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Comes in to Tree Clarification; Other Coonhound News

Coonhound Advisor

March 1, 2019

Source: Allen Gingerich

As published in the March issue of Coonhound Bloodlines.

Comes in to Tree Clarification

Q: I would like to see this question answered in your column. It concerns Rule 4 (f) which states, If dog declared treed, after five minutes has elapsed no additional dog can be declared treed at that particular tree but if they come in to tree will get minus on track and nothing on tree if coon is seen.

Last weekend at a hunt, this question came up. There were three Master of Hounds and several hunters present. They all agreed that just because a dog came by, or close by the tree, the handler shouldnt be made to handle his or her dog until it showed that it was treed. I have been made to handle my dog when he was cold nosing close by the tree. I didnt like it, but I did and received minus points for it.

A: Your question appears to concern what the term come in to tree means. In most cases, come in to tree is very obvious. It absolutely does not mean that a dog must come in and tree before he must be caught. Once in a while, it does require the use of some judgement. The Judge needs to decide, did the dog come in to the tree in question or didnt he? The criteria for making this decision is no different than that where a dog quits a trail that is being worked and comes in to the cast. If you are looking for a measurable distance on what is considered at the tree and what isnt, you wont get one from me. My advice is, use good judgement and be consistent.

It is always interesting to note that one handler will argue that being 15 feet off the tree is acceptable when his dog has been treed and the coon is seen. Yet, this same handler will argue that 15 feet off the tree is not considered being in to the tree when he is not declared treed and the coon is seen. Again, use good judgement and be consistent.

Can I Be Refused the Opportunity to Drive My Truck?

Q: At a recent event, the hunting guide (Handler A) told Handler B that he would have to ride in the guides truck to cut down on the number of vehicles going to the woods. Handler B said that would be fine and that he also had a back-up handler. The guide told Handler B that he could not take his back-up handler as the guides truck already had himself, his two spectators and Handler C in it. Handler B protested the fact that he was not allowed to take his back-up handler to the woods. The cast proceeded to the MOH table. The MOH supported the hunting guide and would not allow Handler B to take his truck or back-up handler. This forced Handler B to scratch his dog and forfeit his entry. Was this the right call in your opinion?

A: I respectfully disagree. I do not believe that a MOH has the authority to tell a handler he cant drive his truck or take his back-up handler. By all means, handlers need to try to accommodate the guide who may have the best of intentions in trying to cut down on the number of vehicles going to the woods. However, when certain needs cannot be accommodated, its time for the MOH to either request that the guide either: a) select spots where vehicle numbers would not be an issue; b) park out on the roads and ride the tailgate in if necessary; or c) another guide would have to be appointed. When it comes right down to it, we do not have the authority to tell someone they cant drive their own truck.

Watched Coon Climb Tree and Go in Hole

Q: How would you score this tree? Four dogs have been declared struck and are running. The four handlers who are standing together hear a noise on a nearby tree. All four turn their lights on and watch a coon climb the tree and go into a hole. The dogs trail to that tree and start treeing. What do you do? The coon is not seen after dogs were handled.

A: In my eyes, this is similar to the what if where the dogs trail a coon up to live trap. In that make-believe case, even though the dogs struck a legitimate track and ran it to a live trap, they are not going to get scored on it because the rules do not provide for you to do so and there are plenty of angles for abuse. This situation is no different. In this case, the rules do not provide for scoring a tree before the shining time starts.

In the same situation, what would happen if all handlers agree to seeing a coon on the way into a tree, but cant find it once they get there and start the eight minutes shining time? Should they be able to plus the dogs in that situation also? In order to be consistent and keep this game as simple and fair as possible, UKCs interpretation will remain that the coon must be seen by a non-hunting Judge, or majority of cast when hunting Judge is used, during the allotted shining time.

Multiple Registries Events on the Same Night Policy

Q: We have been holding UKC and other registries hunts at our club for a good number of years. Were wondering if UKC approves a club to hold both events on the same night in conjunction with each other? Our club rents its facility, and this would help the club out with rental costs to have both on the same day. Please advise.

A: In doing so, you would likely also lose some entries for both events when your hunters now must pick and choose which event to enter. Regardless, UKC does not approve clubs to host another registrys event on the same night as a UKC licensed event. This has been a long-standing policy. Any clubs found to be doing this are subject to losing approval for any UKC licensed events.

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