26th Annual Hog Dog Trials Underway at Winnfield Fairgrounds

 
Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Trials is a yearly hog-dog baying event held in Winnfield, Winn Parish, Louisiana at the Winn Parish Fair Grounds involving big boars and, for the most part, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and Blackmouth Cur.

The event is named for Earl K. Long, “Uncle Earl” who was born in Winnfield in 1895. Long, brother of Gov. Huey P. Long was one of Louisiana’s most colorful politicians. He was governor three times between 1939 and 1960 and was an avid hog hunter.

In “hog baying” competitions, dogs are judged on their containment and control of a boar as well as their style of baying. The better “hog dogs” bay directly at the boar’s face to gain control of the boar. The sharpest voices are considered best. In the Two Dogs competition, the sharper or more shrill voice will be judged as having the better bay. If a boar runs from the dogs, they may nip the boar to make him stop but biting the hog is not permitted. The dog has 10 seconds to stop and contain the boar and begin baying again. The dog can lose a significant number of points if the boar is not contained within 10 seconds.

Hog baying involves dogs entering a pen and holding a feral hog “at bay” for a defined period of time, according to Jake Loiacano, the organizer of the event. Essentially, the dog’s goal is to focus, bark and contain the hog for the longest, without coming in contact with it, Loiacano said.

Louisiana bans hog-catching but permits this event after the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals worked on the law that exempted Uncle Earl’s.

Attendees and participants travel from as far away as Canada, England, and California to watch to attend.

“It’s the biggest event in Winnfield,” said Winnfield Mayor George Moss. This year’s event is setting entry records; the puppy class was the largest puppy class in Uncle Earl’s history with 85 entries, while the Old & Young competition had 135 entries breaking the previous record of 92 entries.

 
This weekend’s events are:
Friday 26th – 2 dog
Saturday 27th – 2 dog completion
Sunday 28th – Youth, Best of the Best, and High Point
 
Daily access wristbands cost $10

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