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Out On A Limb
Posted on 06/29/2012 in Out On A Limb.

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Todd Kellam
The first thing we need to do this month is send an apology out to all those who placed in the UKC Squirrel Dog World Championship. A little mix-up last month resulted in my column featuring the UKC World Hunt running in Full Cry, but unfortunately the photospread featuring the winners did not appear. I am very sorry about that, and I have been assured they will run this month. Thanks, again, to all those who attended and congrats to those of you who placed. It was an excellent event.

News this month includes a couple changes in rules/policies concerning the licensed Hunt Tests. The two changes which we’ll outline below will go into effect for both the raccoon and squirrel hunt tests.

Use Of Transportation On A Hunt Test

I honestly never even gave this one much thought until last month. The primary concern is that of older or handicapped hunters who would enjoy participating in the Hunt Test program but simply cannot get through the woods well enough to do so. Allowing the use of an ATV has never been allowed in the competition hunts and still will not be allowed in an effort to maintain a level playing field.

We have discussed this topic at length and have decided to permit the use of some form of personal transportation while participating in a UKC licensed hunt test. The benefits and opportunities far outweigh the concerns. The goal of this program is to get those people who do not typically participate on a competition hunt cast into the woods with the opportunity to put a degree on their dog. It is exciting that this could be the opportunity that older or handicapped hunters have been waiting for. I’ve always wished there was more that we could do to accommodate physically challenged hunters on a competition cast so I’m glad the Hunt Test program is designed in a manner that allows us to make this provision.

Use Of Telemetry Systems On A Hunt Test

Rule 7 of the Hunt Test Rules deals with electronic devices. Electronic devices are for the most part prohibited from use on a licensed Hunt Test. There is a sentence in Rule 7 that says, “Tracking collars are permitted.” That was always interpreted, however, to mean that a handler could run his dog with a tracking collar on him but that you could not use the receiver for the tracking collar during hunting time. As we look more closely at that interpretation, you really have to ask yourself what it would hurt to allow an individual to see where their dog is at any given moment. That’s what we would do if we were pleasure hunting. Maybe the dog is getting into a situation that could be dangerous, or maybe we just need to know which side of the river he is on. I bet there are not many days or nights spent pleasure hunting where the Garmin stays in its holster until it’s time to go home. Effective immediately, UKC will no longer have any restrictions on the use of tracking collars while participating in a UKC Hunt Test.