January 2, 2015  |  By  | 

C2— FRIday, JaNUaRy 2, 2015 The TImes aNd demoCRaT | www.TheTaNdd.Com u u gRaNd ameRICaN Special festivities for 50 years of coon hunt By GENE ZALESKI T&D Staff Writer The Grand American Coon Hunt celebrates 50 years in Orangeburg this weekend. The United Kennel Club’s Grand American is scheduled for Jan. 1-3 at the fairgrounds on Magnolia Street. The Grand American, presented by Amer- ican Cooner Magazine under the guidelines of the UKC, is the ocial kicko to the UKC coonhound events calendar. In observance of the milestone year, event organizers are planning to make the festivities even grander. “We began making plans for this event three years ago,” Grand American President David McKee said. “We have put in so many hours that I would be scared to guess how much prep- aration has gone into it already.” Each Grand American board member has been assigned a specic part of the event. “From the smallest details, we hope we haven’t forgotten anything,” McKee said. “The most exciting part for me is to get to be a part of this monumental event. A lot of groups have tried to start major events throughout the years and very few stand the test of time.” McKee said it is believed the Grand American is “the second oldest major event out there.” “Autumn Oaks in Indiana just celebrated their 50th anniversary a few years back,” he said. “When the original group started the Grand American, I doubt they were thinking about where it would be in 50 years, but we are nally here. It is up to us to make this a memo- rable event for each and every one who comes to Orangeburg to participate.” The national event features hound and han- dler teams performing in a variety of events such as Nite Hunts and a Bench Show. The accumulation of points during each hunt involves the ability of the coon hounds to strike, track and tree the raccoon. No raccoons are killed during the competi- tion. They are chased and treed. A number of vendors are scheduled to be on hand, oering everything from dog supplies to hunting boots and apparel. Live gospel music is featured Thursday afternoon. The celebratory year began with the annual appreciation supper on Thursday. The supper, sponsored by the Orangeburg County Cham- ber of Commerce and the Orangeburg County Grand American Association, is an annual event to say “thank you” to those who have contrib- uted to Grand American’s success. Vendors and local dignitaries typically attend the supper. This year, past hunt winners were invited back to Orangeburg to help celebrate the hunt’s ve decades. Grand American opening ceremonies will be held Friday morning. There are some special festivities planned for the actual hunts as well, McKee said. This year the top 20 handlers each night will receive a Dan’s custom-embroidered 50th an- niversary jacket as well as a cast winner trophy. The Overall Champion will receive a custom- ized Henry Repeating Arms 22 rie donated by Southern Thunder Houndsmen Supply. The rie will have a Grand American 50th anniver- sary logo engraved into it as well. The high-scoring dog of each breed will re- ceive a custom-embroidered jacket from GT’s Hunting Supply. The Overall Show winner will receive a cus- tom embroidered Dan’s jacket as well. The awards are in addition to the other awards that the winners typically receive, which total around $10,000, McKee said. A number of sponsors have made the event possible, including Nite-Time Hunting Sup- plies, Valley Creek Hunting Supply Mill Creek Custom Deluxe Dog Boxes, Clinch Mountain Outtters and the Dog Food Center, to name a few. Established in 1898, the United Kennel Club is touted as the largest all-breed performance- dog registry in the world, registering dogs from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries. More than 60 percent of its 15,500 annually licensed events are tests of hunting ability, training and instinct. “From the smallest details, we hope we haven’t forgotten anything.” GrANd AmErIcAN PrESIdENt dAvId mcKEE The Grand American Coon Hunt estivities got underway Thursday at the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds. Here is a schedule o events or Fri- day, Saturday and Sunday. Friday, Jan. 2 n 7 a.m. Gates Open n 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Barns Open n 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Bench Show entries taken or registered, dual cham- pion and pairs in the Bates Building. A UKC Easy Entr Card or registration certif- cate are needed. n 10 a.m. opening cere- monies in the Bates Build- ing and Bench show begins n 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Changes or corrections on advanced entry or either Friday or Saturday night, in the headquarters building corner ofce. n Noon Confrm all ad- vanced entries or Friday nite