For over 65 years, Will Messer has trained, bred, and hunted with dogs. He grew up with brothers and a father that coon hunted and squirrel hunted with dogs and it didn’t take him long to follow suit. He coonhunted with hounds in his younger years; winning titles and championships with a dog he named Woodpecker. His dog Woodpecker won the ACHA World Hunt Championship. He also had another dog by the name of Amazing Red that won many PCA championships. He mostly trained the dogs while his partner Jim Russell handled them in hunts. He coonhunted for years until his health started to decline. Then, he began squirrel hunting. One of the top dogs he trained was Shiloh. He trained this dog to perfection then his friend Roger Burgess handled him. Shiloh’s biggest accomplishment is the Kemmers Association World Squirrel Hunt Championship and the Reserve World Coonhound Champion.
It’s safe to say that Will Messer has quite the reputation for training champion coonhounds. However, this article isn’t about his past with coonhounds. It’s about his present with beagles and how he’s moving up the wall of fame once again – regardless of only being involved with beagle trials for a few years. He breeds pure Black Creek / Skull Fork beagles at his kennel, Tuff-E-Nuff Kennel. He has two junior handlers named Grayson Risinger (aka Spongebob) and Nolan Lindsey. They handle his dogs for him and he has also given them some of their own dogs to hunt with that have come from his stud dog. He started competing with his beagles 3 years ago. Out of the group of beagles he has now, he has one field champion and four other dogs that are points away from becoming field champions. His biggest accomplishment so far has been his win with Dirty Pete at the Blood River Blow Out. Dirty Pete placed first out of 55 bigger and more experienced dogs. Some of the dogs he won against were even national champions and field champions. This was such an accomplishment for the team as Dirty Pete was only 2 years old and it was only his 2nd trial he competed in.
For as long as Will could remember, he has fed his dogs Joy Dog Food. Over 65 years of hunting and training dogs and Joy was mostly the food he fed his dogs. However, he noticed that it stopped being stocked at his local feed stores. Then when it came back, he noticed the quality had changed a bit. Then it went away once again, not returning until years and years later. Then one day at a field trial, Will met our salesman Ryan Rushing. Ryan informed him of the new ownership and formulation and how his dogs would love it. Will tried it again and sure enough, it was better than before. Will is constantly thanking his success in dogs to Joy Dog Food as he knows that is how his dogs have won all these years.
“Joy brought me to the top with my hounds years ago. Now, it’s going to bring me to the top again with my beagles”Will Messer