Some people are said to be born with silver spoons in their mouths. Rural Martinton native Kaylynn (Williams) Cole might have been born with a beagle in her bed.
“I’ve had beagles since before I was born,” she said in a telephone interview this week.
Kaylynn, now 24, “started running with the dogs when she was about 3,” said her father, Chuck Williams. “I carried her on my back when we ran the dogs.”
He has raised beagles — champions among them — for 43 years at Iroquois River Beagles, at the family home several miles southwest of Martinton.
In August, Kaylynn, purchased Hounds and Hunting and Better Beagling magazines, published from her new hometown, tiny Lexington in southeast Indiana, about 10 miles from the Ohio River and about 40 miles from New Albany, Ind., where she and her husband, Caleb Cole, another beagle enthusiast and professional, graduated from Indiana University Southeast.
Hounds and Hunting has been published since 1903. Kaylynn had been design and advertising editor of the publication since July 2017.
She has been in the magazine business for four years, but started writing articles when she was a young student at Donovan High School, where she graduated in 2012. A year earlier, she got a job with Purina.
“I still work for them as a sporting consultant and attend hunts all over the country,” she said. “I do seminars on nutritional health and dog safety and promote Purina products.
“I have always owned a beagle,” she wrote in a Meet the Editor message to the magazine readers. “The love of hounds is in my bloodline.”
One of her great-great-grandfathers ran fox hounds. Great-grandpa Simon Williams was a coon hunter in the mountains around Pineville, Ky.
Years ago, Grandpa Eddie Williams moved from Kentucky to St. Anne for work and still is hunting at age 81. He has switched from coon hounds to squirrel dogs, but “still likes to hunt and fish every chance he gets,” Kaylynn wrote.
“My dad, my greatest mentor, started with beagles in 1979 when he was 18 years old and has never gone a day without them” and has owned both National Kennel Club and American Kennel Club champions, she said.
She noted that from the age of 10, beagle field trials consumed her life.
“I always ran my dogs in the wild, which can make it hard to compete at field trials today,” she wrote. “I would saddle my horse, and I would use a saddle bag to haul the dogs down the road to my running spot since I was about 12. Often, the dogs would ride in the saddle with me. The neighbors waved, and I made them laugh. I can imagine it was quite a sight seeing this young girl riding down the road with a few hounds in the saddle or walking with a stringer of hounds and a shotgun during hunting season.”
She finished with 15 field champions, received 22 national titles and was top junior handler in the nation three years in a row. From age 16, she was on the road doing 40 to 60 beagle trials per years.
In 2013, a year out of high school, she founded the America’s Junior Handlers Program designed to encourage young people to participate in beagle field trials.
“The program grew to well over 300 kids participating and is the largest youth sporting beagle program in history,” she noted.
Later, she did professional handling of beagles to pay college tuition.
An “Ambassador” for Purina since 2011, she has been a sporting consultant with the firm since 2017. Her husband also is a Purina professional.