hunt, in the headquar- ters building corner ofce. UKC Easy EntryCard or registration certifcate re- quired to enter. n 1 p.m. Treeing Contest - $5 n 2 p.m. Deadline to confrm all entries. n 3:30 p.m. Prayer/ drawing out o casts at the headquarters building. Handlers must report to stake Saturday, Jan. 3 n 3 a.m. Friday Night scorecards must be re- turned to the headquarters building corner ofce. n 7 a.m. Gates Open n 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Barns Open n 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Bench Show entries taken or champion, grand cham- pion and overall grand american winner in the Bates Building. A UKC Easy Entry Card or registration certifcate are needed. n 9 a.m. Presentation o trophies / Friday night’s winner’s photos to be taken. n 10 a.m. Entries close or bench show. Bench show will start immediately ater 10 a.m. n 10 a.m. Kid’s Bench Show will be held beore the licensed bench show begins n 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Changes or corrections on advanced entry or Satur- day night, in the headquar- ters building corner ofce. n Noon Confrm all ad- vanced entries or Saturday nite hunt in the headquar- ters building corner ofce. UKC Easy Entry Card or registration certifcate re- quired to enter. n 1 p.m. Treeing Contest - $5 n 2 p.m. Deadline to confrm all entries n 3:30 p.m. Prayer/ drawing out o casts at the headquarters building. Handlers must report to Stake Sunday, Jan. 4 n 3 a.m. Saturday night scorecards must be re- turned to the headquarters building corner ofce. n 3 a.m. (ater scores and placements have been tabulated) Presentation o trophies/Saturday night’s winners’ photos to be taken. Schedule oF eventS n 1966 House’s Chief Joe House - Clinton, Kentucky n 1967 Reo Rover Robert Graves - Hilton Head n 1968 Peltman’s Speck Riley Peltman - Adriad, Michigan n 1969 Miller’s Rock Lavern Miller – Spencerville, Indiana n 1970 Polly Billy Bryant – Jonesville, NC n 1971 Mathis’ Carolina Casey JC Mathis – Denmark n 1972 Elk River Sailor William Massey & Robert Whiver – Clay, West Virginia n 1973 Lucy Jimmy Braswell – Lancaster, Tennessee n 1974 Diamond Jim Ray Johnson – Elyria, Ohio n 1975 Wolf’s Tace Picking Bill Billy Wolfe – Rockville, Maryland n 1976 Black Gal Charles Robinson – Cookeville, Tennessee n 1977 Hammer V Dave Dean – Dowling, Michigan n 1978 Hammer VI Dave Dean – Dowling, Michigan n 1979 Lady Roy Braddock – Younges Island n 1980 Gadd’s Briarland Lonzo Gadd – Independence, Virginia n 1981 Harley’s Carolina Chip Jay Harley – Orangeburg n 1982 Eileen Wayne Green & Russ Bellar Peru, Indiana n 1983 Sweet Suzie Jill Ray Coleman – Latta n 1984 Hardtime Gun Ed Bates & Ashley McDonald – New Vienna, Ohio n 1985 Man Michael Thomas - Yemassee n 1986 Deamon Russ Bellar – Peru, Indiana n 1987 Lucky Roy Braddock - Ravenel n 1988 Lucky Roy Braddock – Ravenel n 1989 Judy Tommy Lane – Mt. holly, NC n 1990 Honey II David Pridgen & Jamie Stone – Shal- lote, NC n 1991 Snier Donald James- Brooklet, Georgia n 1992 Joker Roy Braddock – Ravenel n 1993 Hardwood Mandy Roy Braddock – Ravenel n 1994 Sue Wayne Knowleton – Turbeville, SC n 1995 Tidewater Bucky Jr. James Powers – Middleton, Delaware n 1996 Wolf Creek Buster Chad & Todd Beard – Orangeburg n 1997 Swift Creek Bess Ed Aughtman, Tim Cramer – Beaufort n 1998 Ann Michael Thomas – Estill n 1999 Sassy Roy Braddock, Ravenel n 2000 Three Run Storm Craig Lewis – Bolivia, NC n 2001 Buckhorn Mtn Savage James Atwell n 2002 Hardwood Lightning Greg Covington – Norway n 2003 Yadkin River Chub Ernie West, Union n 2004 Super Swamped Turbo Smith George Smith – Cope n 2005 Bear Swamp Max Terry Ward- Nakina, NC n 2006 Hudson’s Queenie Robert Hudson – Carrolton, Ohio n 2007 Texas style Zippo Elliott Shuler and Mark San- difer – Mt. Rest n 2008 Willowswamps Stylish Iron Man Chip Smith and Ricky Brown Norway n 2009 Bear Swamp Stylish Amtrack Tommy Bass – n 2010 Bellars Get Ahead Lil Red Russ Bellar – Peru. Indiana n 2011 Howy Bottoms Screaming Bird Garrett Shearin or Josh Grin - Indian Trail, NC n 2012 Big River Dan Mark and Clayton Looney – Piney Flats, Tennessee n 2013 Handsome Mo Randy Moore – Fresno, Ohio n 2014 Fogles Southern Belle Adam Mattson – Aiken Grand american winnerS The 2014 nal four: Southern Belle becomes a champion By PAUL FrEdErIcK UKC Staff The Grand American Champion is deter- mined by a one-hour late round on Satur- day night made up of high-scoring double cast winners from the hunt. After the scores were tabulated in 2014, we had two treeing Walkers, a bluetick and an English coonhound ready for their chance to be the 2014 Grand American Champion. After assembling the cast, the judges were introduced by David McKee, the Grand American president. From Virginia was James Atwell, who is well-known in coonhound