UNION COUNTY — The Southeastern Treeing Walkers Association (SETWA) 43rd Annual Southeastern Tree Walker Days got off to a good start Friday as a large crowd filled the Union County Fairgrounds to see the Walker dogs and other canines put through their paces.
The event, which in the past has drawn as many as 15,000 people from across the country, was previously held in Salisbury, NC. In 2015, however, 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.
The event got under way Thursday night with the 11th Annual Allen Shoe Memorial Hunt, a 90-minute UKC night-time hunt for Treeing-Walkers only. Night hunts were scheduled for each night of the event with owners required to have their dogs confirmed with the proper UKC registration papers by 3 p.m. The entry fee is $30 and all owners and handlers were required to be members of the SETWA, Inc. to win the SETWA, Inc. High Scoring trophy and 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 were held Friday and a drew large number of owners/handlers and dogs in different categories. Bench shows will also be held today (Saturday).
The judge for today’s Bench Shows is Wendell Bond
Bench Show entries will be taken on the grounds. Entries close at 9 a.m. today. The winners from Friday are being brought back today to show for Overall SETWA, Inc. Show Champion. Entry Fee $20.
Dual Champion Class was scheduled for both Friday and Saturday and Pairs Class after the Saturday Show.
The event also features a large number of vendors and plenty of food. There is also 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.