A Boy’s Coon Hunt

Growing up on the Cumberland Plateau, I have so many great memories of the adventures that I had as a kid. I had a large area that was owned by family and friends that I could just roam at all times day and night. The following is one of those adventures.

I slipped the harness off the old mule and gave him his nighly feeding. Then I started for the back corn field, with ole bluetick hound named Henry. Like the two sports we were. Boy, don’t it give you the gitters inside to hear an old coon squeal out when a coon dog has him by the tail ? It does to the long time coon hunters. They didn’t usually get to far when Henry got on them in the dead of night, but this was an old boar coon and he didn’t get old by being stupid. I knew it the minute I heard him holler and Henry is only a small dog in body, but the fight in him make him a giant.

When I got to the fight, it was back and forth, the coon giving as good as he was gettin and ole Henry wasn’t backing down. I believe this dog hated coons and loved to fight them. When I got there the old Boar coon headed for higher timber, but with al the commotion going on, he went the wrong way to make to the tall timber. That is usually the only way they could get away from ole Henry. The first tree the coon got to was a oak tree about 20 feet high. all this time during the fight and chase, we had been working back toward the house and dad being a light sleeper had heard the ruckus and the next thing I know here comes dad with an old carbide light.

I kind of chuckled to myself when I seen him coming across the open field, fussing to himself probably saying” that blame boy should be in bed and if his mother wakes up and finds both of us out here, I’ll never hear the end of it”.

When dad got close I said come shake this coon out for me. When a coon would go up a small tree like that, we would attempt to shake the tree or climb up and punch him out with a stick. Dad shined the carbide light up the tree to shine the eyes of the coon so he would know how far he needed to climb. He handed me the carbide light and said keep it on him, so I will know if he moves. Now, I wanted to climb up there but I figured since dad was up and mad because we had woke him up, that I’d let him work off some of that aggression climbing the tree.

The higher dad climbed the more I was thinking, is that tree going to hold him and the coon ? I hadn’t got my mind off the fact dad could fall out of the tree when that old coon lost his grip on the limb he was sitting on and tumbled toward earth.

The only problem was I was directly in it’s path. Ever had a 15 pound coon land on your back from 20 feet up on a dark night with only a carbide light to see with? And, you don’t want to either, it get’s your attention real fast. I ain’t going to lie, it scared the life out of me. My hair stood on it’s ends, I thought that coon was pulling it out by the roots.

Picture this, I’m 12 years old and I got a coon on my back and then ole Henry is on the coon on my back. Henry and this coon were fighting for their lives while on my back. My mind was racing, thinking I got to get out of this position.

Finally, ole Henry got the best of the coon and ended the fight. I felt and looked like I had just fought with a grizzle bear. Dad climbed down from the tree and said I guess that’ll teach you not to go coon hunt’in on a school night. Now get home and skin that coon and get cleaned up before your moma, finds out.

That was my last coon hunt on a school night for a long time.

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