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Q & A
Posted on 05/15/2013 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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Q: In a three-dog cast the other night Dogs A, B and C got struck in that order. Pretty soon, Dog B was declared treed, followed by Dog C. After the five was up, we went in to tree and Dog A was there treeing, too. The tree was determined to be slick. We awarded Dog A next available tree position then minused them, but what do we do about his strike points?
A: In this situation you ruled correctly to award Dog A the next available tree position and then minus them in accordance with Rule 4 (g) since the tree was scored as slick. Also in Rule 4 (g) we see the line, “Dogs shut out on strike on slick tree or off game will receive minus tree points only”, which confuses some people. When the term “shut out” is used, it is referring to a dog not being struck in before another dog was treed. Since Dog A, in this situation, was struck first, he obviously was not shut out, so he is still accountable for his strike points and they would be minused as well.

Q: Dogs A, B, C and D are struck in that order. Dogs A and B are declared treed. The five minutes expires and the cast proceeds to the tree. When they get close they see Dogs C and D are also at the tree. Just before the Judge instructs the handlers to handle their dogs, a coon is pulled out of a den at the base of the tree. How should we score this?
A: Whenever a coon is pulled out of a den in this fashion, all dogs would automatically get their strike points plussed. The tree points of those declared treed would be deleted. This would be consistent with the end of Rule 3 (b) (points will be plus) which reads, “If dog catches a coon, strike points only.”

What does it take to place in a UKC Nite Hunt?
I asked this question a few weeks ago on the UKC Message Forum to see what everyone’s answers would be. There are three specific things the Official UKC Coonhound Rulebook says must happen before a dog can place at a UKC Nite hunt. They are:
1. Dog must have a total of plus points.
2. Dog must be a cast winner.
3. Dog must hunt entire hunt time.
Whenever an official places a dog in a UKC Nite Hunt, he or she must make sure these three requirements have been met. Many hunters have the false impression that if they are the last dog left in their cast, they don’t have to finish the two-hour hunt time. This could not be further from the truth. Every cast, no matter the number of participants in it, has to hunt the full advertised hunt time every single time.

This still applies if there was only one cast in a particular category (GR NITE, NITE CH, REG) and then only one dog remains. Whether that dog has a five minutes or an hour and 55 minutes of hunt time remaining, they must complete the advertised hunt time.

Q: Dogs A, B, and C were struck and treed in that order. Dog D is at-large, but not struck. After scoring the tree, we are walking to cut the dogs loose and Dog D gets struck. What position should he go in for?
A: This is another question that comes in from our message board. Rule 2 (b) clearly states, “All dogs to be off leash in order for any dog to receive 100 strike points.” Since Dogs A, B and C are still on the chain, they are not free to be able to earn strike points, thus Dog D would be struck in for 25. If the dogs had been turned loose (even for a second), then he would be eligible for 100.

Q: On a tree the other night, two handlers voted to circle the tree while the other handler and the hunting judge voted to minus. Is the judge the tie-breaker in this case?
A: Rule 3 (a) clearly states points will be plus “when dogs strike and tree and coon is seen: (1) by non-hunting Judge; or (2) by a majority of the cast when hunting Judge is used.” Since the majority of the cast did not see the coon, the points cannot plussed. Rule 4 (b) states points will be minus “when dogs tree and (1) a non-hunting Judge or (2) majority of the cast when hunting Judge is used, can plainly see no coon is there.” In the same way, since the majority cannot plainly see no coon is there, the points cannot be minused so they must be circled. The hunting Judge’s vote carries no more weight than any other cast member when scoring a tree.

The reason so many handlers get confused is because of Rule 18 (b) 4, which states, “… it takes a majority vote to overturn a judge’s decision.” That rule is specifically talking about judgment calls, such as if a dog leaves a tree, if a dog is running off game, etc. In those cases, when brought to a vote, it takes the majority of the cast to overturn the judge’s decision.

There are three situations that always require a majority of the cast and therefore, a cast vote: 1. Whether or not to call a Time Out.; 2. Whether to plus, minus, or circle a tree.; and 3. Whether a tree has been previously scored or not. In all three of these situations, a clear majority must be reached and the hunting judge’s vote carries no more weight than any other cast member.