Coon Hunting

On Wednesday night there was a full moon (almost), and my wife stepped out on the deck and then rushed in to say, “They’re running!”. I went outside and heard the deep bay of Walker hounds running a coon (raccoon). Suddenly the bays turned more excited and I knew they had treed, and just across the road.

Coon-hunting was a very popular activity in my community in North Carolina for past generations, but not many people do it anymore. Guess folks don’t care to trudge through the woods at night chasing dogs, basically just to hear them run. A couple of my neighbors still do, however, and we allow them to go across our property. Let me say that where I live, it’s really not hunting, it’s more of a race. The dogs chase the coon till he goes to a tree and then the “hunters” take the dogs somewhere else and start again. No guns. These races can go on for miles, and Mr. Raccoon is tired I’m sure, but left unhurt. Coon-hunting has become more high tech as well. These days the hounds wear safety collars with flashing lights so they can be seen, as well as GPS units so their owners can track them. Important, because some of the dogs can be worth hundreds or thousands.

(photographs copyright 2009 by Dan Routh)

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