Pocahontas benefits from Trackfest 2011

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT)- After flooding in Pocahontas, things are starting to get back to normal. Saturday, the 2011 Trackfest brought in people from all over the United States to bring money into town. There were people from Louisiana, New Jersey, even New York. It's the United Blood Trackers national event and where relieved to find out the flood water had gone down.

"You know we were really sweating it for a minute. We heard there was around three feet of water in the Walmart parking lot. We were going oh my goodness that is our national event. We might be getting there by boat. But everything worked out," said United Blood Trackers Board Member Alan Wade.

Saturday beginner dogs and puppies spent the afternoon learning the techniques of tracking, which will be put to the tested later on. Mike Duren's dog Dauphine is not even one year old and was out learning to track for the first time. Duren is from Oseola, but says events like this are good for the area.

"I was really surprised to see all these out-of-state people here. All these out-of-state guys had to stay somewhere last night. So, I'm sure the local hotels were glad to see this business," said Duren.

Stan Kite drove all the way down from New Jersey, hoping to get a better feel for his dog, and pass the U.B.T test to be able to qualify for a permit in New Jersey. Kite also decided to use this opportunity for a mini vacation.

"When you're on vacation you kind of spend money. We've never been through Kentucky. We've never been through Arkansas. So, when we saw this was going to be here, it was a perfect opportunity to learn something and see new states," said Kite.

Board members with United Blood Trackers also took time Saturday to prepare artificial tracks that will be used for intermediate dogs later throughout the weekend. A tracking shoe made for a real deer hoof was used to simulate a wounded deer walking through the woods.

Board Member Alan Wade says there are 38 people participating, and it's a chance to interact with other trackers throughout the county. "We work with the dogs doing artificial training lines and what not, but a lot of the knowledge you get is from talking to other trackers that track all over the United States learning their experiences and their tricks," said Wade.

The event will take place through Monday testing dogs for the beginner level all the way to advanced. For more information about United Blood Trackers just go their website at www.unitedbloodtrackers.org.