UKC Forum Member
Registered: Dec 2017
Against my better judgment, and also my wife’s, we went hunting last night. It’s a rare occasion that my wife will voluntarily walk through the cold dark night, but being that an ice storm knocked our power out, she said she’d rather go with me than stay home bored. When she asked how late I planned to stay out, my reply was oh it should be a short night..... oops.
We drove a little over an hour to meet up with my vet, an avid coon Hunter, and went to a beautiful farm I’d never set foot on before. The landowner also enjoys hounds and was an enjoyable guide for the night. The drive was long enough to give us a change of scenery, the rolling hills at the base of the mountain here had been untouched by ice, and actually made for a pretty good night in the woods.
I brought Misty and Lady, my buddy brought a well seasoned coonhound named Cougar and three younger dogs. The landowner turned his two hounds loose, and we didn’t see them again till we got back to his house... at 12am. Our hunting consisted of everybody piling in the UTV and essentially roading the dogs on logging roads through this mans property. About 5 minutes into our ride Lady left the roadbed, struck, ran a short track and came treed with all other dogs not far behind.
We arrived at the massive oak about the same time heavy fog and rain did. We tried to shine but the moisture in the air made it a real obstacle, as we could barely see 15 feet up in the fog. The longer we tried the worse it got so we pulled the dogs and moved on. Misty ran with lady all the way to the first tree, circled it a few times then made her way back to the UTV and walked back into the tree with us. No coon seen.
No sooner than we had gotten back in the UTV and started moving again, we heard Cougar strike a couple hundred yards off to our left. We shut the Polaris off and listened as lady and another young dog worked the track, located, started treeing, then all but lady started trailing on out. I eased into lady and to my surprise by the time I got there misty was trying to tree on the hollow poplar too. My wife saw the coon in a crotch in the big poplar, but I could not. I have learned a few things though. My eyes aren’t the best, my wife has better vision than me, and happy wife, happy life. I never saw that coon, there was evidence of coons using this tree heavily, and lady swore it was there so I’m taking lady and my wife’s word. Coon seen.
After several attempts to call lady off the tree she finally gave in and moved on. At this point misty went her own way and stayed gone long enough for me to walk to the other hounds that were now treed, determine they also had what appeared to be a den with no coon on the outside, and I was headed back towards the rest of the party. No coon seen.
As we topped the ridge lady and cougar were winding and striking. Lady was standing on her hind feet doing her best impersonation of a human walking, and within several minutes they had pinpointed yet another den tree. This time the coon was visible in the crack. Misty was one of the first to arrive at the tree, and was sticking her head into the hole at the bottom of the tree and opening like she was looking at a coon. We tried to squall the coon out, but he was tucked in and wouldn’t be convinced otherwise. Coon seen.
We petted the hounds up and went on our way. The farmer had spoken of the impressive amount of coon tracks that were frequenting his feedlot and that was our mission for the night was to make it to the above mentioned destination, in hopes of catching a few of the barnyard bandits.
When we finally got to the feedlot lady made a big loop around it, running with her head up and struck on the opposite side of the way we came in. Before we had time to open 3 gates to get to the other side, lady had went 280 yards, located, came off, took the track out, located again (this time rolling into her signature chop) and was steady treed at 681. We rode the Polaris as close as we could and used our feet for the remaining distance. By this point we’re weren’t surprised to see a den tree, the coon was seen while squalling, and almost fell a victim to the hounds below. I guess he wasn’t a Jerry Clower fan because he opted out of the “sporting chance” he had below. Misty was fired up at the tree, halfway excited about the coon scent, and half about the other barking hounds. I was pleased to see her go the distance yet again, and this time stay at the tree. Coon seen.
This was deemed our last drop at the farm and we made our way back to his residence. We arrived to his two hounds that had decided they didn’t want to participate in our nightly activities. We thanked the man and headed on down the road to drop the Vet off. When we got to his place he said he had a coon trap out of we wanted to check it before turning in, at this point it was already after midnight so we agreed, “we might as well.” As we rode down towards the creek where the trap was, the box blew up! Surprisingly he had caught a massive cranky boar coon in the trap so we decided to leave the seasoned dogs in the truck and turn this track out for misty and the 2 other young hounds.
We turned him loose in a meadow by the creek and gave him some time to think about his escape. When several minutes had passed we turned the young dogs loose and shortly thereafter they were bayed. We expected this coon to run and pick a tree, or swim the creek even, to elude the hounds. Not this guy, he had chosen to use his time to back himself into the broom sage and load for bear... or hound.
He obviously was the coon we had hoped for earlier, he took his sporting chance and then some. John Eubank would have been proud of this one. Misty learned quick that you can’t go face to face with a large angry boar coon. He locked into her muzzle like a snapping turtle and didn’t seem to be worried about letting go. I feared that I had just set Misty back by this altercation but once she got free of his clamped teeth, she had fire in her eyes! The 3 pups took turns getting caught by this boar, spinning him around, and dodging the punches. Ultimately they came to a standoff where they bayed, and he patiently awaited the next ear or nose he could grab. We sent lady and cougar in to help with the situation and after briefly sizing him up they took care of the problem at hand.
I took the expired boar and ran a short track and hung him in the limb of a big white oak and we turned the pups in on it and let them tree awhile before we called it a night. We arrived back home at 2:30 am, my wife asleep in the passenger seat, the generator still running, and the hounds snoring in the box. So much for being a short night. I fear that I may have broke my wife from volunteering to go hunting any time soon, but her company is welcome whenever she forgives me for the long night!
Overall it was a productive night, although I have never been a fan of den trees, it was reassuring to see coons in 3 of them. Misty is still progressing, but she is a sharp pup, and catches on quick. She’ll lead, load, come when called, is somewhat tone broke, she’s starting to figure out the trailing part of it, and has developed an absolute hate for a coon. I am going to do my best to take this and use it all to her advantage in efforts to help shape her into a coondog. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, but we’ve got time. Until next time, Yal stay tuned, and keep em in the woods!
Cedar Ridge Kennels
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