UKC Forum Member
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Lockridge Iowa
A Long Read
This is in response to a question I asked on Blackdawg mafia on facebook about what the advantages or disadvantages would be for the ABTCHA to opening up the xbred transfers into the breed by UKC standards. I have read every post but most all of the post talked about the dogs, purebreds, nothing like purebreds, ability, non ability, winning, loosing, single registration. There were only a couple of posts that seemed to respond more about the Assoc. This is what the question was about the ABTCHA the human aspect of the breed and not about the dogs. This will be a long read hope you have the time. This going back over the last 40yrs of coonhunting from my experience and seeing the changes in the sport.
The Breeders and Fanciers of the American Black and Tan Breed have organized themselves and affiliated with the United Kennel Club, Inc. for the express purpose of advancing the principles of the United Kennel Club, Inc. and to work collectively toward the betterment of the American Black and Tan Breed as a whole and to influence the breeding of a better and finer American Black and Tan Coonhound. Further, it is the purpose of this Association to support and protect inherent rights of American citizens to own, hunt, and promote the breed and type of their choice; and to promote complimentary conservation and management of wildlife species commonly pursued by the American Black and Tan Breed.
The name of this Association shall be - The American Black and Tan Coonhound Association, Inc. The home office of which shall be the residence of the President.
To create a closer relationship and to instill confidence between breeder, owner, and fancier of the American Black and Tan Coonhound Breed that we may be able to improve the breed beneficial to all concerned in accordance with the official standard set forth by the United Kennel Club, Inc., Registering Office in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Coonhunting has changed a lot in the last 40yrs. From $20. Pelt Averages to $2. For a top pelt if your lucky, so considering inflation that makes the pelts worthless. We donít have fellow hunter across the section or down the road like before, We donít have a bunch of highschool kids loading up an go coonhunting with a dog or a spotlight to sell pelts and make some cash getting in the sport. What you see is more clubs, breed Assoc., and kennel clubs promoting competition youth events. In my opinion the ABTCHA is head and shoulders above the rest in there Youth program, almost 15yrs ago there was a higher learning scholarship fund introduced and implemented by the Assoc. and Individuals. 40yrs ago this probably wasnít even thought about. As a youth we could shoot 3 to 7 raccoons a night and net us $100. Plus now you would be lucky to net $10. Now these youth programs are awesome as we are trying to keep our youth coming up in the coonhunting sport, but what we have to realize this also teaching are youth is that coonhunting is competing. Which to me is great as it keeps more fellow men and women to keep the sport alive as coonhunting is changing. We just saw this weekend a large UKC hunt and show the Winter Classic bring together hundreds of owners and hounds from all over the United States competing to win. While right down the road another large hunt was also unfolding for $100,000. First place prize and $235,000. in winnings. So you can see just how much coonhunting is changing.
I remember back in 1994 my first BNT Days, that was also the 1st time I went to Assoc. meeting and afterwards said I would never go to another meeting as in my mid 20ís I thought it was a waste of my time for what was discussed at the meeting. The first hunt I drew out with a guy from TN. We treed 3 coons in that hunt and the man from TN. Won the cast. Now I donít remember the guy from TN. Winning because he was all proud about winning but because he was so stoked of scoring on 3 coons in 1 night. Never saw anyone so excited about treeing 3 coons in a night. He was telling us he could hunt a week sometimes 2 and not see 3 coons. Now my cousin had just started hunting in some hunts he was in his late teens. One year in the dead of winter he decided he was going south to Georgia to a big added purse hunt where there would be hundreds of dogs. The first night he had the only dog that showed them a coon but he didnít get back to the cast intime and was scratched. The second night he won his cast with his dog treeing the only coon in the cast. He said they got within about 20yds of the tree and could not get to the tree because of cut overs. The judge said if he could call the dog back to him they could score the tree from there if everyone agreed and everyone agreed. She had the coon and he won his cast. The 3rd night he didnít hunt instead he headed home, when he got back he said if he had to hunt that kind of stuff everynight he would quit hunting did not enjoy it. Now I tell you these stories because of a conversation I had with a long time member back in the early 2000ís. Back then there were members talking that they wanted to see BNT Days in the South, S. eastern states. So I called this gentleman that had been involved with the Assoc. helped get the breed book started to see what he thought, he said yes everyone wants to see Days in their back yard but it would not be a good idea to bring it down there. His reason was yes it was there in N.C. before, but would not be a good idea then because of the possibility of northern dogs getting bit by snakes getting sick with all the anti groups around. He also said his belief is the hunt needs to move around but you have to hold a hunt like this where every cast has a chance to tree multiple coon in a cast. The reason for this is if you are scoring on coon folks will enjoy the hunt and will be back. He said folks donít want to take a weeks vacation and have a miserable time they want to tree coon and enjoy themselves. I will say that I believed that from my own experiences and also from the 2 examples I posted above. By the way my cousin never did go back south to warmer weather for a hunt in the middle of winter even though he won his cast and had the only dog in 2 nights to tree a coon in each cast.
