Coon hunters at fairgrounds

Friday, May 30, 2008

Putnam County Fairgrounds will be the site of the 2008 English Days June 5, 6 and 7. Hosted by the Deer Creek Coonhunter's Association, the three-day event features English coon dogs that will participate in night hunts and bench shows.

With participants from all over the country, the first event will be an All-English Bench Show at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday followed by a Fellowship dinner at 5 p.m. This is open to all United English Breeders & Fanciers Association (UEB&FA) members.

United Kennel Club (UKC) sponsored Purina Points events are included in the All-Breed Bench show on Friday night as well as the show on Saturday. Night hunts on Saturday and Sunday are also Purina Points events. Friday nights hunt is a UKC sanctioned non Purina Point hunt.

"We'll have folks from Texas, California, West Virginia, Kentucky and South Carolina. People come from all over the United States. We expect between 4,000-5,000 people," claimed Keith Hutcheson one of the Deer Creek Coonhunters members.

"We could have up to 800 dogs. Most of this show is specifically for English coon dogs, but we see a lot of different breeds," added Hutcheson.

Food vendors, as well those with all types of dog supplies, will be at the fairgrounds over the weekend.

"You can buy everything from dog leashes to food. We have over 20 vendors and food will be served all day and night," said Hutcheson.

Night hunts will take place all three evenings for various groups including the 16th Annual all English Champion of Champions Hunt, 10th Annual Youth Hunt, Purina Points Night Hunt events and All-breed Bench Shows.

A UEB&FA General Membership Meeting will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 7.

Night hunts consist of about 125 dogs that go out every night in groups of four.

"Over the course of three days, about 300 dogs will hunt," said Hutcheson.

Beyond being a good time and a chance to show your animal, these shows can be lucrative for top dogs.

"A top dog can bring a stud fee between $300-$600. Multiply that amount times 52 weeks and the money can add up," claimed Hutcheson.

The English Coonhound was registered by U.K.C. in 1905, as English Fox and Coonhound. At that time the hounds were used much more for fox hunting.

According to the Web site:, in 1650, Robert Brooke brought his own pack of hounds from England. These dogs were the foundation of the "Virginia Hounds," who are the family roots of the present-day English Coonhound.

The night hunts set up for the upcoming show at the fairgrounds will concentrate on tracking and treeing raccoons.

Known for their swiftness and ability to climb trees, the raccoon has the ability to drop uninjured from 35-40 feet.

"Night hunts are only a part of the three-day event. There is plenty to see and do. Just seeing the dogs is great entertainment," said Hutcheson. "It's great for the whole family. We'll have it all from food to dog supplies to the dogs themselves."

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about the actual hunt, contact Doug Cundiff at 765-672-8403.

For any other information about the event, persons can contact Larry Steven Sheldon at 653-6155.

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