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Buckeye 01
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Mar 2011
Location: Columbus
Posts: 21

AO TRUTH

I have made the drive over to the AO more years than I can remember. I have only missed a few period, but I have not missed one in the past 20 years.

This year was hands down the smallest crowd I have ever seen at the AO. Cheap gas and a great economy, it blew me away. I was able to talk to many old friends that I make the trip over to see, and out of probably 15 that I asked, they all agreed that it fell off to a level none of us ever thought we would see.

The days of shoulder to shoulder walking traffic, vendors fighting for a space, and every big name stud dog in the country being proudly represented by their owner at a nice tent, appear to be over. Were vendors still there; yes, but not near the number of years past.

At one time the AO would run upper 7ís even 800 dogs not many years ago. This year only 526 dogs. Figures donít lie. I really hope this year was a freak deal and next year is a massive rebound, because this year felt different and looked like a ghost town. Still had a good time. Until next year,

Keep em treed

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Last edited by Buckeye 01 on 09-01-2019 at 09:01 PM

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Preacher Tom
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Feb 2015
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 555

Just curious: What are the actual entry numbers for AO for the last 10 years?

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Surveyor
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Paragon IN
Posts: 1039

I've missed very few also and agree it was a much smaller crowd. It doesn't surprise me though and it's nothing UKC or anybody else did,there are just way fewer coon hunters every year and it's just a dying sport unfortunately and I don't see any way to reverse it.

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cole run
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Mar 2017
Location:
Posts: 219

According to the entry list ukc has posted on the front page there were 602 entered

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warn
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Sep 2003
Location: tekonsha mich
Posts: 1968

I have been attending for over 20 years with maybe w years i didnt make it. It was by far the poorest attendance ive seen

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Old Post 09-01-2019 10:37 PM
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Buckeye 01
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Mar 2011
Location: Columbus
Posts: 21

quote:
Originally posted by cole run
According to the entry list ukc has posted on the front page there were 602 entered



Total entered was 602. Total hunted/confirmed 526 as referenced on the posted results.

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Old Post 09-01-2019 10:43 PM
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Doug__Adams
UKC Forum Member

Registered: May 2019
Location: Woodstock, Oh
Posts: 22

Iíve been going for around 25 years straight. The crowds have slowly deminshed but this year was a noticeable decline for sure.. but like stated above itís a dieing sport. Everybody chasing the $ and when they realize they will spend 10k to win 5k they give up and move on to another hobby. Iíd say they will be moving it before long to try to boost numbers..

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Night Shift
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Jan 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 808

I wonder if all the talk of PETA protestors being present scared some folks off. I never seen anyone but I did hear they were going to protest.

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tony.beals
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Aug 2011
Location: Perrinton, Michigan
Posts: 632

Re: AO TRUTH

quote:
Originally posted by Buckeye 01
I have made the drive over to the AO more years than I can remember. I have only missed a few period, but I have not missed one in the past 20 years.

This year was hands down the smallest crowd I have ever seen at the AO. Cheap gas and a great economy, it blew me away. I was able to talk to many old friends that I make the trip over to see, and out of probably 15 that I asked, they all agreed that it fell off to a level none of us ever thought we would see.

The days of shoulder to shoulder walking traffic, vendors fighting for a space, and every big name stud dog in the country being proudly represented by their owner at a nice tent, appear to be over. Were vendors still there; yes, but not near the number of years past.

At one time the AO would run upper 7ís even 800 dogs not many years ago. This year only 526 dogs. Figures donít lie. I really hope this year was a freak deal and next year is a massive rebound, because this year felt different and looked like a ghost town. Still had a good time. Until next year,

Keep em treed



And the weather was perfect too

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Rolin Blues
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2764

crowd

I would agree it had less people around than 3 yrs. ago when i was there, BUT to my 13 yr. old grand daughter, it was still like being at a STATE FAIR than going to a local hunt. All anyone can do is put on an event & hope people show up. It still was great place to pick up hunting supplies, have Garmin booth to up-date units in a matter of minutes & great food served each day. We are definitely coming back next year & Cub has already told his boss to plan on him being gone next year.

