake was even caught red-handed eating some Joy Dog Food a few times as a child! Drake feeds his dogs the High Energy 24/20 and Super Meal 30/20 and he is very happy with the results he’s seen. “Joy Dog Food is a great dog food for my dogs, but I love it because they support the working dogs and hunters of America” -Drake Roberson

Drake also said during his interview that he would like to thank his wife and parents for all their support throughout his life and for pushing him to always do his best. He would also like to thank every single person who took the time to haul him all over the country as a kid. Without those guys, he’d never be where he is today.

 

 

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