ACHA Hunt Rules
OFFICIAL WILD COON HUNT RULES OF (ACHA)
AMERICAN COON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION, INC.

1. JUDGES:

A. All judges are selected by the sponsor club or Master of Hounds. It is the judge's responsibility to keep handlers informed as to scoring of all dogs in the cast.

B. The ACHA WORLD HUNT will have non-hunting judges for the Top 20, Semi-finals and all Finals casts.

C. When dogs are turned loose, the judge is to walk slowly in the direction they wish to hunt. After first dog opens the judge shall not walk other dog(s) in so they will strike nor stay so far from dog(s) that excessive hunting time will be lost.

D. The judge is to go into the tree first and see that all dog(s) that have been declared treed are treeing and then instruct handlers to handle their dog(s).

E. When scoring a tree, the judge is to let handlers search the tree with lights only for the first 5 minutes (unless all dogs are handled) last 3 minutes squalling is allowed. Refer to 10-N.

F. Record strike points as dogs are called after first dog is called treed in case dog(s) tree on separate trees. Judges will draw line under strike points for dog's that are struck in after a dog is called treed in case dog is treed on separate tree. If dog(s) that strike after a dog has been treed,tree on the same tree before 5 minutes expire, delete underlined strike points. Refer to 8-C.

2. HANDLERS:

A. Any owner or handler that enters a dog(s) in any ACHA or WCCHR event should know and abide by these rules.

B. No handler shall go to a tree ahead of the judge without the judge's permission.

C. A handler may inspect the scorecard at any time, provided the judge is not in the process of scoring a dog(s).

D. The owner or handler must accompany their entry on the cast and call their dog only.

E. The owner of a dog entered in a hunt is responsible for the conduct of their handler.

F. If a handler has to leave the cast for any reason, they must scratch their dog and pick it up.

G. All lights must be used for walking only except when instructed otherwise by the judge.

H. Judge will instruct handler(s) to cast and catch dog(s) at all times.

3. GENERAL RULES:

A. All casts will be drawn by the "Ball System" or equivalent, in public except when hunting judges or guides are used. Anyone entering more than 1 dog and shows proof of ownership may have the dogs split into separate casts, if possible. If the 2 dogs are drawn in the same cast the second dog drawn will be placed in the next cast.

B. No more than 4 dog per cast. When and only when there is not enough for full cast, 3, 2 and 1 dog casts are acceptable. At any time a cast has 1 or 2 dogs, the cast must have a non-hunting judge furnished by the host club.

C. No dog or cast will be eligible for points in any hunt governed by ACHA unless they hunt the entire designated time.

D. To qualify for tree points the dog must show the judge which tree it has been declared treed on. When a dog is treed other than a tree it must show where it’s treed. A handler cannot go out and bring their dog into a tree.

E. Dog(s) declared treed must be scored accordingly regardless of whether barking in ground or otherwise,it has shown you where the game is. Other dog(s) shall be scored on strike only.

F. If dogs strike and tree different coon, judge must count them all as one set of strike points. If dogs tree on different trees they each deserve their own tree points.

G. If a dog trees and handler will not call it treed, judge is to ask handler if the dog is treed. If handler refuses to tree the dog, judge will put 5 minutes on the stationary dog before they go to the tree. If the dog is treed and a coon is seen or could be there, circle all points. If slick tree or off game minus all points.

H. No non-prescribed drugs, alcohol, or firearms allowed in any ACHA event.

I. ACHA has the right to refuse any entry/membership.

J. ACHA is not responsible for any accidents, thefts or loss.

K. ACHA retains the right to make all final decisions.

L. In case wher dog(s) return to a tree that has been scored, first offense draw a line through points. Second offense, same tree refer to 10-L.

4. TIME RULES:

A. One Minute Rule: When dog(s) are cast, 1 minute will be allowed before the dog(s) must be declared struck. After 1 minute dog(s) must be struck on or before the third bark. Dog(s) struck and determined to be babbling will be minused their strike points.

B. Two Minute Rule: One of the dogs declared treed must bark at least once every 2 minutes. Judge's decision.

C. Five Minute Rule: When dog(s) are declared treed, judge is not to arrive at the tree or allow handlers to go to a tree until 5 minutes has expired, unless all dogs are declared treed or the hunt ends. Cast will proceed toward the tree after first dog is called treed, if it will take more than 5 minutes to get there, stopping at intervals so other handlers can see if their dog is treeing.

