My Last Coon Hunt and Remembering

My Last Coon Hunt

When I was in high school the fellows I ran with were good old country boys. They lived to hunt and even played hooky if the notion hit to go to the woods with a deer rifle as soon as hunting season opened. They also were big into hunting coons. This area of Western North Carolina is mountainous and when fall came the guys would begin running their dogs. this was a night activity and the early hunts were for training purposes. When hunting season arrived there were the hunts that created for lively discussions the next day at school with the usual bragging rights of who caught the most coons and which breed of dog was best to strike a hot trail and put an old ring tail up a tree. Trophies from a nights hunt were the feet and sometimes a part of an old boar coons anatomy avowed to be the biggest one ever seen!

Coon hides could be sold for around $5 and the coon hides were harvested, nailed to the side of the barn and later tanned before selling. Some of my buddies did quite well selling their hides. I was never into hunting coons enjoyed hearing the tales of a nights hunt. I did go a few times and we hunted the better part of the night. We would stop on a ridge and listen to the dogs which at times seemed confused as to what they were after, coons, rabbits or some sly old fox. Lying on a bed of leaves on what would be my last coon hunting expedition I looked up into the stars twinkling in the cloudless sky occasionally seeing a commercial airplane streaming in the night sky on a journey to parts unknown, while the dogs ran a phantom.For me it was a time of reflection and small talk while we waited for the unmistakable howls from the dogs a coon had been treed. Someone always carried a rifle or shot gun to shoot the coon and a burlap sack we used to carry the coons back home.

This night proved to be an unfruitful hunt and walking out of the woods climbing up a river valley, we heard a wildcat. The scream of a Bobcat is one you never forget. It was haunting and scary even the dogs past us on a dead run heading back to the vehicle. The Bobcat in all probability would never have bothered us but one thing for sure it wanted us to know we were not in friendly territory.

One small town near where I live and where I went to high school, Saluda, North Carolina has an annual Coon Dog Day. Thousands from all over attend the parade and showcase their coon dogs. The coons used in the event are not harmed.

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Comments 8 comments

eHealer profile image

eHealer 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Very interesting Fiddleman, I learned something about hunting! Voted up and shared!

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

Thank you eHealer

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Must have been exciting. Glad you didn't kill one.

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

No way Gypsy Willow, too cute!

Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

When my son was a kid and we lived on the ranch we used to let coon hunters come and hunt occasionally (at least my husband did -- I have never been in favor of it). One morning a group of hunters showed up with 2 baby coons which they gave to my son. Thus we became owners of 2 more pets and they were funny and delightful. As the babies approached adulthood we had to return them to the wild as they had very sharp claws and when upset would attempt to scratch one's eyes out (and who could blame them?) In any event, watching them grow up and their interaction with my son was great fun. Super Hub and brought back a lot of memories (obviously)! Best/Sis

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

Thanks Angela, Awesome story too. I have a neighbor who has a pet coon. Ok pets but you're right, those close are for a fast coming gear and could definitely put a hurt on someone who was careless while handling.

QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 4 years ago

I did not know people hunted coons. :P

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

Hello old friend QudsiaP, coon hunting was once common here in WNC and the Appalachian Mountains. They were eaten and the pelts could be sold.

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