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Veterans Casts, Declaring Dogs Struck After the Fact, Grand Nites at the Local Club
Posted on 06/08/2006 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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The Coonhound Advisor
Allen Gingerich

Back-up Handlers in Veterans Casts
Q: The other night I went to a local club and entered my dog. There were three other guys at the club who planned on hunting that were also over 60 years of age so the club allowed us to be drawn out together in a Veteran’s Cast. Ten minutes or so into our hunt one of the gentlemen suddenly complained of feeling ill. He had a friend with him but he was under 60 years of age who asked if he could continue handling the dog. Would it have been permissible for his friend to continue handling the dog for the remainder of the hunt in a situation like this under Veterans Cast rules or policies? JH/OK

A: A handler must be age 60 or older to compete in a Veterans Cast. If a handler does not meet the age requirement, he or she would not be eligible to enter a dog nor would they be allowed to handle a dog in a Veterans Cast. Like in the situation described, the back up handler or friend was under 60 so the rules do not allow for him to continue handling the dog for the remainder of the hunt under any circumstances.

Veteran’s Casts are a great option for clubs to use to entice the older generation of hunters to participate at the local club events that might otherwise not hunt. They allow those 60 and over to compete and not have to worry about holding up or keeping up with the pace of the younger whipper snappers. You might be surprised at the extra entries you get if you encourage the older gentlemen in area to bring their dogs and hunt instead of just sitting around the clubhouse telling stories all night. Unless of course that’s what they would rather do!

Declaring a Dog Struck After the Fact
Q: Let’s say dog A opens once or twice but is not declared struck. Ten seconds later dog B opens and immediately the handler of dog A strikes his dog. He tells the Judge he is not striking dog B but is striking the dog that had opened earlier. Is that acceptable? CS/OK

A: The first paragraph in the honor rules states a dog must open before it can be declared struck or treed. Rule 9 states handlers are to tell Judge when their dog opens and when dog trees. This is interpreted by UKC to mean that a call must be made by the handler when the dog is opening or immediately after a bark. This prevents a handler from holding off but then jumping in behind someone else for second strike when another dog barks later on or like in the situation described above, the handler of dog A was quick enough to strike his dog before dog B was struck. The handler of dog A did not have to strike his dog initially if it didn’t open more than twice after the first minute of releasing the dog(s). That’s all fine and dandy but now after dog B opens some time later the handler tries to steal a strike position-sorry, that position was lost ten seconds ago unless dog A opens again before dog B is declared struck. Bottom line-you should strike your dog immediately when it opens and not wait until later when another dog in the cast opens.

Grand Nites at the Local Club
Q: Why would someone want to hunt their Grand Nite Champion at the local club? The dog cannot achieve anything further than the degree it’s already obtained, right?

A: In the past, once a dog reached the title of Grand Nite Champion, there was not much of a reason or incentive for the owner to continue hunting the dog at the local club hunts unless it was some type of special event such as a Regional Qualifying Event or breed sectional etc; etc…

With the new Performance Rewards Program (PRP) implemented by the UKC, a Permanently Nominated dog can earn points that will be paid back to the owner of the dog at the end of each year. One of the things the PRP was designed to do is give an incentive for owners to enter their Grand Nite’s at the local club hunts. Even though a dog has reached the status of Grand Nite Champion they are still eligible to compete for Performance points. Actually, Grand Nites may be entered at any local event regardless of their eligibility to earn Performance points.

Note to Clubs and Performance Dog Owners
Now in its second year of eligibility to earn points in the PRP, you may very well start seeing Grand Nite Performance dogs entering at your club events. We would like for all club officers to be aware how the program works so that you may also be aware of any unethical or padded entries at your event. Grand Nites should not be entered with the intent to withdraw from the cast, for the simple fact of giving the opportunity for a PRP eligible dog more Performance points should the PRP dog win the cast. Sure, the more Grand Nite entries the club has the more money the club will make but please consider policing any unethical or padded entries. It is morally unethical and considered robbing points when you have entries that may be too old and past the stage of even being competitive for the simple sake of adding to the number of Performance points that may be earned by PRP dogs. Should you have entries at your club where the club officers are concerned of any such notions we suggest you put a non-hunting Judge on those casts if possible. The PRP is a great program that pays for points when participating in UKC events but is not a program that should be abused with unethical practices such as padded entries. When someone gets undeserved Performance points; you’re not robbing UKC-you’re robbing all your fellow hunters that earned their points ethically and honestly. Complaints of undeserved Performance points will be investigated and will be dealt with on a case by case basis. UKC encourages all owners of Grand Nite PRP eligible dogs, and all Grand Nites for that matter, to continue hunting them in the local hunts. After all, that’s one of the things the program was designed to do. Let’s just keep it on the up and up.