D. 8 Minute Rule: A strike shall be considered finished and all strike points minused if no dog in cast barks for an interval of 8 minutes.

E. 8 minutes is the maximum time a judge is to allow for searching a tree. Timeout cannot be called to search a tree or lead dogs away for recasting. No point changes allowed after leaving the tree except for in case of Rule 13.

F. A dog hunting alone must hold its tree for 5 minutes.

G. Judge may advise the handlers of any time remaining on track, tree or end of the hunt except for World Hunt, Top 20 and Finals Casts.

5 TIMEOUT RULES:

A. Timeout can only be called by a non-hunting judge or majority of the cast when hunting judges are used.

B. When dog(s) are getting near a highway, trail on posted land, 2 unhandled casts get together, near livestock or there is danger to cast members or dog(s).

C. Cast gets lost or in case of sickness or an accident.

D. If dog(s) have been declared treed in different places, the judge after 5 minutes on each tree, is to give handlers permission to handle their dog. Judge is to go with handler that declared treed first. After scoring that tree, if all other dogs are treed, judge is to call timeout. When judge gets to other tree time is back in. At any time if dog(s) are trailing then judge is to have handlers release their dog(s) and start hunt time.Dog(s) turned loose to go back in on trail get 25 strike points and tree points as they are called. Judge must instruct handlers to cast their dog if dog holding strike is opening. If no dog in cast is opening after 8 minutes has elapsed strike is open.

E. Cast cannot separate to follow trailing dogs, unless judge calls timeout.

F. No timeout to recast unless dog(s) are loaded and vehicle moved.If recasting in same area dogs must be recast with-in two minutes after last tree is scored.

G. No more than 1 hour may be used to find lost dog(s) and have them ready to recast. Tracking unit may be used during timeout. Unit may be carried with hunter but if used during hunting time handler will be scratched.

H. In case of death on a cast, the score of the cast stands at time of death and will be considered a completed cast.

6 POINT SYSTEM:

A. 100 points for first strike, 75 second, 50 third and 25 fourth. 100 points for first tree, 75 second, 50 third and 25 fourth. All dogs treed after 2 minutes will receive 25 points only if treed on same tree.

B. Should 2 or more dogs be declared struck or treed at the same time, then the combined points should be divided between the dogs. Should dogs get out of hearing and when cast gets in hearing of any dogs treeing, the judge should give all hunters a chance to see if their dog is treeing and all that are declared treed will have their tree points divided. Any other dog(s) that are not declared treed at this time may be called treed any time before the 5 minutes are up. They will be scored in order they are called.

C. No dog advances on tree, unless found on separate tree.

D. Non-working dog. If dog(s) are not working as part of cast and is holding first strike, second etc., all strike points will be open to other dog(s) after the second coon is seen on the second set of strike points or 1 hour of hunt time has expired.

7 POINTS WILL BE PLUS:

A. When majority of cast or non-hunting judge see a live raccoon.

B. When dog(s) strike and tree and a live raccoon is seen, both strike and tree points will be plus. Only 1 coon per tree can be counted.

C. When coon is caught on the ground and seen, strike points only will be plus. Draw a line through any tree points. These tree points are not to be used to break a tie. When in the opinion of the judge the coon is caught on the ground cast may go to the dog(s).

D. When hunters and judge are at the tree and a coon jumps out and is seen by the judge, points will be plus. If dog(s) get after this coon timeout should be called. You cannot score on this coon again.

8 POINTS WILL BE MINUS:

A. When dog(s) tree and judge can plainly see no coon is there, both strike and tree points will be nimused.

B. When dog(s) is declared treed and leaves the tree. If it goes on trailing then only their tree points will be minused. If it quits altogether or is running off game it's strike points will also be minused.

C. When a dog has been declared struck and comes into a tree 5 minutes after the first dog trees and a coon is seen. If no coon is seen then it's strike points will be circled.

