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Dog Declared Treed That Has Not Been Declared Struck; Dog(s) Declared Treed Possibly Taken Off Tree
Posted on 11/04/2009 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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Advisor Article – November '09
Allen Gingerich

Dog Declared Treed That Has Not Been Declared Struck
Q: In a four dog cast; all dogs are declared struck. A, B and C are declared treed. The tree is scored and dogs are led away to and re-cast to dog D who is trailing. Dog D falls treed before any other dogs are struck - in. Dog A is declared struck and treed with D. The handler of Dog C declares his dog treed for third tree position without first calling it struck. This all happened prior to the expiration of the one minute rule (4j). As the judge; how should he handle and score this scenario? WB-VA

Notes to consider: First, let’s note a few things to consider that come into play and that will affect the resulting decision.

    When dogs A, B and C were recast the one minute rule (4j) should be applied. This means these dogs have a one minute grace period before they must be declared struck on or before the third bark. So, 4(j) is a factor here.
    UKC policy suggests that a tree call may not be accepted if it comes prior to a strike call. Meaning a dog must first be declared struck before a tree call may be accepted.

In a situation where the handler “declared treed” a dog not yet declared struck; the judge simply advises the handler that the tree call cannot be accepted. And, that the handler must “declare the dog struck” before a tree call can be accepted. There is no penalty for simply declaring a dog treed prior to declaring it struck. The one thing that might come into play that might result in a penalty or minus points, however, is where during this time the dog in question has not been declared struck on or before the third bark after the first minute each time dog(s) is released in accordance with Rule 4(j). Which is not the case here because the minute had not yet expired.

A: The judge should advise the handler of dog C that his tree call cannot be accepted. He must then be advised to “declare the dog struck”. Then; he may declare the dog treed. Since dog C was still within the one minute grace period where it does not have to be struck on or before the third bark no minus points are awarded and minused in accordance with 4(j), even though Dog C may have been sitting there pounding the top out of the tree. It was still within its grace period of not having to be declared struck. Dog C receives deleted strike points (awarded accordingly) and available tree position points, which looks to me like 50, and scored accordingly.

This is a good question but probably not as difficult to decipher as one might first think if we simply take the time to think about it and consider the rules that come into play. In the end it was probably not as much of a mess or tough as one might have thought right? There ya go - your nite hunt rules lesson of the month!

Dog(s) Declared Treed Possibly Taken Off Tree
There are some interesting questions that pop up on the UKC message board from time to time. This question was discussed some time ago and of course with some very strong opinions one way or another. Recently it came up again and a request was made to include it in this column again so here goes.

Q: I was on a four-dog cast but this question only involves one dog. The dog in question is struck in about a half mile from the cast. The dog trails another mile and a half and gets treed. The handler trees the dog and the cast member’s start walking towards the dog treed. The cast is within a half mile of the dog and she quits treeing. The two minutes is applied and the dog is minused her tree points. The eight minutes is applied and the time gets her on strike as well. The rest of the dogs in the cast aren’t struck in so the cast decides to go back towards the trucks.

When the cast gets to the truck the dog in question is in the dog box, the door is shut and we find a note in the front seat! Somebody that knew this dog was hunting in the same area, led her out of the woods, drove down the road and put her in the truck. Should this dog have been minused or can you call interference?

A: Opinions on the message board were anything from, “if this isn’t interference I don’t know what is” to “it’s a bad break and the dog should be minused!”

First, interference does not appear in the rulebook as an option to use in you’re situation. Rule 8b says you may call time out when other hunters get too close or if dogs get with another group of dogs. There is no mention of other hunters or other dogs getting too close to the cast, so obviously time was not called. The two minutes and then the eight got the dog so it was minused. It’s not until you get back to the truck that you realize something may have happened here. You even find a note on the seat! If the note said there was a coon in the tree we could go ahead and plus it but would that be right? What if the note said it was slick? Would you be willing to take minus because that’s what the note said? I’d dare to bet not! What if the dog actually did leave the tree, never made another bark and was picked up on the road somewhere?

The note is nothing more than hearsay. The Judge was not at the tree to see what really happened. The dog was judged according to what she did or what was not heard I guess in this case. She hushed, the two minutes got her and then the eight. We can’t go back and change how we scored the dog after finding her in the truck and reading the note. There are too many variables that may or may not have actually happened. Is it a bad break? Yes possibly but I think most of us agree things don’t always go the way we would like them to.