Coon Hunting Competition Hunts

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Once you’ve dipped your feet in the sport of coon hunting, you may be looking for more ways to showcase your dog. Many hunters turn to competition hunts. Competitions allow hunters to showcase their dogs by competing against other dogs in a regulated format.

The two most popular types of hunts are endorsed by the Professional Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. The Professional Kennel Club offers a more competitive style of hunt while the United Kennel Club offers a more laid back, friendly hunt.

Professional Kennel Club

The Professional Kennel Club (PKC) is the self-proclaimed largest organization that offers competitive hunts and coonhound registration. They also offer rabbit and squirrel hunting competitions. The P.K.C. hunts are often referred to as ‘money hunts’. The winners of each competition are awarded money instead of points or trophies.

You must be a member of the Professional Kennel Club in order to participate in the competitions. Membership fees range from $10-$25 per calendar year in addition to the competition fees. Members will also receive a subscription to Prohound magazine.

Entry fees must be paid for each event in addition to the membership fees. You can find PKC events near you by visiting their website at On the event schedule, you will find contact information, locations, dates, and entry fees.

Your dog must also be PKC registered in order to hunt. PKC allows you to register any dog, as long as it has coonhound characteristics. It is not required that you know the parentage.

United Kennel Club

The United Kennel Club (UKC) is thought to be one of the oldest and most well-known dog registries. It was established in 1898 and registers dogs from all 50 states and 25 additional countries.

The UKC has a strong emphasis on family friendly, educational events. In addition to the competition hunts, they also offer programs such as obedience trials, agility trials, dock jumping, drag races, and bench shows. Instead of cash prices, the UKC awards points. Points accumulate to boost your dog’s class, or title.

The UKC also differs in that emphasis is placed directly on owner handlers. Professional handlers are ineligible to compete with dogs they do not own directly. Full emphasis is placed on the dog’s ability, not showmanship.

All dogs participating in UKC events must be UKC registered. The UKC does not currently support single registration, so parentage must be documented.

You can find register and learn more about local events here:

What to Expect at a Competition Hunt

After you’ve researched each kennel club and verified that your dog is eligible, you are ready to start competing.

You will complete your registration and check in upon arrival. After you have registered, you will be divided into casts. Each cast is a group made up of four or five hunters and their dogs. They will then travel with a guide to the hunting grounds.

The members of each cast are lined up and the dogs are released at the same time. The cast members will listen closely for their dogs. Because no two dogs sound alike, it’s easy for the owner to recognize his dog’s bark. Once the owner hears his dog pick up the scent, he must yell ‘Strike’. The judges will award points to the first dog that strikes.

They will then wait for the dogs to tree the coon. Each dog will have a different bark when they tree as when they strike, but the owner will easily recognize it. The owner and the judges will then go to find the coon. They will receive points if they can find it in the tree with their lights, but will lose points or face a possible scratch if the raccoon cannot be located. No raccoons are killed during a competition hunt.

Once the hunt is completed, the scorecard must be turned into the judges before the deadline. If you miss the deadline, you will be disqualified. The scorecards are then tallied and points and prizes are awarded.

Competition hunts provide an outlet for owners of all ages and levels to showcase their dogs. Choose the style of event that best fits your goals and the abilities of your dog.