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Judges, Drawing Casts and Judges, Immediate Family and 2-1-1 Votes.
Posted on 07/06/2005 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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We have received several phone calls and complaints as of late concerning Judges. They’ve mainly been regarding not having a good Judge to judge a cast or no one in the cast really wanting to take on the responsibility. Maybe we can offer some suggestions that might help if this is a problem at your club.
Most officials tend to place the hunting guides on the scorecard first, then draw the three remaining entries to the card. After this is done, they take a look at the four handlers and assign a Judge from those four choices. Sometimes it’s no problem to find a qualified Judge out of the four handlers drawn. However, with drawing the casts in this way, sometimes you won’t have much choice but to assign a Judge who you don’t feel comfortable with.

If more of the clubs would follow UKC’s recommendation for drawing Judges and guides, good Judges probably wouldn’t be as much of an issue. I’d bet some of you will say, “I didn’t know you could draw Judges that way!” Check it out.

Drawing Casts and Judges

We recommend the following method for the drawing of casts: Place non-hunting Judges’ names in a container by themselves. Always keep track of the number of entries taken to assure enough Judges/Guides.

Non-hunting Judges. Draw the non-hunting Judges names out of the container and write it in the upper left hand corner of the scorecard. When all the scorecards have Judges’ names on them, turn the scorecards face down and shuffle them. Draw either three or four entry slips to fill each cast. You should predetermine how many three and four dog casts you will have.

Hunting Judges. As entries are being taken, select responsible and qualified individuals who can serve as a Hunting Judge and/or guide and place the entry in a separate container. Draw the hunting Judge’s entry slip to each scorecard. If a guide is needed for the cast, then draw an entry from the guide container and place it on the scorecard. When all scorecards have a hunting Judge and guide entry slip on them, turn the scorecards face down and shuffle them. Now draw two or three entry slips to fill out each cast. Again, predetermine how many three and four dog casts you will have.

The recommendation above can be found in your Honor Rules under Master of Hounds Guidelines. What we’re suggesting is, figure out how many Judges you will need for each category. Let’s say you have twenty entries in the Registered category. Obviously, you would need five Judges. Before you draw the guides, select five strong Judges. Some of those Judges you select may very well be guides also, but they certainly don’t have to be. After you’ve got all the Judges you need, draw guides to the casts that still need them. Just remember, guides have to be drawn.

If your club doesn’t already use this method of drawing Judges and guides to the casts, then you might try it. This method allows you to use the Judges you know are capable, instead of having to assign one of four handlers who are on the cast.

Using strong, fair and honest Judges will eliminate a lot of arguments on the cast, as well as make for fewer questions being brought back to the Master of Hounds. Win or lose, it will keep hunters coming back when they know they are getting a fair shake at your club. It’s a win-win situation.

Immediate Family

Question: In our neck of the woods, there have been some misconceptions on the “immediate family” issue. I know if I am the Master of Hounds at a hunt, then my spouse would not be allowed to hunt. If I am the Bench Show Judge, then no one in my immediate family would be allowed to enter their dogs in the show. Could you clarify who is considered to be ‘immediate family’? JM/WI

Answer: UKC’s interpretation of ‘immediate family’ is: mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, son and daughter. Remember, “immediate family” would also apply to an apprentice at a bench show. Likewise, the spouse of a Master of Hounds or an apprentice at a nite hunt would not be allowed to enter a dog.

2-1-1 Votes

Question: Dog A is the only dog treed, and none of the other dogs cover him. The cast goes in to score the tree. The handler of Dog A says he sees the coon. Another handler says, “All I see is spider eyes.” The four handlers vote on how to score the tree. The hunting Judge votes to circle the tree. One handler votes to plus, and the other two vote to minus the tree. We took this question back to the Master of Hounds. He ruled to stay with the hunting Judges vote to circle the tree. My question is how can the Master of Hounds go with the hunting Judge to circle the tree when we had a majority vote in the woods to minus the tree? I am working with some youth in our area. Could you give me a clear answer on how to score a situation such as this? I would like to give an explanation to our youth. Thank you. EH/OK

Answer: Seems to me like we covered this situation in The Advisor a while back, but it certainly won’t hurt to go over it again. In your case, the official did in fact make the right decision, not because that’s the way the hunting Judge had voted, but because it’s consistent with the rules to plus or minus a dog. I have to commend the Master of Hounds for being on top of this and making the correct decision.

As you know, you must have majority vote in order to minus a dog. Rule 4b states points will be minus, “When dogs tree and (1) a non-hunting Judge or (2) a majority of the cast when a hunting Judge is used, can plainly see no coon is there.” The kicker is majority of the cast. The same goes for scoring points plus. Rule 3a. “Coon must be seen by majority of the cast.”

In a four-dog cast, majority would have to be at least three members voting to minus. In your situation, two votes is not majority of the cast. Dog A should have received circle strike and tree points.