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The Use of Tracking/Training Combo Units in Licensed Events
Posted on 02/01/2012 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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Advisor Article – January '12
Allen Gingerich

The Use of Tracking/Training Combo Units in Licensed Events
The dog world is truly blessed with the ever increasing and available technologies for the purpose of tracking, training and controlling coonhounds. Who would have thought twenty years ago we would be tracking every move a dog makes today via a mapping system? One of the hot topics currently surrounds the latest available gadgets that have both controlling and tracking capabilities built into the same handheld device.

One example of such an item on the market is the Tek 1.0+E-COLLAR by SportDog. Some personal field testing has convinced me that it’s an awesome combo tool. The concern with using this type of combo unit in a licensed event is that Rule 20 clearly doesn’t allow the handler to carry the transmitter of any device used to control a dog. So in the case of a TEK 1.0 GPS+E-COLLAR or similar units, they would not be permissible to be carried, even for the purpose of tracking your hound only.

The nice thing about the specific unit mentioned is that the E-Collar will easily be removed or separated from the tracking collar. In that case the unit could then be used in a licensed event. Otherwise, handlers carrying any type of handheld device capable of controlling the dog during the course of a licensed event could easily land them on the barred list. Simply put - take the shock collar part off and you’ll be fine.

Babbling Dogs Carrying Out a Track
Myth: “If the dog is struck within the first minute of being released, it must carry that track out or it is minused!”

Ever hear that statement during the course of a nite hunt? It seems like I hear it more and more these days from hunters calling in to the UKC office to discuss this new rule. Fact is, there is no such rule. What I’m hearing is that judges are suggesting “whenever” a dog is declared struck, prior to one minute having gone by, the dog must carry that track out. Otherwise, the dog is minused for babbling.

If you’ve been influenced into using that myth as a guideline to determine whether or not the dog is babbling when judging cast, then be sure to read on. Here’s what Rule 4(h) states in regards to babbling: [Dog(s) declared struck and determined to be babbling will be minused their strike points.] Then it goes on further to say; [Babbling is defined as when a dog opens three times or has been struck where no track is evident.] Next question; how does one then determine whether or not a dog is babbling?

Advisor: For most seasoned hunters it’s usually not that difficult to determine when a dog is babbling. Most well experienced dog men will quite easily spot such an undesired weakness in a dog during the week. How is a nite hunt any different then? It’s not!

Determining whether a dog is babbling simply boils determining whether the dog has been declared struck where a track is not evident. Sometimes even the well seasoned judge might question a dog that is declared struck, but won’t make the call simply because it’s not obvious enough to them. And that’s okay. But when it is obvious, make the call without resorting to a specific time period guideline such as the myth described above.

Cheating Votes
Q: I have a very important question pertaining to the Nite Hunts that UKC promotes. I would like to know what a gentleman should do if a member(s) of his cast is cheating, such as blatantly refusing to see a coon that is sitting in the wide open, or saying they see a coon and plussing points when a coon is not really seen? I refuse to cheat to make a dog, but there are those who will, and l believe this is not fair for the people who are “not so well off “and trying to make a dog honestly. Information in regards to what to do when someone is cheating would be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that when this cheating takes place, it is the majority of the cast cheating and there is nothing I know of to do because majority of the cast rules!
CF, Ohio

Advisor: Your question is interesting, frustrating, difficult, etc. Obviously I do not have an easy answer for you. By all means, question the situations that you feel are scored incorrectly or dishonestly. If you do not question improper scoring, you are as guilty as all others involved. At least you will be bringing a problem to the attention of the Master of Hounds and club officers.

There are far more honest hunters than dishonest ones, and those that are honest need to be aware of what is going on and who is doing it. You don’t have to call a guy a cheater in front of the whole clubhouse. If I bring in a question that there was obviously no coon in the tree, people will get the idea and hopefully it will catch up with those that deserve it.

Keep one thing in mind. You said in your letter that majority of cast rules. That is not exactly right. The only instances where majority rules is scoring trees, calling time out and returning to a tree that has previously been scored. How to score all other situations is the Judge’s decision. In the event that a Judge’s decision is questioned, it takes a majority of cast to overturn the judge. My point is this: The Master of Hounds does not have the authority to go against the majority in scoring a tree. The MOH does, however, have the authority to go against the majority in scoring any other situation in which he/she feels justified doing so.

Sportsmanship and honor are very important factors affecting competition coon hunting. The rules are pretty much set and are fair and accurate when followed. Luckily, you still draw more good casts than bad ones. But, as you know, if you attend enough hunts, you will experience some disheartening situations. Hang in there; we need concerned hunters like you to make this program work.