In the early 2000ís a younger gentleman at the time put together and idea to have a pup hunt at BNT days. He sent the Executive board all a letter of his idea and then contacted them after they had a meeting and was told they werenít interested. Part of the problem to them was it had a cash prize was to much like another kennel club. After a lot of phone calls and discussions on the internet the board did put forth a pup hunt proposal and it was passed. Then a few years later another member put together a plan for incentive at the UKC world hunt which is called WHIF program. The WSIF was started a couple years later and had a hard time getting off itís feet but with some new ideas of fund raisers and hard work by some members it finally got a few Thousand dollars in itís account. Now the WHIF had shown the dollars could be raised if someone one the purse. Now the WHIF and WSIF pay out structure were similar the same for the winner and I can tell you it was a big concern to me as if we had a World Show Champion it would have wiped out the WSIF account and I wasnít sure it would ever come back. Thanks to some members again to come up with a plan to restructure WSIF payout to make so it would be more sustainable incase we had a winner. Congratulations to the BNT UKC World Show Champion in 2022 and the WSIF Account is still alive and well. A few years went by and another younger member came up with an idea of a Champions Classic Hunt at BNT days where a $1000. would be the prize for the dog that won it. Now qualifications changed from his original plan but the money award did not change for 1st from his original plan. Now I will say I believe the President at the time did and outstanding job, let me say it again and outstanding amazing job of listening and working to pass this event at the general membership meeting. I donít know if he was for or against or if his closest friends were for a hunt at BNT days that was set up for large cash prize, but he listened to the young members idea listened to conversations discussed got behind it and when it was presented to the membership at the general meeting discussions were held and passed unanimously. Job well done!
Now UKC World Champion was and is the most prestige title held on a coonhound. Several years back UKC came out with a plan to add a cash award of $10,000. to this winner. I am just wondering did any one talk to UKC why they needed to add a cash reward to the most prestige title in coonhounds? Well I did and what I got for answer is we see things. Through more discussions they saw a younger generation hunting in other world hunt that were not showing up at thereís. So they came up with an idea to try and involve all ages of hunting at their event. Now 4 yrs ago there were a lot of rule changes for the night hunts. Why? UKC was still listening and even with a $10,000. purse they werenít attracting enough hunters and listened to those hunters that werenít coming over. Then they came up with a new hunt called the TOC with a 1st place prize of $50,000. A club not far from me held a regional TOC Hunt I saw this gentleman there hunting in it, then in the fall he was at the world zones. So I asked him what was going on he was at the TOC Regional hunt and Now your at the UKC World zones. He laughed and said I didnít think I would ever say this but the facts are right now UKC overall has the best night hunt rules of any kennel club out there. Changes needed to be made and UKC listened.
Now ABTCHA has the largest breed hunt days out there at the moment and have had for many many years. One of those reasons is that we keep BNT days with a large family atmosphere with a coonhound competition like it was at the local clubs 30yrs ago. We were a large enough organization 30yrs ago that we are still able to keep that atmosphere. At Peru IN. BNT Days I got to talking to a club member and he was amazed at the crowd and people sitting around camping and talking all day. He said they had walker days 2 weeks before and the crowd totally disappeared through the day time until entry time. I was glad to inform him that BNT Days has been the largest breed hunt for years. He goes yah it is amazing, but you need to look around as you all will be one of the smallest in 15yrs looking at the ages of folks walking around here this weekend. You donít have enough 20,30 and 40yr olds around here itís an older crowd. You look around and he was correct, and let me tell you he was talking about me being in that older crowd. Now when I think about back to when BBOA Days was here locally, they didnít have as big of a crowd but will say they did have more younger hunters in that age range that they should be able to maintain the crowd size for at least 20yrs. or more if they can keep that younger group coming then it should hold strong.
Another conversation I had was with a bnt hunter that bought a dog he didnít even care for itís hunting style to hope and keep a younger hunter hunting a bnt even though it wasnít what he preferred to hunt.
UKC implemented a Xbred registry that would allow a Xbred to be brought into the breeds after they reached at least 80% or higher of that breed on their registry. This is only of UKC recognized coonhound breeds. You canít be 80% bnt and 20% bloodhound or cur or Dobermans it is only for coonhounds. My talk with UKC is they came to this 80% # because of there DNA company told them that 78.6 or 78.2 is considered full blooded dog. Why UKC went to 80% Iím not sure except maybe it was just a lot easier to remember then the exact number.
Now go back to the top and read Article 2 of the preamble where it talks about beneficial to All members in accordance to the official standard of UKC. 80% is the Official standard by UKC going by the DNA companies 78% something considered a full blooded of a breed. UKC gave the Assoc. the option to open or close it even though there official standard is 80%.
Honestly to tell the truth keeping it open or closed has really nothing to do with the dogs. What it has to do with is do we want to be the generation that turns away young members or members from the Assoc. over our own ideology over what we consider full blooded bntís. Do we want to be the generation took the strongest and largest breed Assoc. days to one of the smallest over the ideology of what we considered a registered bnt, I Hope Not? I hope that in 15yrs I will still be able to go to bnt days and see the largest breed day event of all the breeds even if I am to old to hunt in the events. Itís a large family where I meet old and new friends and acquaintances. No matter what at the end of the day dogs are just dogs no matter how proud we are of them or how much we loveím. That vote would really be about do we want to be like that fellow hunter that got a dog just to keep someone involved in the Assoc. and hunting dogs even though he didnít care for itís style to keep it strong, do we want to put aside our ideologies of what we consider a registered bnt to listen to young hunters to welcome them into the Assoc. let them follow the guidelines and dreams set forth by UKC. Or do we want to be the generation that doesnít listen to changes and makes us one of the smallest Assoc. for we wouldnít except change over ideologies of a registered dog. You Decide!!
Tree Jar'n Black and Tans
Home of Tree Jar'n Coonhound Kennels
Last edited by berger on 02-12-2023 at 11:55 PM
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