My how things have certainly changed. I have heard the old saying my whole life that it’s just not the way it is now as it was in the good ole days and that phrase remains true today, probably as much as it ever has. The economy is in terrible shape. Gas prices are $3.50 or more a gallon and people are being laid off from their jobs every day. The jobs that are still here and have not left out for China and Mexico are not paying wages that can keep up with the ever so rising cost of living. As far as the good ole days in the coon hunting world, we no longer have 6-700 individual dogs competing 4 hours per round in our World Championships like they did in the old days and it seems like there is a World, National, Breeders, Super, Classic Championship somewhere every month. Today’s competition coon hunter can attend three hunts a night, in four different registries, eight days a week, and if he can afford the gas money to get there, would be hard pressed to pay the high dollar entry fees to enter them. No it sure isn’t like it was in the old days and things certainly have changed. So let me tell you about something that hasn’t changed over time. Let me tell you about a history that is equaled by no other. Let me tell you about a hunt that created legends and due to the fact are in the pedigree of nearly every dog we hunt today. Dogs like Merchant’s Bawlie, House’s Tom Tom, Gann’s Finisher and Red Eagle Dick. How about a hunt that made men famous and created a legacy that became synonymous with names like Joe House, Pride Gann, James Merchant and John Monroe. Now let’s talk about beating 600 OTHER dogs to be crowned the Champion of the World not just the same 100 dogs being hunted four nights in a row and counted 4 times in a row, but 600 different individual hounds. Let’s talk about a hunt whose Champion brought in thousands upon thousands of dollars in stud fees and puppy sales because of what kind of dog it took to win the big one. Dogs that stood the ultimate test of hound and handler and rose to the top by consistently having coons in their tree night after night after night. You talk about all these things and you are talking about the one TRUE Grand Daddy of them all, The American Coon Hunters Association World Championship.
ACHA is a hunt that your local club can host and charge an entry fee affordable enough that anyone in today’s economy can afford to attend and the club STILL make money. We charge a one time annual fee of $50 and only $3.00 per dog to have 24 hunts per year. We have several clubs today that have only been established just a little over a year and have $1,500- $3,000 dollars in their treasury and some even more.
ACHA has a format for competition that involves only having to compete against the dogs in your cast and having to actually tree a coon to come out as the winner (must finish with plus points). No more worrying about how many points those other casts will come in with or buying a titled dog that has never actually treed a coon. ACHA is fair to everyone and partial to no one therefore making it a World Championship that the kid down the road with that COON DOG tied behind his barn can go and win and have his name listed up on the plaque right a long beside the other legends of days past and, oh by the way….you can, too. Better yet it’s an organization that you own and it’s one that we all can have fun in. When you have been up all night listening to Dale Carpenter tell you stories about ole Banjo or Earl Parker talk about Poogie getting stuck in the den tree and you have laughed so hard that your stomach hurts, you go home a renewed person ready to take on the rest of the year and, folks, that’s what it’s really all about.
My name is Roger Wilson and I am the elected president for 2012. For some of you that do not know me I live in East Tennessee with my wife Tiffany and our four children. I work as a healthcare administrator in our local healthcare system and have been on the Board of Directors for ACHA since 2009. I have coon hunted for the majority of my life starting at eleven years old in the mountains of East Tennessee/Western North Carolina.
