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Cutting Tree Reminder; Other Coonhound News


June 11, 2018

Source: Allen Gingerich

As published in the May issue of Coonhound Bloodlines.

Telemetry Use Violations/Modifying TT15 to Appear to be a T5

Q: Talk going around our part of the country is that there are several handlers modifying their Garmin T5 tracking collars to be able to tone, and are using the feature during the hunt. What can be done about this?

A: Its my understanding the T5 cannot be modified to add the tone feature. Whats more likely is removing the shocking points on a TT15 collar (track and control) and painting the module (one-inch by one-inch square plastic clip located on the collar) orange on that collar. At a glance, this would make it appear to be an approved T5. If youre familiar with Garmin collars, youll see all their track-and-train collars have a black module on the collar, while their track-only collars, such as the T5, that same module is orange. The color of that module is the quick visual for judges to determine the type of collar being used. Telemetry rules allow the handheld of tracking only collars to be carried and used during the hunt, while the handheld of track and train collars may not be carried or used during hunting time.

What can be done about it? As with all situations that transpire during a hunt, UKC needs to rely on judges and handlers to stand up and call it out if it does happen. If theres any concern someone has painted their TT15, and is carrying the handheld, do a quick hands-on check of the collar to see if it has the prong points removed. If a handler is found to be in violation, scratch him and report it to UKC. With your help, well be keeping violations like this in check.

Its one thing to get caught carrying a handheld that is not allowed to be carried by the rules; its another to fix up a collar to make it look like one that is permissible to be carried. Its not something that is worth losing ones hunting privileges over. If someone is willing to take that chance, then that was their choice and theyll be subject to the consequences. Getting caught with something like this should be one of the easiest discoveries to make.

Cutting Trees Reminder
With foliage and vegetation coming back on again in most parts of the country, its a good time to be reminded that cutting saplings and little trees is a rule violation. Weve all been in situations where leafy little trees or saplings get in the way of shining a tree. Most of us have also seen a handler whip out a small saw or cutters and start clearing the area. Ive seen it personally, before we had this rule in place, where some handlers seemed to be of the mind-set that these trees need to be cut down and will do so without any consideration or respect for the guide or the landowner. Lets keep it in mind and respect the landowners who allow us to play on their properties. The penalty for cutting trees is no different than for squalling when you shouldnt be. Violation of this rule results in your hunt ending abruptly.

Stationary Rule - Refresher Course
All those years we struggled with the cumbersome interpretation of how to handle the situations where dogs were treeing, and the handlers had no intentions of declaring them treed, Rule 6 (o) is a basic and necessary requirement in accurately scoring hounds for their work on a nite hunt cast. Although this rule has been in effect for some time, we do get complaints that some judges tend to abuse Rule 6 (o) and want to apply it too soon or might apply it even if they think the dog(s) could very well be treed in a hole or someplace other than on a tree. Simply put, a judge should not apply Rule 6 (o) in situations where they think the dog(s) are treed somewhere other than on a tree. Here is a little refresher course on Rule 6 (o).

The rule reads as follows:
6. Dogs will be scratched

(o) if a handler fails to declare treed a dog obviously treeing (Judges decision) for a period of five minutes. Dog may be declared treed while the five is running but not after the five has expired. Judge must verify dog to be at a tree before it can be scratched.

Lets break it down into its most basic components. First, the dog must obviously be treeing. That doesnt mean tapping trees or trying to settle. The right to tree a dog should rest with the handler until it becomes obvious the handler has no intention of treeing a dog that is treeing solid. This is the Judges decision.

Once 6 (o) is applied, the dog in question must tree for five minutes. Judge this as you would if the dog had been declared treed.

If you hear the dog bark off the tree, then the five is broken.

If two minutes gets him, the five is broken.

If another dog in the cast comes in and is declared treed, the five is broken.

No penalty is assessed. The application of 6 (o) is simply ended in each of the situations described above.
At any time while the five is running in accordance with 6 (o), a handler may elect to declare the dog treed. If the dog is declared treed, 6 (o) is ended and you would start a new five minutes on the dog just as you would any time a dog is declared treed. In the event where another dog in the cast is declared treed on that same tree, 6 (o) would also be ended. Start the five on the dog that was declared treed and normal tree rules are applied.

Okay, lets say a handler still refuses to tree the dog, and the five minutes in accordance with 6 (o) is running. When the five is up, the cast will proceed to that tree. If on the way to the tree, the handler asks to declare the dog treed and the five is up, that request must be denied. The dog cannot be declared treed (at that particular tree) after the five minutes of 6 (o) has expired. Also, the dog must be seen on a tree before it can be scratched. Not in a hole, bulldoze pile, old barn, or any other place of refuge. The thinking here is that sometimes those tree barks may sound different enough to the handler of the dog that they know the dog is not right.

Someone who does not know the dog may assume the dog is treed solid, when the truth may be he is not on a tree at all. Thats why the dog must be seen on a tree. When you get in there and the dog is on a tree, then the dog is scratched. If you arrive to find the dog trailing around or on a fence or something, back on out and let the dog work. There would be no penalty. If the dog is in a hole or place of refuge the dog may be handled without being declared treed in accordance with Rule 5 (a).

Its the handlers responsibility to tell the Judge when the dog strikes and when the dog trees. Competition events are about scoring dogs and that means the good, bad and indifferent. Any opportunity to cut down on the number of games being played in between should be pursued. Rule 6 (o) is one of those opportunities.

Unwritten Rules and Unethical Practices

Well end this column with some bullet points I recently came across filed in my computer. These are simply some notes I made several years ago that are typical complaints we hear at UKC regarding bench shows. None of them violate any written rule; however, many of them are unacceptable and directly violate ethical standards that should not require a written rule. Especially, when it comes to major shows. UKC greatly appreciates those judges and participants who take it upon themselves to eliminate the bad perceptions that come with some of the following.

  • Entering dog housed by the judge that is registered in the name of their significant other. Unacceptable by all measures!
  • Individuals entering dogs in major shows who are close friends with the judge.
  • Coaching from the sidelines.
  • Contacting and schmoozing major event Judges before the event.
  • Excessive discipline to dogs during a show. Its a competition; not a training session.
  • Individuals judging and showing, on opposite days, at the same major event. Leads to pick me and Ill pick you theories and perceptions from the sidelines and other participants.
  • Judge traveling to the show with a participant. Heaven forbid that participant wins!
  • Judges making negative comments publicly regarding dogs they have judged. Such remarks have a way of getting around. Judges should always be aware of their unbecoming off the field comments.
  • Dog entered in a show where the judge is the breeder, previous owner or co-owner opens the door for ridicule and is easily perceived as the judge made a biased selection. Oftentimes leaves participants feeling like their dog did not get a fair shake in the show.
  • Event organizers entering dogs in the show gives the impression a participant is selecting their own judge for personal reasons.
  • Judges suggesting to owners they should enter a specific dog in a show they are scheduled to judge. Are you serious?
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