Finley River Heritage

Where Hunting Is Still A Pleasure!


It was the spring of 1957 and Mr. Glenn Bixler of Corning, Iowa loaded up his good female Bixler's Supreme Sally.  He was on his way to Sugar Creek, Ohio to visit Mr. John Shetler.  Glenn had heard of the mighty powerful hound, Shetler's Sonny Boy, and was going to mate Sally to him.  I am sure Mr. Bixler had it well in his mind to get some very nice pups but I doubt if he had any idea that he would get a pup that would one day surpass all stud dog achievements and set records incomparable.  It was a short time after the mating that the news spread swiftly.  Mr. Herb Carsten of Springfield, Missouri traveled to Iowa and brought home one of the pups in a shoe box at 5 weeks old for a fee of $35.00.  That was a fair price for a pup in those days.  Little did Glenn or Herb know that some day he would be worth 100 times that much.  The name was Corn Belt Chief only to be changed to Finley River Chief.  Chief developed into a tremendous coon dog and although he was never heavily advertised at stud several consciencious hunters mated their females to him.  John J. Monroe

 Finley River Chief was the gold standard to measure and compare the value of a stud dogs ability to produce Coon Hounds.  In many people's opinion Finley River Chief was and  is the greatest producer in the Treeing Walker Breed.  There are a lot of things involved to be able to make that statement.  But with some time and effort I believe people would be surprised as to how much Finley River Chief touches the different so called strains.

Chief wasn't an accident.  His father and mother were two of the best hounds of their day.   Finley River Chief was the First Legend Of Two Legends.   I have seen people say Chief was the only thing one or both of them produced as far as making a name.  That wasn't really the case.  Both hounds produced many fine hounds.  But when they came together history was made.
They were coondogs that were out of coondogs that could tree a rough coon and had a very cold nose.  They weren't accidents.
If you take Finley River Chief, Shetler's Sonny Boy and Bixler's Supreme Sally and research you will find that this line touches more lines then you may realize.  It doesn't just have to be through Chief for the name of Sonny Boy or Sally to show up.
I have heard people say the only thing Sally produced was Finley River Chief so it must have been a lucky roll of the dice.  People who make statements like that haven't done their homework on the history of this breed.  To do so a person will find that pups out of Sally and other hounds and the sisters of Chief show up in many fine hounds pedigrees.


One of the hounds from the past from Finley River Heritage
Treeing Walker Kennels!


The Beginning Of The Finley River Passion!


I was born and raised in rural northwest Georgia.  One of my grandfathers had bird dogs and fox dogs.  The other one had combination dogs.  We raised and hunted the food that we ate.  I have had a dog as long as I can remember.  If I ever went missing they would look for the dogs and they would find me.  We had dogs that we would rabbit, squirrel and possum hunt.

As a child I have owned all breeds.  In my early teens I hunted an old Black & Tan that made a big impact on my life.  I owned a pup off of him that looked like a Tri-Color English.  Cooner was one of the best young dogs that I ad ever owned at that time.  He was a grade dog but I got to hunt him in one night hunt when he was one year old.  Back then it was 3 hour hunts and 100 tree points.  We treed seven coons and he had 1400 plus points.  He got killed a few months after that.  I started hunting red dogs after that and hunted them for thirteen years.

In 1974 my daughter Christie was born.  In 1976 my son Nathan and in 1977 my son Preston.  At times while hunting Christie would be holding onto my belt while I had Nathan and Preston on each side of me.  Christie and Nathan loved coon hunting but Preston didn't, but that was alright.

At this time in life I had never seen a walker dog that I liked.  They were deer or fox dogs and if there was one that ran coons they would keep you out all night just trailing and hardly ever treeing.  I had the attitude that I wouldn't own a walker dog if some one gave it to me.  I had a friend in Alabama, Ray Hosley that I hunted with a lot of times.  He came hunting one night and he told me he had a walker female that he wanted to give me, and I told him No Way!

After the first turn out I was asking him what he wanted for her.  He laughed and said he was going to keep her.  I tried for two weeks to try and get him to price her.  Then the next time he came to go hunting he got out of his truck and said, "I 'm going to give you this dog."  This was the walker female that set the standards for me the rest of my life.  Finley River Pretty Sue.  She was a 75 lb. dog with a 90 lb. mouth that was a 120+ bark tree dog.  The only bad thing she would do was get hung up on track sometimes.  I won't forget I was looking for something to breed her too and I drove to Hamilton, Alabama to talk to Pride Gann.  I showed Mr. Pride her papers and asked him what he thought.  His remark was "you have too much tree power and not enough track, you need to find a smaller male dog that was a track driver."

Just so happened my friend that gave her to me bought just the dog that I was looking for to breed her to.  This was in 1978.  Out of that cross I was blessed to get Champion Dual Grand Nite Champion Finley River Fuzz Buster.  In 1985 I called Mr. John J. Monroe for the first time.  I bought a female pup from him that was one of the last female pups off of Finley River Chief Jr.  Her name was Finley River Maggie.  My plans were to breed her to Buster but because of circumstances it didn't work out that way.

I had to have Buster put down in 1989 with cancer.  I quit hunting until 1995.  Finley River Maggie was 10 years old and I finally raised a litter of pup's off her and a dog off of Buster and a Spring Creek Radar female.  I kept three females out of that litter.  Maggie got killed at 11 years old but she got the females started that I kept before she got killed.. 

In 1997 Nathan wanted to get into night hunts.  I called Mr. John Monroe again.  I told Mr. John what I wanted and what I was looking for.  With that came Dual Nite Champion Grand Champion Finley River Background Bandit that Nathan put all the wins on him but one.  Bandit was only hunted for three years in the hunts.  He was one win away UKC and AKC being a Dual Grand Nite.

We raised what we wanted when we needed it even though we have had females that died of old age that we never raised a pup off of them.  Grand Champion Finley River Monroe, Nathan's dog off Bandit was the straightest dog that we ever raised.  If he barked it was a coon.  After losing Buster I always kept females.  At this time I have two females with Finley River Chief in their fourth generation but they were 10 in January 2011. 

And now my love for the Finley River dogs have brought me to this point in my life.  With Nathan, Leslie, my daughter and grandson's help I hope the Finley River dogs will still be going strong long after I'm gone.

Med Shetler's Sonny Boy

Shetler's Sonny Boy was still winning hunts as a 10 year old.


Finley River Chief's First World Champion

1965 ACHA World Champion
Grand Nite Champion

Claxton's Finley River Spot


Finley River Chief's Grand Son World Champion

1966 ACHA World Champion
Grand Nite Champion
Spring Creek Smokey


Finley River Chief's Second World Champion

1970 ACHA World Champion
Grand Nite Champion

Gann's Finisher

Finley River Chief's Great Grand Son
World Champion




Finley River Chief's Grand Daughter World Champion





Finley River Chief's Grand Son World Champion

1981 ACHA World Champion

1980 ACHA Reserve World Champion

Dual Grand Champion

Hern's Red Eagle Dick


Finley River Chief's Great Grand Son
World Champion




The 1972 ACHA WORLD CHAMPION's great grand mother was a sister to Finley River Chief.

The 1974 ACHA WORLD CHAMPION's  great grand father was the father of Finley River Chief.

The 1975 ACHA WORLD CHAMPION's  great great grand mother was a sister to Finley River Chief.



Rock is a Grand Son of Finley River Chief.


Joe is a Grand Son and a Great Grand Son Of
Finley River Chief.

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