Now to go over some news, changes and announcements for the New Year in ACHA. The 41st annual Little World Hunt will be held by the Summershade and Cumberland River Coon clubs in Branstetter Park, Kentucky on March 23 & 24, 2012. Those clubs will also hold a $500 guaranteed purse warm up hunt on Thursday night March 22. Please contact Sammy Garmon at (270) 459-0353 or Larry Hurt at (270) 308-5448 for further details. That area has a good coon population, rolling hills to flat land walking and should really be a good time. The Board of Directors would also like to announce the retirement of three of its longtime board members, Hurlan Muncie, Larry Toller and Steve Brookshier. Hurlan Muncie from Russellville, Arkansas has coon hunted since he was a little boy and started competition coon hunting around 1990. He and his wife Vonnie own and operate a poultry and cattle farm near Appleton, AR and attend the Mt. Vernon Freewill Baptist Church there. He is a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Tri County Coon Hunters Association where he served several years as Secretary/Treasurer. Larry Toller and his wife Becky live in Vanceburg, Kentucky where he worked as a Blasting Supervisor for Central Rock Construction Company for over 32 years. Larry started coon hunting at an early age with his grandpa and has been hunting in ACHA since the late 70’s. He is no stranger to winning big hunts with his Buck Creek dogs and it could even be said that the Buck Creek dogs were the ones to beat this whole past decade. Larry has had a dog place in the Top 16 every year since the year 2000 and has even had 4 dogs placed in the Top 16 at one time. He has had two dogs with 2nd place finishes in the ACHA World Championship and two dogs (Buck Creek Buck and Buck Creek Cash) winning the World Hunt and becoming Opposite Sex Champion. Buck Creek Ike (who was out of Buck) won the World Hunt in 2009 and Buck Creek Stroker placed second. Another Buck Creek dog by the name of Cash won the World Championship most recently in 2011. Larry served on the Board of Directors for ACHA since the year 2000 and his wife Becky was the photographer. Larry stated that “When I won the ACHA World Hunt with Buck, he bred a lot of females because people knew that the only way to win that hunt was by having the coons in those trees and Buck could sure do it.” Steve Brookshier and his wife Marion live in Edmonton, Kentucky. Steve retired from the kitchen cabinet and construction business and has been hunting with ACHA since 1975. Steve placed in the ACHA World Hunt 4 times in 1975, 76, 77 & 79 with his dog Brookshier’s Mr. Warren (Baldie). He placed in the Top 20 again in 1982 with a dog out of Baldie that he called Sting. He placed another dog he called Finley River Sting in the Top 20 when it was held in Arkansas. Finley River Sally placed in the World Hunt 3 times and won the Opposite Sex Championship in 2001. In 2010 his dog named Brookshier’s Finley River Hiker won the 1st ACHA Puppy Championship. In 2011, Hiker placed in the Top 16 of the World Championship. Steve stated that “ACHA is the best of the best, true test of a real coon dog coon hunt that is really fair to all and partial to none. The comraderie is the greatest and it just gets better every year.”
We would like to thank these three men for their loyal support of ACHA throughout the years and wish them the best with all of their future endeavors and look forward to seeing them at our future events.
There are a few administrative changes that will be taking place for the New Year. The annual club membership for 2012 as I mentioned earlier has increased from $25 to $50 but remains to be just a one time annual fee, so be sure to get that in with your first hunt application to get the ball rolling.
The hunt fee for each hunt is only $3 per participating dog and is due in the office by the first day of the month prior to the month you want to hold your hunts. Alan Johnson will remain as Secretary/Treasurer for 2012 and will continue to keep the ACHA office running smoothly. I will have to say I have never seen a more meticulous and organized individual in all my days. The registration office is open from 8 AM to 1 PM Monday thru Friday. Mike Heath will be our new Vice-President for 2012 and I will be taking over as President.
Other directors include Earl Parker, Sammy Garmon and Denise Geffs. We have a couple of rule changes and additions for the upcoming competition year to keep those hunts running smoothly and they are as follows:
3.B. The clause of “At any time a cast has 1 or 2 dogs, the cast must have a non-hunting judge furnished by the host club” has been added to avoid any confusion of what to do when a four or a three dog cast becomes a two or one dog cast at some point during the hunt.
5.F. The clause of “If recasting in same area, dogs must be recast with in two minutes after last tree is scored.” In the past, casts could walk any amount of time to recast as long as vehicle was not moved and they were recasting in the same area during the hunt while being leash locked. This clause should eliminate this issue.
11. Electronic Device section added. These rules deal with leaving tracking devices turned off during hunt time if carried with handler, transmitters being left in vehicle, and cell phones turned off during “Time In”. Please see our rules page on our website (www.huntacha.com) or see our 2012 score cards for complete list of rules and updates.
I would like to include all your hunt photos in our future news articles and on our website so please send pictures of casts and details of hunt to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Board of Directors and I are committed to making this year a great year of growth for ACHA and are looking forward to the New Year and host of events that will be taking place in the future. Be sure and visit our website www.huntacha.com. Here are a couple of photos sent by the Jonesborough Coon Club in Jonesborough, TN for their benefit hunt they had on October 22 for Helen Shipley.