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Reminders
Posted on 08/06/2012 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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Tracking Device Rules Reminder
Recently the UKC made a change in their Hunt Test (HTX) rules to allow the use of locating devices during hunt time. Somewhere along the way, wires are getting crossed in that this policy includes Licensed Nite Hunts. It does not!

Nite hunt rule changes, unlike Hunt Test rules and policies, are proposed and voted on by the UKC Chartered Breed Associations every three years. So until/before any new rule could be implemented, it must first go through that channel, followed by a new rulebook that is printed and published. Be assured, if you hear any ideas of a rule change relative to the use of tracking devices, such reports would be inaccurate. Rule 20 remains very clear and specific in that any person caught using a locating device during hunt time is subject to being barred from the UKC.

Caught Coon with Possum Overhead
Scenario: In a Registered cast, my dog is the only one treed. We found her treed on an old beech tree with a hole in the bottom of it. When we arrived, she had her head inside the hole and her shoulders up against the hole. That’s as far as she could get inside the hole. There’s a possum perched on one of the lower limbs in the tree, but there’s also a freshly killed kitten coon lying inside the hole where her head was. How do you score this?

RP/IN

A: Whenever you have both a coon and off game in the same tree, we say to give the dogs the benefit of the doubt and plus their points. No consideration is taken for the off game. The same should go for this scenario, other than you would consider the coon caught opposed to treed. Therefore, delete the tree points and award strike points only. Forget the possum even existed. My question to you is; did “Lucky” win her cast that night?

Officials, Keep Your Scorecards Confidential!
Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more evident that the #1 most ignored or abused rule by licensed officials and Hunt Directors lies within the MOH/HD Guidelines portion of the rulebook. This portion addresses the responsibilities of the event official from when they arrive at the event to filling out the Event Report before they leave at the end of the night. Within these guidelines is a section titled: “After the scorecards are turned in:” Then refer to article C to the topic in question. {Keep scorecards confidential until the deadline or until all scorecards have been returned. This must be rigidly enforced.}

When considering the title of “MOH/HD Guidelines”, one may argue that the contents are only suggestions and should not be considered as rules. Well enough. However, the second and last sentence in article C states, “must be rigidly enforced.” That now becomes a rule regardless of how you want to slice it. When defining the term “rigidly”, we find words like strictly, severely, inflexibly, unbendingly, tightly and harshly. Interestingly enough, the exact opposite of the term is defined as “loosely”. I think that pretty much clears it up without further need for clarification.

Why is it then that so many officials tend to ignore or abuse this rule? There are probably several reasons such as:

1) They might be considered a jerk if they were to yell at anyone looking?

2) Those looking don’t have any ill intentions and they are confident it has no effect on the hunt?

Here’s another one that likely plays a part in this very topic. I had a call last week from a hunter asking if it is legal for a handler to hang on to his cast-winning scorecard at the club until just minutes before the deadline to turn it in. We don’t have a rule against that. They must simply be turned in before the deadline. Out of courtesy, however, they should be turned in right away. You have to wonder - why are they hanging on to it until just minutes before the deadline? The one and only legitimate reason they may have is to avoid the possibility of someone looking at their score and phoning a friend. I’d say if the scorecards were being kept confidential, then we wouldn’t even get any such questions.

Regardless, it is the official’s responsibility to enforce this rule and keep those scorecards confidential, even if it requires a friendly reminder of such every now and then. Although it is the responsibility of the official and the one held accountable, all others should respect this rule and ignore the curiosity that may exist. There’s plenty of time afterwards. Otherwise, you might find yourself feeling like the nosey jerk if the official has to remind you.

This issue doesn’t come up nearly as often as it should considering its abuse. Be assured, I could give you a few examples of how it can and will fire up the troops in a heartbeat! So we’d like to have this topic simply serve as a friendly reminder to all Masters of Hounds and Hunt Directors to keep your scorecards confidential. To make it a bit easier on our event officials, reference of this very topic is addressed on the next updated MOH/HD checklist.

Time Keeping Apps Available for Your Phone
Currently there’s a time keeping app available on the market that can be downloaded on your phone that has all the nite hunt time period countdowns of several registries, including all those of the UKC’s. In reviewing this app, I’ve found it to be a very unique accessory. I especially like the feature of having the option to run several tree time countdowns at the same time.

With it also comes a significant number of calls and e-mails to the UKC office. Judges are wanting to know if UKC approves the use of a phone with these capabilities during the course of a UKC licensed nite hunt?

With consideration for the strict cell phone policy proposed and passed by a majority of the Chartered Breed Associations at the last rules change year, it is UKC’s position that it should not be our decision alone to make. Considering its approval would obviously require adjustments to the current cell phone policy in place. We’ve discussed this and conclude the approval of such should go through the process of a rules proposal relative to the cell phone policy. In 2013 the Chartered Breed Associations will be considering any new proposals to be implemented in 2014.

If this item is one that you guys feel should be approved then put your thinking caps on and write up a good cell phone policy, that would allow the use of phones for this reason, to be considered. Until then we must stick with the no cell phone use rule as it currently stands. Otherwise, we’d likely be opening a whole new can of worms that would come along with it.

Competition Requirements in Bench Shows
Word on the street is that the UKC no longer requires Registered dogs to include at least one Best In Show with competition in order to earn a Champion degree. This is not true. Any such myths likely come from a recent change to the Bench Show Event Reports.

The reports used to have a space to check in each Registered class whether or not the dog had competition. Because it is only necessary for a dog to have competition at any one of its classes, be it for class, breed or Best In Show, checking that box is unnecessary information when it comes to the UKC processing the report. UKC receives that information via the breakdowns (number of males and females in each category) listed on the reports. Hence, those little check boxes contained non-valuable information and were removed. Matter of fact, our computers are programmed to automatically give a dog competition or not based on the breakdowns which is one of the first steps in processing reports.