Hello fellow Bluetickers.  National Bluetick Days is now just another great memory.  A huge congratulation to all of the winners!  What a nice event it was and filled with multiple events.  There was a water race and filed trial both Friday and Saturday to keep the days filled with activity.  Both the bench shows were huge with around 40 dogs each day.  Thursday’s hunts seen over 60 dogs go to the woods.  There were over 100 dogs on Friday night and over 80 dogs Saturday night.  We had a total of 326 total entries over Friday and Saturday alone.

Special thanks to George Guthrie and Ken Herman for putting a fine event together.  The weather got a little wet one day but it didn’t hamper the coon treeing.  Zone 4 officers showed up and did more than their fair share getting memberships and entries.  Thanks Matt Turner, Bart Nelson and Damon Shivers for giving your time and for all that you and other zone 4 members did to make this a success!  Bart Nelson and Brett Nelson especially thanks for taking care of my dog while I was busy inside. 

I had the pleasure of hunting with some fine young men Friday night.  Although I continually played minds games with them it was an honor to hunt with them.  One of them went on to win the Queen of the hunt and another went on to win the high scoring BBOA Fred Lingo Youth award and also won first place nite champions Saturday night!  Keep up the good attitude boys!  Keep it fun and hunting will always be fun.

On a side note welcome aboard to our new vice president Robbie Brooks.  I know he actually took office last year at Autumn Oaks but we swore him in one more time just so he couldn’t back out.  Robbie went way above and beyond doing more than his fair share for the weekend.  He was a great asset getting trophies and events lined up.  Thanks Robbie!  I hope you got some sleep when you got back to work.

Special thanks also to Crystal Lights, Purina and the other sponsors! We had great prizes and it was because of you.  Please check out all the winners on our website and also UKC website.

We had a great ceremony for our Lifetime Achievement award winners.  It was very special to see them get their awards.  Special thanks for making the trip, Dennis Elbrader, Newell Standridge, Bob Tully and Stan Horsley.  Max Gibson was on hand but had to leave early.  Robbie took the time to call each of them and give them question and answers that we read to our membership.  It was an honor to meet each and every one of you and to get to award you this honor.  Danny and Megan Perez were also on hand to as Danny’s great female Buffalo Creek To Tuff Betty was selected as the Hall of Fame female last year. 

Robbie took bids from clubs for next year’s events.  The 2017 Rendezvous will be in Zone 2 this October.  The dates are yet to be set but be looking for later in the month.  Sparky McClellan will be initiating the first event.  Bids are open for the 2018 event.

The 2018 National Bluetick Days will be held in Eldon, Iowa.  The reunion was held there a few times and there are lots of great grounds and hunting to be had.  I believe they too will be holding a water race with other events.  Thursday night’s events have been changed a little bit.  The Young Gun event will now be open to any dog 6 months of age to 24 months of age to all hunt in the same category.  The Invitational event will only be open to the top 16 dogs that will be invited by mail.  Those dogs will include the high scoring BBOA male/female from Winter Classic, Autumn Oaks, World Hunt and National Bluetick Days from this year.  Also to be there will be each of the Zone 7 dogs of the year from 2017 and the 2017 Invitational winner will be invited back to defend their crown.  The All Blue hunt will be made into a money event with the money entered used to pay back to the winners using the same format as the Rendezvous.  All of the Thursday hunts will now only be one hour to help accommodate the local guides who have to work on Friday.  And don’t forget the Invitational bench show for the first time ever!  We will invite back the overall Grand Champion bluetick male/female from the Winter Classic, Autumn Oaks, Bluetick male/female from the World Hunt, King/Queen from Bluetick Days, and Zone Show dog of the year.  They will be judged by a panel of judges and the winner gets cash and prizes.

The Grand Reunion is being set by BBCHA for 2018.  As soon as Jim and I finalize it we will be posting it.

The board also approved putting together a committee to look a paying hotel costs and fuel for whichever officer is attending the major events to represent BBOA.  The committee is also looking at a trailer to store and haul the BBOA supplies in and to take to events.  The committee will report their findings and recommendations at Autumn Oaks this year.  Jason Schulte, Damon Shivers, Mike Shepherd, Corey Robins and Matt Lingo are on the committee if you have any thoughts or suggestions.

As of this writing our 2017 Horizon selection, Bailey Harward is still leading the pack of young hunters chasing the UKC Spotlight Series.  I hope she pulls it off.  Her parents and she logged a lot of miles on their old dog Boss winning the hunts they did.


Keep’em blue and in the woods!


President Darren Batterson
17821 60th St. Ottumwa, IA 52501