D. When a dog comes out from a track that is being worked. When dog quits track being worked it is not to be leashed but allowed to go back if it wants to and is eligible for 25 strike points. Each time it comes out it is to be minused. Dog(s) do not have to quit any length of time. Judge's decision.

E. For first offense of accidently striking or treeing another handler's dog.Refer to 10-C.

F. Any dog seen running or treeing any game other than coon by the judge will be minused.

9. POINTS WILL BE CIRCLED:

A. When dog(s) strike and tree up a tree, hole in the ground or any place of refuge where there could be a coon yet judge does not see the coon.

B.When dog(s) are still trailing and hunt time expires.

C.When time out is called.

D. In case of running coon in a hole or place of refuge, track may be considered finished if dog(s) by action either barking or otherwise show judge coon could be there.

10. DOGS WILL BE SCRATCHED:

A. If a dog has a total of 400 minus in one round.

B. Fighting or attempting to fight. Interfering with other dogs by fussing and following them. Judge is to see which dog is causing trouble. If unsure, judge is to get close enough to investigate. If a handler refuses to help, their dog is to be scratched.

C. If a handler insists on calling another handlers dog. Judge's decision.

D. Any handler who refuses to claim their dog.

E. For running stock or poultry. Only one offense.

F. Any female smelling strong enough to attract males or any male bad to bother females or other dog(s).

G. If a handler scolds, whips or encourages their dog at any time.

H. No fighting dog will be accepted for entry. Any dog that has been scratched for fighting twice in a 12 month period in any ACHA event will be barred for one year. After the year suspension, if the dog is scratched for fighting ever again in an ACHA event , the dog will be barred for life and the owner could be called to a hearing before the Board of Directors.

I. For any unreasonable misconduct by any owner, handler or spectator. Any owner, handler or spectator threatening harm to anyone involved in an ACHA event may be barred for life.

J. If anyone climbs a tree or attempts to take a coon.

K. Any handler who handles their dog without the judge's permission.

L. Any dog that goes back to the same tree 2 times that has been scored on will be scratched on second offense.

M. Any dog that fails to hunt for any 15 continuous minutes.

N. No squalling allowed in the first 5 minutes of shining a tree unless all dogs are treed or handled.

O. Not claiming your dog on or before the third bark. (After 1 minute rule.)

11. ELECTRONIC DEVICES:

A. E. Collars - Transmitters must be left in vehicle.

B. Tracking Units must be turned off during hunting time if carried, judge may check trackers at any time during time in.

C.Cell phones must be turned off during time in.

12. CASE OF TIE:

TIE BREAKERS = LEAST MINUS, MOST PLUS TREE POINTS, MOST PLUS STRIKE POINTS, MOST PLUS FIRST TREE POINTS, MOST PLUS FIRST STRIKE POINTS, MOST CIRCLE TREE POINTS, MOST CIRCLE STRIKE POINTS ..... go to lottery if time does not permit going back to woods.

SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME RULES = IF NO PLUS POINTS ARE EARNED DURING REGULATION TIME OF THE FINAL CAST, DOGS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN SCRATCHED WILL GO INTO SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME. ONE HOUR OF HUNTING TIME WILL BE ADDED AND SCORES FROM REGULATION WILL CARRY FORWARD. THE DOG WITH THE MOST PLUS POINTS AT THE END OF THE EXTRA HOUR WILL BE THE CHAMPION. SCRATCHED DOGS WILL BE RANKED FROM THE BOTTOM UP ACCORDING TO THE ORDER THAT THEY ARE SCRATCHED. IF NO DOGS HAVE PLUS POINTS AT THE END OF SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME, THEN DOGS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN SCRATCHED WILL FINISH AS THEY CAME INTO FINAL CAST.

13. COMPLAINTS:

Handler must first lodge complaint with judge in the woods when the complaint comes up. Place question on card and continue hunting, unless it is a scratchable offense. Scratchable offenses must be returned to MOH as soon as timeout can be legally called. Any questions must be addressed within 30 minutes of returning scorecard.

14. MASTER OF HOUNDS and HUNT DIRECTORS:

A Master Of Hounds may not have a dog, registered in their name (full or joint ownership), and entered in the event. A Hunt Director may be the owner of a dog entered in the event. The dog must be hunted by the handler because the HD must remain at the club.