UNION COUNTY — For the time in its history an event that tests the hunting abilities of the participating dogs and draws an average of 15,000 visitors from across the country will be held in Union this week.
The Southeastern Treeing Walkers Association (SETWA) is bringing the 43rd Annual Southeastern Tree Walker Days to the Union County Fairgrounds Friday and Saturday.
The event was previously held in Salisbury, NC, but in 2015 it was announced that the Union County Tourism Commission together with the Union County Coon Hunters Association had succeeded in getting the Association to bring it to Union. In July, a delegation from the Association signed an agreement to bring the event to Union County each year for the next five years beginning this year.
According to the UKC (United Kennel Club) website, this year’s event will include the 11th Annual Allen Shoe Memorial Hunt, a 90-minute UKC night time hunt for treeing-walkers only. The hunt will be held Thursday night.
The website states that the following events will also be held:
NITE HUNTS: Two-hour hunts each night. Dogs must be confirmed with proper UKC registration papers by 3 p.m. each day. Entry fee: $30. All owners and handlers must be a member of the SETWA, Inc. to win the SETWA, Inc. High Scoring trophy and will be crowned the 2016 SETWA, Inc. Nite Hunt Champion.
The SETWA, Inc. Champion must be a Walker dog. Hunting judges will be used on all casts. Anyone entering within a radius of 100 miles will be considered a “guide,” if needed. Refusal to do so will forfeit the entry.
Bench Shows will be held on Friday and Saturday.
Friday Judge: Lyndell Price
Saturday Judge: Wendell Bond
Bench Show entries will be taken on the grounds. Entries close at 12 noon Friday & 9 a.m. Saturday. The winners from Friday will be brought back Saturday to show for Overall SETWA, Inc. Show Champion. Entry Fee $20.
Dual Champion Class both days and Pairs Class after the Saturday Show.
The event will also feature a large number of vendors and plenty of food. There will also be a trade lot for people to trade hunting accessories. The set up a table costs $30.
Entry at the gate is $2 per person. Children under 12 get in for free.
Stephen Stone of the Union County Coon Hunters Association said that the group is excited to bring the event to Union County and is encouraging everyone to come out and attend and “show our true Union hospitality to our visitors.”