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Something Stinks, Strike Position Question, Who Has Authority to Assign Non-Hunting Judge and Calling Time Out not Always an Option
Posted on 06/04/2008 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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Advisor Column – July
Allen Gingerich

Something Stinks
Q: This question involves a registered cast of four dogs. All dogs are declared struck. Dog A is declared treed. It quickly becomes obvious that all dogs are baying game. A rank odor in the air is an obvious sign that the dogs are on a skunk. When the cast arrives at the scene they do in fact have a skunk at bay. All dogs are there. There are some differences in opinions on how this should be scored specifically when it comes to dog A. Please advise. BB/SC

A: Rule 4 (a) would be applied in this situation. Even though dog A was declared treed it was, according to the question (no reference of dog A leaving a tree), obvious that the dogs were all baying game including dog A. So, in that sense, you would have to consider it as game caught. The last sentence in Rule 3(b) makes reference to dogs catching a coon and that only strike points would be awarded if dog catches coon. The same theory applies for off game. The only difference is those points would be minus. A dog, even though declared treed, cannot receive plus nor minus tree points for game caught. You would simply delete dog A’s tree points and minus strike points only for all dogs including dog A. This obviously only applies to registered casts. Champion and Grand casts would be scratched under Rule 6 (k).

Strike Position
Q: In a three dog cast all dogs are led away from a tree that was just scored and recast. Dogs A and B are declared struck and end up going back to the previously scored tree. The handlers go to the tree and handle them. Before A and B can be recast Dog C is declared struck and treed. Does dog C get first or third strike position? LM/AR

A: First, let’s consider a slightly different scenario. What if both dogs A and B went back to the previously scored tree but before they get there they both take off away from the tree and are not handled at the previously scored tree? They would still hang onto their strike positions right? That is until/unless the eight minutes on strike rule was to catch them. It is UKC’s position that after a dog has been scored it holds its respective strike position until recast which is consistent with Rule 2(a). {All dogs must be off leash in order for any dog to receive 100 strike points.} This would also include a situation as described above where dogs A and B were declared struck by the handler and ended up on a previously scored tree. The fact that the tree had already been previously scored does not matter. In this situation third position (50) is the available strike position for dog C.

Who Has the Authority to Assign Non-Hunting Judges?
Q: Do cast members have the authority to assign a non-hunting judge to their cast at their own discretion if there is someone available such as a spectator provided everyone agrees? PC/PA

A: No. Cast members do not have the authority to assign a spectator nor anyone else to act as a non-hunting judge on their cast. Only the Master of Hounds or the Club Officials have that authority as outlined in Rule 10. Assigning non-hunting judges should be a cooperative effort between the Master of Hounds and the Club Officials.

Cast members all agreeing to assign an available individual to act as a non-hunting judge is not an option. That would include a situations where only one cast member remains and no other cast members were to stay with that individual. First, we encourage cast members, although withdrawn, to stay with the one remaining cast member left to finish out the hunt and continue acting as voting members. Otherwise, the individual would need to go back to the Master of Hounds and have a non-hunting judge assigned to finish out the hunt as outlined in Rule 10. Assigning a spectator to act as a voting member would not be an option either.

Calling Time Out is Not Always an Option
Q: This has happened to me on a few different occasions and it involves the cast calling time out while my dog was still out trailing. I was outvoted both times so I just left it at that but didn’t agree with it. Here’s a scenario. All dogs are declared struck. Dogs A, B and C are declared treed and the tree is scored. Now instead of recasting the three dogs to D the cast voted 3 to 1 to call time out. Can cast members call time out when there’s a dog out trailing that is not in any danger simply because the majority votes to do so? FP/GA

A: This is a good example of when calling time out is not an option. Simply because you have a majority to call time does not always give you the right to do so. You have a dog out trailing still therefore you must recast dogs A, B and C back into dog D. Rule 11 makes reference to this. It talks about split tree situations; however, the same rule applies to situations such as the one described above. Rule 11 states; {After five minutes, first dog’s tree may be checked and that dog kept on leash until tree is scored. Then he must be turned loose with other dogs that are opening on trail and will receive 25 points credit or discredit as deserved, or next available position.} The only situations where a cast has the authority to call time are outlined in Rule 8. Otherwise, a majority vote to call time out is not an option nor acceptable.