October Joy All-Star: Jeff Eiland
Jeff Eiland, the President of USDC (Ultimate Squirrel Dog Club), is our Joy All-Star for October. Jeff boasts a rich history of venturing into the woods with his loyal canine companions, dating back to his childhood in the early 1980s when he embarked on coonhunting adventures with his father.
Growing up alongside his father, Norman, Jeff engaged in occasional local hunts, but their primary focus was on the sheer pleasure of hunting. In addition to their hunting pursuits, they devoted time to training and breeding coonhounds.
As raccoon hunting became increasingly challenging in their area, Jeff and his father made a pivotal decision to take up squirrel hunting as a shared hobby. In 1990, they acquired their first feist dog to kickstart their squirrel-hunting journey. The experience resonated deeply with them, prompting them to introduce a mountain cur into their pack. Their goal was to enter competitions, but the opportunities were limited at that time.
In 2013, Norman, along with a group of like-minded individuals, founded USDC, a squirrel hunting association that featured money hunts. The original board members included Sonny Conwill (President), Mike Collins (Vice President), Brad Davis (Treasurer), and board members Phillip Todd, Jeff Eiland, Norman Eiland, Tony Walters, and Daryl Chumley.
USDC started modestly, with uncertainty about its future. The entry fees ranged from $100 to $150. Jeff partnered with his father to handle a mountain cur named Johnny Rocket. Together, they achieved not only several state championships but also secured the prestigious title of the first World Championship in the 2013-2014 season, bringing home approximately $5,000. This remains one of Jeff’s proudest accomplishments in his USDC hunting journey.
Jeff elaborates on his choice: “I prefer Joy Dog Food because, firstly, my dogs thrive on it, and I’ve noticed improvements in their energy levels, stools, and coats. Secondly, I deeply appreciate Joy’s unwavering support for all hunting events. In an era where few brands give back to hunters, we genuinely value the support that Joy has extended to the squirrel dog community.”
– Jeff Eiland