Allen / UKC
Registered: Nov 2004
Originally posted by Richard Lambert
According to Allen G, if the aggressor is not known, you scratch all dogs involved. There is no speculation here. If there are three or four dogs treeing and a fight breaks out, they all get scratched. Now that is what UKC's "official interpretation" is.
Kinda like the off game thing. If you "know" that they are running off game you minus them. If you "think" that they are running off game you don't. But according to Mr Gingerich, you don't always have to see the off game to "know" that it is off game. I don't know where the "speculation" comes from.
Almost; but when my name is used I want to be clear. When there are only two dogs at the tree, it's easy to determine who is involved. When there's more than two, knowing which ones are involved becomes a different story and generally results in a no-call.
"Speculation" and "obvious" are, by definition, two very different words that have been used in debate as it relates to dogs running deer or fighting without actually seeing it. One is; rumor, gossip, assumption, guesswork, supposition, hearsay. The other is; clear, apparent, evident, recognizable, observable.
Myself, I'd never scratch a dog for running deer or fighting based on speculation.
Here is the article that was written on the topic long before my time.
Does the Judge Have to See It to Score It?
It is a common misconception amongst some hunters that a Judge must actually see an offense take place before he or she can make a ruling. That is simply not true. Indeed, there are times when you canít tell whatís happening without being able to see it first hand. But on flip side, there are many, many situations where you can tell exactly whatís happening without seeing it first hand.
By the very nature of the sport of nite hunting, most of what goes on comes to us on the night air as we stand completely in the dark. To a first-time hunter, none of it makes sense. Yet an experienced houndsmen can tell you with almost certain conviction exactly what is happening. Thatís why it is so important for club officers and licensed officials to make every effort to appoint qualified individuals to judge casts. Most of what happens requires a judgment call based on experience.
Do you have to see a dog fight to scratch two dogs for being involved in one? Certainly not. You know a dog fight when you hear one. If there is no question as to which dogs are involved, they must both be scratched. Could the aggressor be determined without seeing who started the fight? That call is more risky. I would have to say that no, the aggressor could not be determined without witnessing the offense. But the fact that a fight did take place and the fact that there is a provision for scratching those involved when the aggressor is not known, obligates a Judge to make that call.
Just like you donít have to watch a dog leave a tree to minus them for it. If, as a Judge, you are certain of what is happening, it must be scored accordingly. Thatís what judging is. If you are not certain, hold off until you are. Some handlers will attempt to pressure a judge into making a premature decision. Thatís just as bad as not making a decision that you are certain about. Do you have Nite Champion dogs burning off game out of the country? You donít have to see the deer to scratch dogs for running it. Make the call if you are certain.
Judging is not for everyone and if you are not confident enough to make the decisions that you know are correct, or if you are not confident enough to hold off making decisions until you do know them to be correct, then you should refrain from accepting the responsibility to judge. If you have been appointed as a Judge and cannot rightfully fulfill those duties, take your cast to the Master of Hounds and address your concerns with him or her. Do not take it upon yourself to pass the card to someone else in the cast. Let the licensed official do that.
If you are confident with your experience as a coon hunter and your ability to make decisions, then take pride in the fact that the club has confidence in you! Draw on your experience and score situations accordingly.
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