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Q & A
Posted on 09/09/2013 in HTX = Coondog.

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Q: How old does a handler have to be in a Hunt Test?
A: The UKC has always maintained that a handler must either be enrolled in school or have completed the requirements for graduation. In our youth events (YEP! or Youth Championships), we have two age groups; 5-12, and 13-17.

In this case, the Hunt Tests would fall under the same guidelines as our licensed Nite Hunts. A handler should be at least five and enrolled in school in order to compete. If a child has reached the age requirement, but cannot be registered for school due to state or local regulations, we would give the parents the benefit of the doubt and let the child hunt. This is true in any UKC event. We just do not want kids who dropped out of school to have the ability to handle a dog in a youth event. Of course, that doesn’t apply to Hunt Tests, since there are no “youth only” hunt tests, but it could be an issue in the future.

Remember, though, the rules clearly state that any participant 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult other than the ones they draw on their cast. This applies to Hunt Tests as well, and any handler 13 and under will need a chaperone other than the inspector who has been assigned to evaluate their dog.

Q: How many spectators are allowed to go on a Hunt Test?
A: The rules clearly state, “There is no restriction as to the number of people who may accompany an evaluation, except in cases where it will jeopardize permission of the guide.”

Though there is a two-spectator maximum in UKC Licensed Nite Hunts per handler, the Hunts Tests allow as many spectators as want to go. The only stipulation is that the guide may deny some spectators the privilege of going if it will jeopardize his or her permission.

In a case where a guide denies a spectator, please understand where they are coming from. They want to be able to use these spots for years to come and do not want to jeopardize that in any way. Please be respectful and considerate about your guide’s decision.

Q: The other night I turned my dog loose during a Hunt Test. After being gone for about four minutes, he just fell treed. He didn’t run a track at all. Does this count as a fault? Does it count as a pass?
A: In the Hunt Test rules we find the requirements for passing a Hunt Test: A) Went Hunting; B) Open on Track; C) Treed and Stayed Treed; and D) Coon Seen. Notice B; Open on Track.

We all know about every dog will occasionally fall treed without first running a track. It seems like it gets worse during certain times of the year when a dog just happens onto, most of the time, a young coon and trees it without knowing it was around.

When it does happen, it is not considered a fault. Nowhere in the Hunt Test rules does it list “Silent on Track” as a fault. Unfortunately, it cannot be a pass either. A dog could pass the other three requirements, but not the open trailing provision. If the dog does not open on a particular track, he or she should be recast (provided there is time) to see if they can strike, trail and tree a raccoon in accordance with UKC Hunt Test Rules.

See you next month!