HTDA Supports NPHA Big Game Nationals

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The National Plott Hound Association, a UKC chartered breed association is facing major adversity in the State of South Carolina. The South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster has issued an order to stop the NPHA Big Game Nationals April 20-21 in Spartanburg, SC. The AG’s office issued the order quoting animal cruelty laws and further stating that holding any big game events would result in the arrest of all participants and forfeiture of equipment and dogs. 

The HTDA has issued the following letter expressing our concern for the future of all hound events / tree dog events. 

Dear Mr. Mc Master, 

My name is Chris Powell, President of the Hoosier Tree Dog Alliance Inc., of Indiana. It has been brought to my attention recently that your offices has issued an order to stop the upcoming Big Game Nationals being sponsored by the United Kennel Club and the National Plott Hound Association. 

It concerns me as president of the HTDA that this has happened. I feel the precedence your office is setting will have ramifications throughout the U.S. for all people who enjoy hound sports. Hound hunting and breeding is an American Heritage. 

The sport of hunting with hounds is bigger than what it appears to be. This event, the NPHA Big Game Nationals, is a family event. In a day where we are seeing the demise of the American Family, events like these bring families together. A quick trip around the grounds you will see families preparing dogs for shows and events together. They have spent a good portion of their time to breed, raise and train a dog to be a competitor. It is a family affair to bring the product of their work to these events and it gives them a strong sense of unity to be able to showcase their efforts. 

This event also has a fiscal impact on the local area of Spartanburg, SC. Hotels will be full, restaurants will be packed, and local vendors will benefit from the tourism generated by this event. 

This event is fairly new for the NPHA and the United Kennel Club. It is still in its infancy. It is only one of two nationally held Big Game events. It has so much potential to have a positive impact on the community in which it is held. For example, the United Kennel Club hosts an event called Autumn Oaks. Autumn Oaks is conducted at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond, IN. This is a very old and well established event. Every year the event brings in nearly six million dollars to the community over Labor Day weekend. The big Game Nationals being one of only two national big game events has the potential to grow to a level of a high fiscal impact event for the city of Spartanburg and surrounding communities. 

Furthermore, your recent ruling on this event will also effect the American Plott Assoc. Big Game events. This is the other national event held in your state. This event is a benefit for the APA and the local Shriners Organization. By disallowing the NPHA event you will now be taking money out of the economy for two cities; Hickory Grove and Spartanburg plus reducing the amount money being raised to benefit the Shriners in Hickory Grove. 

Sir, this event is not the typical "hog dog rodeo". I know there may be some confusion on this. The NPHA and the APA have strict rules that disqualify dogs that catch and hold animals in an enclosure. The very thought of dogs being "sic-ed" on a caged animal for the destruction of the animal detests me and the participants of these events. Hunters support wildlife and the propagation of wildlife species. We have the utmost respect for the game we pursue. We spend billions of dollars annually to support game agencies to ensure there is abundant wildlife for hunting and for the aesthetic viewing pleasure of non-hunters as well. 

As a hunter, breeder and a father of a hunting family and President of the Hoosier Tree Dog Alliance, I ask you to reconsider your position. I ask that you look outside the box on this issue and consider the ramifications your ruling could have on the American Heritage of hunting. 

Sincerely, 

Chris Powell 
President Hoosier Tree Dog Alliance 
www.hoosiertreedogs.org 

To express your concerns you can contact the South Carolina Attorney Generals Office by the following means. 

S.Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster 
PO Box 11549 
Columbia, S.C. 29211 
Fax ~ 803-734-4323 
Fax ~ 803-253-4121 
Phone ~ 803-734-3970 
e-mail ~ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.