30 Years of Coon Hunting

By Larry Poe

I just got back in from huntiní Ol Ruby II, and while I was out I got to thinkiní about how coonhuntiní has changed since I started.

This November will mark the 30th anniversary of the first time I went coonhuntiní.

1) Everyone around here hunted, we all had grade dogs. Now, very few hunt and I havenít seen a grade dog since I donít know when. The dog I hunted tonight has a 3 generation all-grand pedigree.

2) I went tonight in a fancy 4 wheel drive truck, with a fancy manufactured box, and I made sure I put on that fancy tracking collar. Oh yea, and strapped on my 17 volt light. I unsnapped the dog from one of those "cable leashes".

The first time I went was in a '60 Chevy Apache. No box, just a chain across the bed with snaps on it. Used a carbide light, and I didnít unsnap the dog. I untied him from the baliní twine, from the hay we fed that night, when we did chores. tracking collar............Yea right.

3) Coons were around 35 to 40 dollars each, this year I averaged 6 or 7. A lot of men made more hunting at night than they did at there jobs during the day. I know of several new trucks that were bought with fur checks from that year.

4) As I hunted this dog, I made a mental note of every bark, and what it meant. Dissected every part of her style, and kept time and score. I thought all along how that would translate in a nite hunt.

Heck used to be that we just listened to the dog and waited for it to tree. Nite hunt? We didnt know about any nite hunts. Let alone SS.

5) Did I mention that kill season is over? No one hunted unless it was kill season.

When the stop watch said the "5" was up, and I walked into the tree I still saw a coon. The dog treed just like the others used to. Iím not sure if she even knows she wouldnít have been unsnapped without that other collar on her. I petted her side, and we walked back to that fancy truck and box.

You know what, in the end, coonhuntiní ainít changed that much.

Itís still about the hounds.

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