Past and Present Coon Hunters, Feb 2012
FULL CRY – I am starting this column on December 10. I’ve done less coon hunting this season than I can ever remember but I still go out and tree a few. Years ago I can remember I had a new pair of boots almost worn out by now. I am still hunting my young half Plott/half Farm Shepherd. He suits me just fine and not for sale.
Lynn and wife Paige Herstine from Waynesburg, OH were here last week. Lynn has some good dogs and will put them in the woods. Tom Conner, who I hunt with some, is having trouble with his eyes so he hasn’t been hunting hard either.
Ted Grooms from Waynesville, NC calls to give me encouragement and talk dogs.
Of course I talk with Claude Thomas often. Claude was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago, but at this time, he is out and feeling some better. He scared me one night calling from his hospital bed telling me how bad he felt. Claude, the person you and I and a lot of others talked to, takes care of things, doesn’t He?
Yes, God is always there for us if we obey and believe. Also we must not get discouraged if He doesn’t answer our prayers just like we want Him to. He knows best and we are to accept His answers.
Greg Godby calls and offers to help me hunt by going with me driving or anything he can do to help me hunt more. Greg is a real good Christian boy and I know he is sincere when he tells me that. Thanks, Greg, but you keep on hunting that coon catching Walker of yours and enjoying yourself.
John Zimmerman called telling me about an exciting hunt he had. John owns a good Cur dog that he most always road hunts because of some problems with his foot. He and two Amish fellows had killed two coon this particular night and were still roading the dog trying to get another coon. All at once, the dog ran off the road and the big fight started. John said it was a fierce fight. They did think it was strange that the coon wasn’t squalling. They shined their lights on them and it wasn’t a coon but a coyote. They got the coyote taken care of. This dog had never bothered coyotes before but, as I always say, there is something different happening all the time that is different from other hunts.
I feel good this morning. Last night I was watching TV and a weather alert came on saying colder weather was coming and bringing in some snow. The thermometer was already down to 25 degrees. I always have liked to get a coon on the last night before the weather gets bad. This way my dog and I have something to think about if we can’t hunt for awhile. When I was out getting my dog, it started to sleet and snow but not too hard. It was a full moon but the clouds had covered it up but it still was not a dark night. I drove to a place where I thought if coon were out there surely would be one. I hunted close to an hour and not a bark.
Driving back home, I thought we won’t have a lot to think about after this hunt. I came to a small creek with a swamp all around. I had treed several coon there this summer but usually it’s not a good place to hunt in the winter. Anyway, I turned my dog out and he took off up the small creek and treed. I knew it would not be easy going to him but I started walking in ankle deep water. All at once, it was knee deep and of course over my boots. I kept going as I was already wet and cold. It seemed like Rock knew I needed some encouragement as he barked harder as time went on. I thought to myself he must have one up where he can see it. I got to him and he was treed on a big tree in a foot of water. I tried to see coon eyes going to him but no eyes. I turned my light out and looked for a clump or bunch in the tree. I saw something, and when I put my spotlight on it, I could see it was a big coon.
Although I was wet and cold, I went to the tree and hugged and praised Rock. When I got back to shoot the coon, my fingers were so cold I couldn’t get the safety off. I did finally shoot one time and a big coon came out dead. I said, “Come on Rock. Let’s go to the truck.”
When I got home I was so cold I didn’t even want to take him out of the truck and feed him but I did tie him to a good, warm box with lots of straw and gave him some dog food and told him what a good job he did. He seemed to understand and quit eating as he looked at me and gave a couple of low barks.
I got into the house by the wood stove, took off my wet clothes and stood there for a short time before I got in a hot shower. When I came upstairs to go to bed, I looked at the thermometer and it read 19 degrees. It was not a real cold night but I can’t handle the cold like I once did.
Write, call or come see us. Remember, even when we feel no one is there God is listening. Get rid of all bitterness and forgive one another.
By Dick Bare, 13113 State Route 668, Mount Perry, OH 43760. Phone 740-659-2487