circles and a previous Grand American champion, serv- ing as the primary judge. From South Caro- lina came the assistant judges, Josh Livings- ton and Hunter Enlow. Grand American Committee member Riley Godwin loaded the judges and me in his truck and led the cast to meet with our guide, Don Nettles of North. After a few good stories in the ocials’ vehicle (and some nervous moments in the participants’ vehicles, I’m sure), we arrived at the gas sta- tion in North where Nettles was waiting for us. From here we had less than ve miles to go to get to some pristine South Carolina coon hunting, and the traditional location of the nal cast. A short word from Atwell and Nettles in the woods and the cast was ready to go. At 4:20 a.m., the four hounds were cast into the dark hoping for the cooperation of Mother Nature and raccoons alike. A few tense moments followed, wondering what was going to transpire. The silence was short-lived, however, as Tucker was struck in rst before the min- ute was up. Soon he was followed by Belle, the English female, and Spike, the bluetick male. The three were relatively close to- gether, but it soon became apparent that Belle was turning slightly left-handed from the cast and Tucker and Spike were going more right-handed. As the cast eased in to- ward the dogs, Hangman was struck for 25 and much more right-handed than any of the others. The rst track wouldn’t last long though as Tucker was treed just a couple hundred yards in front of the cast. After about two minutes had elapsed, Spike was treed with Tucker. It was fairly obvious that Belle and Hangman were working on their own tracks and were not interested in backing the others. Once the ve was up, the cast proceeded to Tucker and Spike’s tree. Spike was found standing on the tree but Tucker was approx- imately 20 yards to the left with his nose on the ground and opening on track and was minused by Judge Atwell. As soon as the cast started shining Spike’s tree, Tucker located right where his nose had been on the ground and was declared treed. The cast could see Tucker treed, but had to wait his ve before he could be handled. While waiting the ve for Tucker’s tree, the cast continued to shine Spike’s tree. Al- though it was a tall tree, it was completely bare of leaves and right on the edge of a small slew, making it easy to shine. After giving ample time to check every branch, Judges Atwell and Livingston determined to minus Spike. Around this time, Hangman was de- clared treed back in the direction we had just walked from. After waiting the ve, Judge Enlow was sent with Hangman’s handler to handle the dog and come back to the location of Spike and Tucker’s tree. When shine time was started on Tucker’s tree, a large hole was found in the bottom on the slew side. Handler Nick Brady tried to get down to look in the hole, but to no avail. The cast searched the rest of the tree but it was note as easy to shine as Spike’s tree. Be- cause of the place of refuge in the bottom of the tree, Tucker was circled. Belle was also treed as soon as Judge Enlow returned to the cast by herself much deeper and away from the trucks. Enlow and Belle’s handler were sent to tie her while the rest of the cast proceeded to Hangman’s tree. Spike and Tucker were now leashed- locked. After the short walk to Hangman, Judge Atwell started the shine time. Again, it was a tall tree but fairly out in the open. The cast shined for seven minutes and then began squalling to see if anything would look. Unfortunately, their eorts were in vain and Hangman was minused after the shine time was up. As the cast made their way to Belle’s tree, it became evident that the hunt would likely run out while shining her tree. With every other dog drawing minus, Belle would be the winner if the coon was seen or a place of refuge was found. When the cast arrived at Belle’s tree, we found a huge tree bare of any leaves. There was, however, a very large limb that con- nected to a very good-sized pine tree that would prove impossible to shine eectively. Although the entire cast and all judges spent the entire shine time trying to nd a coon, none was located. The hunt time ran out right as the 10-minute shine time was over, making this cast over. Due to the pine tree, and a hole in Belle’s tree, the tree was circled and we now had a Grand American champion. Although no coon was seen on this cast, all dogs hunted in the way they should. They took their tracks and came to them, and worked them with a fair amount of speed. At the end of the hunt the cast was exactly 630 yards from the truck. Congratulations go to owner/handler Adam Mattson and the 2014 Grand Amer- ican Champion, NITE CH “PR” Fogles Southern Belle. rememberinG the hunt’S 25th year

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