Hunting Event to Bring Thousands to Batesville

(Batesville, MS) Sid Burns is getting ready for big business this weekend at his Batesville Barbeque restaurant, ” We’ve had to bring in extra people to make sure we have enough help goin’. We’ve been offering now, the all you can eat breakfast, all you can eat Friday nights and Saturday nights.”

This weekend, hundreds of hunters will descend on the Panola County town for the United Kennel Club’s Winter Classic hunt.

”We’re excited about being in Batesville. Our entry is good, it’s the most we’ve ever had for the Winter Classic, nine hundred in the hunt” said Tanya Rabb with the United Kennel Club.

That’s 900 dogs in the woods hunting raccoons for hundreds of miles around, plus more dogs for a related dog show, like the ones you see on TV.

No raccoons actually get hurt in this hunt.

Judges time a dog from his arrival in the woods until he picks up a scent and trees a raccoon.

Organizers say each dog often comes with one or two people who’ll need a place to stay and eat. Add to that, lots of spectators and you’ve got an economic boon.

”In the past, we’ve brought in, over a weekend, up to ten thousand people into an area, bringing in 1.2 million, on up,” said Rabb.

She says the UKC’s welcome has been so warm, there’s already talk of coming back, ”I anticipate that it would be an annual event here. That’s what our hopes are.”

And the cash it brings is music to Sid Burns’ ears ”Oh, I’m hoping my business increases 30 to 40 percent.”

The winter classing runs all weekend in Batesville.

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