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Demanding Ten Minutes of Shining Time - Dogs Out of Hearing - Signatures on Scorecards - Deadline Reminders
Posted on 08/24/2006 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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July Advisor
Allen Gingerich

Demanding Ten Minutes of Shining Time
Q: Even though it seems like a no-brainer, this question pops up every now and again. Can a handler demand that the whole ten minutes be used when scoring trees even though a coon was seen in the tree by a majority of the cast during the first five minutes of shining time or anytime before the ten is up?

A: The notion that additional shining time may be demanded after a coon has been seen is unreasonable. Yes, the rule states that ten minutes may be demanded. Demanded for what? Rule 8(f) If dog(s) declared treed, 10 minutes of hunting time may be demanded to search tree, or place of refuge, which is not a time out. No plus points will be awarded if coon is seen after 10 minutes shining time has elapsed. The rule states it may be demanded to search tree. Key word here is search. Once the majority of the cast has seen the coon, the search is over and no additional shining time may be demanded to be used by any handler at that particular tree.

Any cast member may demand all the time be used so long as a coon has not been seen, however, it would be unsportsmanlike to demand that the whole ten minutes be used on an obvious little slick tree for the sake of burning up hunt time or otherwise. In the event the handler is requiring additional shining time to check the same tree for off- game, they should be reminded that even if off-game is found it would be irrelevant and it would not change the scoring of the tree when a coon has already been seen.

Dog(s) on Trail out of Hearing of Dog(s) Declared Treed
Q: A problem that I have been running into lately concerns releasing dogs into other dog(s) on track. For instance Dogs A, B and C are trailing in one direction while dog D is trailing out another direction. Dogs A, B and C are declared treed. When walking towards their tree the cast is walking out of hearing of dog D. After scoring the tree, how far should you lead the dogs away from the tree before starting the time on dog D that is out of hearing in the opposite direction? It seems too easy for a majority of the cast to say “too bad, the time starts here right here”. Would you please touch on this topic in your column? TR/LA

A: This was a phone call that came in recently and the caller was obviously a little frustrated as he stated that it happens quite frequently in his local area hunts. He went on to say that these situations tend to become a majority decision and the handler with a dog that was trailing in the opposite direction is just simply “up the creek without a paddle” and bound to be minused unfairly.

I agree, these situations do in fact happen sometimes when you have dog(s) split up on different tracks going in different directions and when walking in one direction to a dog(s) declared treed you may very well walk out of hearing of the other dog(s) in the cast.

Deciding on where you should go or how far away from a scored treed before starting time on dog(s) still out on track should not be a decision based on a majority vote.
We always say “it is the clubs responsibility to assign judges who are fair and honest” which is also consistent with rule 10. First, I would suggest to walking an acceptable distance away from the tree and listen. If dog D cannot be heard then the “fair” thing to do before starting the time would obviously be to go back to the spot where you could last hear dog D before starting the eight. When you have dogs trailing out of hearing in different directions the rules allow you to call time because it is not fair to follow dogs in one direction and just ignore dogs in the other direction. However, in situations where a dog(s) is declared treed and in walking to that tree you walk out of hearing of other dog(s), after the tree is scored you should make every effort to position yourself in order to hear the dog(s) still out before starting any time or releasing dog(s).

Signatures on Scorecards
Q: After completion of a cast does the hunting Judge need to sign both at the bottom left of the scorecard where it asks for the Official Judge’s Signature and also next to his score on the right half of the scorecard?

A: A hunting Judge’s signature on the bottom left only is acceptable. A hunting Judge’s signature on the right half of the scorecard next to his score only is also acceptable. It is a good idea for hunting Judge’s to sign at the bottom left notating their responsibility on that cast, however, bottom line – so long as the signature is somewhere on the card in one place or another it should be accepted as a complete scorecard.

Q: What if a scorecard is turned in where the cast winning handler did not sign the scorecard? Does the cast win get awarded to the next highest score on the cast?

A: All scorecards must be signed in the woods at the completion of the hunt. Any handlers failing to sign the card are scratched and their dog is not eligible for placement. The cast winner is considered as the dog with the highest plus points score whose handler did sign the scorecard.

I have to admit, some years ago working an event as a Master of Hounds this was one I missed myself and did the same exact thing as most do; I threw out the scorecard instead of awarding the next dog with the win. Live and learn!

Deadline Reminder
We would like to remind club officers to consider the changing of daylight hours during the course of the year when confirming your club events. In the summertime it doesn’t get dark until quite a bit later than other times of the year. One complaint we get on a regular basis is from hunters complaining about clubs not setting adequate deadlines to return to the clubhouse. During mid-year the hunters may not be able to turn loose until 10pm or after. In order to keep the hunters coming back to your club, please consider setting your deadlines accordingly.