Heavy rain in recent weeks, and some throughout competition on Friday, left standing water and challenging conditions for coonhounds and their handlers in the 2021 Grand American Coon Hunt, the 56th edition of the event hosted by the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds this past weekend.
However, the wet hunting grounds throughout most of the Palmetto State didn't stop Timber Rockin Mia, a 5-year-old Treeing Walker, from posting Top 10 finishes in both Friday and Saturday Nite Hunt competitions before taking Overall Hunt Winner honors in the Final Four cast hunt later on Saturday night.
Mia is owned by Jerry Crawford Jr and handled by Chase Stamper of Union, South Carolina.
Mia and Stamper finished 5th in the Friday Nite Hunt (with 450 points), then finished 6th in the Saturday Nite hunt (with 575 points), before taking top honors in Final Four cast scoring later on Saturday night (with 75 points).
A total of 259 dogs hunted in competition on Friday, and 226 dogs hunted in competition on Saturday.
Brentwood Joe, a 6-year-old Treeing Walker, owned by Jamie Rivers and David Sullivan, and handled by T.J. Turner of Malcolm, Alabama, finished second overall. Joe and Turner finished 7th in the Friday Nite Hunt (with 425 points), then finished 5th in the Saturday Nite Hunt (with 650 points), before finishing as runner-up in Final Four cast scoring (with 50 points).
Show Time Frankie, a 3-year-old English Coonhound from Greeneville, Tennessee, owned by Carlton Hobbs and handled by David Norton, took overall third-place honors.
Riverswamp Chance, a 3-year-old male Treeing Walker from Ridgeville, SC, took overall fourth-place honors, having finished 12th in the Friday Nite Hunt (with 300 points) and 3rd in the Saturday Nite Hunt (with 825 points).
Steady rains late Friday in most areas gave way to sunny skies throughout much of Saturday afternoon, and little if any rain throughout the state on Saturday night. That led to higher average scores for treeing coons across the board in the second night of competition.
A T&D Region dog/handler team took top honors in the Saturday Nite Hunt. Hardlucks Loudmouth Big Lee, a male American English Coonhound, and owner/handler Chris Harley of Cameron won first-place honors in the Saturday Nite Hunt.
Big Lee scored 1,025 points - the most by any cast winner during the weekend competition, winning by 50 points over second-place finisher Rozier Peaches from Myrtle Beach, owned by Ronald Rozier. Big Lee and Harley were unable to hunt on Friday night, but made their presence known on the leaderboard after Saturday night's competition.
At least 10 of the Saturday Nite Hunt Top 20 scorers call South Carolina home.
Big Time Joe, a male Treeing Walker owned by Larry Cann of Bamberg, took 13th-place honors on Saturday with 400 points.
GRAND AMERICAN HISTORY
Hunter Seymore, an 11-year-old handler, made Grand American Coon Hunt history this past weekend, becoming the youngest hunter to enter the 2021 event and then becoming the youngest hunter in the event's 56-year history to have double cast wins and earn a Top 20 finish.
Seymore did so with Cash's Wipeout Roy, scoring 175+ in the Friday Nite Hunt, before placing 7th in the Saturday Nite Hunt with a 450+ score.