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Format Changes Are Here; Other Coonhound News

Coonhound Advisor

January 1, 2019

Source: Allen Gingerich

As published in the January issue of Coonhound Bloodlines

Format Changes are Here

Happy New Year, everyone! The time has finally come when those new format changes are now in effect. Were seeing clubs are indeed taking advantage of the optional hunt times (60-, 90-, or 120-minute hunts).

The most popular change they seem to be taking advantage of is the Double Headers, many of which are being scheduled as Slam events. Were hopeful some of the changes will help participation and benefit the local clubs. They now have more choices than ever before and should benefit, especially if they are interested in offering the type of events participants in their area prefer and support.

As expected, some were quick to decide they didnt like the changes. For the most part; however, feedback has been supportive. History shows many of the significant changes that came along the way in this sport were not always well-received. Many of the old timers will remember that when hunting judges came along, replacing the all non-hunting judge format, was one of those that created a big stir back in the day. Many predicted that change to be the demise of the sport. Thats just one example. The point is, sometimes we need to give change a chance and it might just turn out better than we may have thought. Were hopeful for that to be the case here.

Its also important to note these changes are not reflected in the current Coonhound Rulebook and wont be until the next rules change year, which happens to be in 2020. This will allow us, after a one-year trial basis, to be able to consider any tweaks that might be necessary before they are published and apply for a three-year span.

As you give these changes a good try, we encourage your feedback. They involved the ideas of numerous hunters around the country, and well consider the same from all who wish to voice their opinions after theyve given them a fair trial. Criticism is not always a bad thing, especially when its presented as positive criticism. We could have done nothing and watched participation continue to decline so heres to hoping they will benefit the sport in the long run.

Rules Proposal Reminder

A membership with any one of the seven UKC Chartered Breed Associations comes with the privilege of having a voice when it comes to the UKC Nite Hunt Honor Rules. All members are reminded 2019 is, in fact, the year for any rule changes.

Members should submit their proposals directly to their Breed Association. The deadline to submit proposals to the Breed Associations is March 1st. The deadline for the Breed Associations to submit their proposals to UKC is March 15th.

All proposals will then be compiled and sent back out to the Breed Associations. This timetable allows the associations to have all proposals in time for the Annual Breed Day Event for discussion purposes with their members, if they so choose. The official vote will take place on Friday at Autumn Oaks. First, however, there will be a meeting scheduled, at Autumn Oaks, where two members of each association are invited to attend. The purpose of this meeting is to allow discussion and address any concerns anyone may have before the official vote takes place. After that, each association may choose to further discuss any concerns with their officers or members that were addressed at the meeting before casting their votes on each proposal. It takes a majority vote to pass any one of the proposals on the ballot. Any rule that gets a majority vote to pass will then go in effect on January 1, 2020.

Before submitting a proposal, its important to understand and consider the impact certain rule changes can have on the sport of competition, on breeding practices, the integrity of degrees, and other aspects of the sport as well. In other words, its something that must be taken seriously and well-thought-out. A proposal based on what caters to the hunting style of my dog alone is not always a good idea. The point is, rules also often play a big role beyond the playing field of a nite hunt. If were not careful, we could set ourselves up for the type of dog we probably wouldnt use if he or she was the tool we used to put food on the table.

Another thing worth considering before submitting a proposal is what the future looks like when it comes to available hunting grounds diminishing for many of us. Nevertheless, if you have a good one, by all means be involved and submit it! And lastly, include some notes as to why you think your proposal would be instrumental and worthy of consideration.

Dog Treeing but Not Declared Treed on Slick Tree When Judge Arrived

Q: The other night we had two dogs withdrawn from the hunt and were left with two dogs in the cast. Dog A struck first, followed by Dog B. Dog A was declared treed first. Shortly thereafter, Dog B was declared treed split approximately a hundred yards to the right of Dog A. Our plan was to go handle Dog A, and then go to Dog B and score his tree first, since all dogs were declared treed. We had just started heading that way when Dog B quit treeing and we put the two-minute clock on him. Thirty seconds later, Dog B was with Dog A treeing, so he was minused 125 tree points. Dog As tree was already closed because both dogs had been declared treed, so Dog B could not be declared treed on that tree. When we arrived at the tree, Dog B was in fact there treeing and was handled along with Dog A. This was a slick tree, so Dog A was minused both strike and tree points. What is the correct scoring for Dog B in this situation?

A: Dog B obviously receives 125 tree minus for leaving the tree he was declared treed on. He is now also considered as a dog treeing but not declared treed on Dog As tree. This tree was scored as slick, so Rule 4 (j) applies to Dog B. That rule states: {Dogs treeing but not declared treed, when judge arrives, will be minused on off game or slick tree. Points will be determined by next available position in the case of one dog, or split available tree points in the case of two or more dogs. Dogs shut-out* on strike on slick tree or off game will receive minus tree points only.}

That rule is straight-forward other than some might get hung up on what to do with a dogs strike points because the rule does not specifically state what to do with them. However, the rule does state that if the dog was shut out*, meaning Dog B was not declared struck before Dog A was declared treed, then the dogs strike points would be deleted. Let it be known here this means strike points are otherwise minused, unless the dog was shut out.

That said, the correct scoring for Dog B, on the tree in question, is that he takes a total of 150 minus points (75 strike and 75 tree). When adding the 125 minus he took for leaving his split tree earlier, Dog B took a total of 275 minus points on this turnout. Lastly, this specific ruling applies for two reasons. One, the dog was at a tree treeing where he was not declared treed; and second, he was there when the judge arrived. Its those two scenarios that has Rule 4(j) apply to the dog.

Lastly, dont get hung up on a theory that the same rule applies to every situation where a dog that has not been declared treed, comes in to a slick or off game tree. If the dog would have come in after the judge arrived, Rule 5 (b) would have applied, and he would have taken no minus at all. His strike points would have been circled. If a coon would have been seen in the tree, Rule 4 (f) would have applied, and Dog B would have received minus strike points only. If Dog B would have come into the tree, after the judge arrived, with a coon seen; Rule 5 (b), as is the case 100 percent of the time for dogs that come in after the judge arrives, would apply and his strike points are minused. So, although a different rule applies for being at the tree when the judge arrived versus coming in after, the result is the same when a coon is seen, and the dog receives minus strike points either way.

Hunt Time Options for Purina Points Events

Q: Clubs now have the option for 60-, 90-, or 120-minute hunts. Is this true for Purina Points Events as well?

A: Those breed or state associations having a Purina Points event do in fact have that same option for hunt times. However, we would recommend considering not choosing less than 90 minutes for any Purina Points event hunts, other than any Final Four hunt-offs that might be used to determine an overall winner. While state and breed associations do have the hunt time options, clubs hosting RQEs do not. RQEs are also Purina Points events but they all have a mandatory two-hour hunt time.

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