Tips for Successful Hunt Tests
Posted on 07/08/2013 in HTX = Coondog.
In the last few months, more clubs have been hosting Hunt Tests with great success. Many clubs that have been hosting Hunt Tests have also seen their entries improve greatly as the weather warms ups across the country.
Our office recently received a call from a club in Missouri who just started holding Hunt Tests. For their first test, participants showed up from as far away as Oklahoma and Arkansas. Many times, when a club has their first test, we expect three to five entries, but this club had 12. We are excited to see the interest coming up in so many different parts of the country!
Here are a few tips for your club when you start having Hunt Tests to make it as successful as it can be.
• Pick a good date. I know this sounds elementary, but a good date can make all the difference in the world. Most clubs opt to have their Hunt Tests through the week when there is little conflict from other UKC licensed events. Take into consideration what other types of activities your club members may be involved in. If several of your members have kids who play a sport, it’s probably not a good idea to schedule your test on a night when a big game is going on.
• Make sure your signs are put out. Many times the participants for your Hunt Test have been to your club a few times for other events. This is not always the case, though. You will likely have entrants who don’t compete in UKC Licensed Nite Hunts or Bench Shows so they don’t know where your club is located. By making sure your signs are out you are ensuring your club is easier to find to someone who has never been there.
• Get your facility ready. We all know how important first impressions are. For your club, it is what someone sees when they pull onto the grounds and go into your building. I’m not saying you need the Taj Mahal, but you should make every effort to keep your facilities clean and accessible. There is no excuse for a dirty facility when all it costs to clean up is some of your time.
• Have food available. Many clubs know this from having UKC Nite Hunts and Bench Shows, but coon hunters like to have a snack. If you have a clean, inviting facility, they are more likely to want to grab a quick bite before or after the Hunt Test. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy (most clubs offer hamburgers and hot dogs), but the hunters will appreciate it. By trying it out for a few of your Hunt Tests, you will get an idea as to what types of food your customers buy and how much to prepare.
• Have plenty of Guides and Inspectors. There is nothing more frustrating to a participant than to go to a club where there are not enough members there to give a helping hand. Make sure you plan ahead and have more than enough Guides and Inspectors for the number of dogs you expect to enter. It’s not easy for your first Hunt Test to know how many will be there, but the more Inspectors, the better. It is always better to have too many than not enough. A participant will never forget if you don’t have someone to take them out and you may lose their entries for a long time due to it.
Many of you have been asking about receipts for the Hunt Tests. We have had very, very few problems with clubs failing to send the Reports to us, but it has happened. In other UKC Licensed Events when that happens the participants have receipts showing the date of the event, the club where the event was held, and their placing in the event. Unfortunately we have not had anything like that for the Hunt Tests.
By the time this article comes out, that will have changed. We are working right now on getting receipts designed exclusively for Hunt Tests. The receipts will be easy to fill out, and the club officer in charge of scheduling Hunt Tests will be able to print them directly off our website. This will also have the added benefit of you being able to see who has previously inspected your dog so you can make sure you have three different inspectors for each HTX title you earn.
We are still looking for more Hunt Test-Imonials to run right here in COONHOUND BLOODLINES. We like to run at least one a month, but sometimes we do not receive any during a given month. We would love it if you would send us a picture of your dog and a few sentences about why you like the Hunt Tests. We are also looking for Test-Imonials from clubs who are enjoying putting on the tests.
Just think, your Hunt Test-Imonials could encourage a new club to hold Hunt Tests or someone to try out a Hunt Test who has never been to one. On top of that, you will be able to show your friends and family a picture of your dog and something you wrote!
If you have any questions or concerns about the Hunt Test program, we would also like to hear from you. You can call our office or send an email to coonhounds@ukc