AKC Southern Heritage Coon Hunt is all about the hounds - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

AKC Southern Heritage Coon Hunt is all about the hounds

Some of the country's best coon hunting dogs are out in the woods of South Georgia as the American Kennel Club's Southern Heritage Coon Hunt kicks off.

For the next few days it's all about the hounds.

"Everyone likes their different types of hound," says field representative Jimmy Phillips.

Hunters are in town from all over, including North Carolina, Mississippi, and Texas to see who has the best dog.

While hunters compete for trophies and other prizes, it's more about bragging rights.

"It's how your dog performs. It's a big thing for a coon hound. Your very proud of the dog who works good for you," says Phillips.

But Coon hunting isn't the only way dogs can show off their skills.

On Saturday, the public can come and watch the bench competition.

It's a tedious process, and takes a lot of work, but showing dogs is a fun sport, and another way for owners to bond with man's best friend.

"First and foremost its for the love of the dog. I love any kind of dog," says show chairman Christina Officer.

Christina Officer is the show chairman, and knows first hand the work it takes.

She shows and trains dogs, and says judges look at several things.

"In the back they should be stretched at a length that's from the point of the shoulder to the back, to the hips. They should be stretched as long as they are, maybe just a little longer," says Officer.

The Exchange Club will use proceeds from the event to help area charities.

"We take a lot of the monies that we earn out here and give back to the community, and especially in child abuse prevention. To Open Arms, the Liberty House, and things of that nature," says Skip Nichols, Vice President of the Exchange Club Fair Association.

The bench show will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Raccoons aren't killed in these hunts. Dogs are judged on how many they tree. Hunting will wrap up early Sunday.

Copyright 2015 WALB.  All rights reserved.
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