Thx to UKC & all local people involved in it for the great job they did. Take care, Ron.

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Redneck Mafia
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Aug 2013
Location: Seneca, Mo
Posts: 4144

The place was still packed on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. The use of golf carts does keep the crowds more disbursed. I did talk to several vendors that were quite happy with the amount of business they were doing and several had sold out of certain merchandise.

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sox12
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1033

it seemed to me there were more campers to the north in the big field then before

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Dave Richards
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Apr 2015
Location: church hill tn
Posts: 3293

AO

While the numbers may have been down, the quality was up. Yes, I mean quality, just look at all of the positive comments regarding the sportsmanship displayed by the hunters. I will take this anytime over large numbers, there may not be as many hunters these days, but the ones hunting are a first class bunch. I can honesty say that back in the day of large numbers of hunters and dogs that it was a cutthroat, slick handling type of hunts. While there were not many $ hunts in those days, lots of paid handlers wer around trying to get first place wins anyway they could. I hunted against several of those types, absolutely no real sportsmanship existed. I am excited with these hunters of today that let their dogs do the talking. Dave

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Buckeye 01
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Mar 2011
Location: Columbus
Posts: 21

Re: AO

quote:
Originally posted by Dave Richards
While the numbers may have been down, the quality was up. Yes, I mean quality, just look at all of the positive comments regarding the sportsmanship displayed by the hunters. I will take this anytime over large numbers, there may not be as many hunters these days, but the ones hunting are a first class bunch. I can honesty say that back in the day of large numbers of hunters and dogs that it was a cutthroat, slick handling type of hunts. While there were not many $ hunts in those days, lots of paid handlers wer around trying to get first place wins anyway they could. I hunted against several of those types, absolutely no real sportsmanship existed. I am excited with these hunters of today that let their dogs do the talking. Dave


It is nice to hear that few, if any complaints were had during the hunt. That paints a positive image of the hunt for upcoming years and the sport in general. I donít think that it really makes the overall attendance of the event any less important though. Attendance, not so much in the form of hunt entries, but general tourism of hunters visiting.

In regards to sportsmanship, I think it correlates directly with hunt format. 10 years ago, participating in Autumn Oaks was a interesting spectacle to put it politely. No Grand Sixteen format created a breeding ground for cheating, bribery, and aggressive cut throat cast. Unrealistic scores were the norm to try to get that coveted National Grand Nite title. The NTCH and Registered cast were not as bad with multiple placements being available, but the GRNT was savage.

Any time a hunt, whether it be UKC, xKC, xKC, or xHKC, is held that is not in elimination style format, the integrity of the event is instantly at stake in my opinion. I always have said the most enjoyable cast are the ones where you just have to beat the dogs you draw. That is not to say the same level of unsportsmanlike conduct cannot be in found in an elimination style event, but I think when you eliminate the concept of having to blow up a big score, the integrity of the hunt is much more likely to remain intact.

Look at xKCís open events scores compared to prohunts etc. A certain degree of this could be attributed to a non-hunting judge, maybe even a large degree, but overall itís the fact that they got to have a big score to make that final four. It can be comical to look at the scores of warm up open events right before a big event at the same location and watch the scores plummet.

The Grand 16 format was the best thing that happened to the AO in my opinion, and UKC is on track to become one of the most talked about KCís in a positive light of any of the KCís currently in existence right now.

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Old Post 09-05-2019 01:49 AM
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Dave Richards
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Apr 2015
Location: church hill tn
Posts: 3293

Buckeye01

The numbers may never be like yesteryear numbers, but that does not define the quality of today's hunts. I agree that the elimination style hunts are the best way to define the true champion. I sure hope all the big hunts go to this format, as it is the only way to have a true champion. Score based placement his not equitable or fair to every cast, some casts are hunting in thinner coons, etc. All any dog can ever do is WIN their cast, I think more of a Champion that has won every cast to become Champion, that a dog that won 1 cast with a big score hunting only against the dogs in that cast, Determining a winner on a 1 cast score was never a valid way to determine a Champion. Dave

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Dave Richards
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Apr 2015
Location: church hill tn
Posts: 3293

Buckeye01

Sorry, double post

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