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August Full Circle
Posted on 08/09/2010 in Full Circle.

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Jed Nichols

Question: Four dogs are struck in. They completely circle the rabbit twice before one of the handlers finally sees the rabbit and calls a line. Dogs A, B and C score on the line, and D missed it. The rabbit continued to run another half circle before turning down a fence row and going down. After running the three minutes, the whole cast went to where the dogs broke down and found them at a hole. The majority did not see the rabbit (hunting Judge was used). I was the Judge and I didn’t know what to do with Dog D’s strike points? Should they have been circled, minused or plussed? Only one cast member saw the rabbit, but three out of the four dogs struck in on that track, scored speed/drive with the majority of the cast present.

In this situation, Dog D’s strike points are plussed. Rule 3a states “Points will be plus when majority of cast is present as Judge scores dogs on speed/drive at point rabbit was seen by Judge or cast member (after completion of circle)”. Rule 5a states “Points will be circled in case of running into a hole or place of refuge, a rabbit that has not been seen by majority of cast. Cast must make an attempt to locate hole.”

What we have is a situation that is not clearly outlined in the Hunting Beagle Honor Rules. We cannot circle the strike points because the rabbit
was seen by a cast member. Rule 5a clearly states that the points can only be circled if the rabbit is not seen and it goes to a hole or place of refuge. If the dogs lose the rabbit on the second circle, the ruling is simple: all four dogs are minused. That, however, is not what happened in this cast, because the rabbit was seen, scored on and then ran to a hole where it went down.

The United Kennel Club breaks this scenario down as follows: Dog D is to receive plus strike points, because nowhere in the Hunting Beagle Rulebook does it state that a dog can be minused for putting a rabbit in a hole. When that happens, it is out of the dog’s control and should not be held against him. Yes, he missed one line and is set back because of it. However if the rabbit would have stayed up he could have potentially scored speed/drive after completion of another circle.

Strike points have to be either plussed, minused or circled. The points cannot be circled because a cast member saw the rabbit. They cannot be minused because the dogs ran it to a hole. Therefore in this situation the points must be plussed. Since the majority of the cast was present as Judge scored speed/drive, the majority verified that the rabbit was in fact seen by a cast member. Because it was verified by the Judge and the majority, the points are plussed.

If I have a check on the dogs and time runs out in the hunt before the three minutes gets them, does the -20 stay on the card or do I cross it out?

If you end the hunt in a check, the -20 does remain on the scorecard. There is no rule that allows you to cross off the check points when time runs out in the hunt.

There are only four ways to plus your strike points in a UKC Hunting Beagle event, right?

That is correct and incorrect at the same time. Yes, there are only four basic ways that you can plus a dog’s strike points:

1. When a dog scores speed/drive.
2. If dogs catch the rabbit.
3. If the majority of the cast or Non-hunting Judge sees the rabbit and it goes to a hole or place of refuge.
4. If the majority of the cast or Non-hunting Judge sees a rabbit and time runs out in the hunt.

There is, however, one exception to these four and you will find that in the first question of this article.

If you have a question or a scenario that you would like to see covered in Full Circle please send it in writing to Beagle Field Operations or e-mail to Jed Nichols at