Coon Season is Here Already
Summer is over and it’s time to get ready for another exciting hunting season. This week, Nancy and I are traveling with my brother, Melvin, and his wife, Judy, to Salem, IL to the PKC World Hunt. I’m hunting Betty a couple of nights over there to see if we can luck into that elusive double cast win that it takes to advance to the quarterfinals on Friday night. If Betty and I fail to advance, we’ll watch from the sidelines and have more time to shop with Nancy. I need a new pair of chap boots for this winter because the pair that I bought at Black and Tan Days a year ago are already ragged.
They sure don’t last like the Wick Frog Legs did. I’ll try a different brand this time, but I really don’t expect to get much more than a year of use out of them. I’ve been preparing for the hunt at Salem for the last month or so, and I guess my anticipation and hunt fever is contagious because last night as I made plans to go hunting, Nancy announced that she just might go with me. Now Nancy is no stranger to the woods, as she used to occasionally accompany me pleasure hunting. I remember well because she doesn’t like spiders or spiderwebs so she carried a big stick and every time she spotted a spider or web it got a thorough thrashing! Nancy would leave the trail that we were walking on and run ten feet out into the woods just to eliminate another spider!
While I enjoyed her antics immensely, the pups thought all that thrashing was a little frightening. Anyway, that was ten years ago, when she announced that she might go along, her first question was.” Would there be any spiders?” I assured her that the frost we had last night would have gotten rid of all the spiders.
This was Friday evening and we usually eat pizza with Nancy’s mom, Pat, and our daughter, Emily, on Friday nights. The best pizza and stromboli sandwiches are made at Carolyn’s Pizzaria in Heilman, IN. It’s about four miles from my old home place where I was born and raised, but it’s 45 miles from where we live now. Since Emily has been wanting to go to Carolyn’s to eat for awhile now, I thought I’d take advantage of the flat easy walking woods that I call my old stomping grounds. I thought if I could take Nancy to some easy walking woods and tree a couple of easy coons that it might not be ten years before she asks to go along again! I loaded three hounds and we drove two vehicles to Heilman to eat supper.
After eating buttered garlic breadsticks and a twelve inch Stromboli, I couldn’t find room to finish off the rest of Emily’s pizza. Pat and Emily headed for home and Nancy and I headed to the woods. Since we were in the area, we drove by the old home place to see if the farmer who rents my brother’s land had picked the corn yet. We usually glean the cornfields after the farmer harvests it to pick up corn for the squirrels and birds in the Holler. The corn was still standing, so we turned the hounds loose in the field towards Coles Creek.
Betty, a Walker female, and the two Black and Tans named Hoss and Locktite crashed through the field and disappeared into the dark. It took less than a minute for Hoss to let out a low deep bawl letting us know that he had found a track.
Seconds later Betty joined in and the race was on. The chase led the hounds to what I first thought was a dozer pile. After listening to the hounds’ excited voices I decided that it was something other than a brush pile that they were in because they were half baying and half trailing and over excited about something. Standing there at the truck, I decided that Nancy and I should hike the 200 yards into the hounds to investigate what was going on.
By now the Lock pup is chopping like crazy and he’s never treed that much except when he and Rolo had treed the possum in a log pile that he could see! I tell Nancy that we had better walk that direction and I take off just moseying along at what I considered a leisurely, pace through the standing corn. A minute later, and I’m halfway to the hounds when I hear, “Hey, are you gonna wait for me?” Doggone, if Nancy ain’t still standing on the road at the truck! I walked back and got her and then I walked a little slower this time going to the hounds.
The hounds weren’t in a dozer pile, they were in the middle of a thick, half an acre briar patch with a four foot pile of plastic field tile that stretched out about forty feet long. The coons were inside one of the tiles running from one end of the debris pile to the other as the hounds got close to them.
Luckily, Betty and Lock ran one out of the mess and into the cornfield when I got on top of the briar entwined pipe and started jumping up and down. Unfortunately, Hoss stayed after his coon, biting the plastic pipe, baying and then crawling a few feet to bay and bite at the pipe again. I finally found a hole and grabbed Hoss by the collar. I managed to hoist that eighty-five pound hound up and out of that mess without getting scratched up too bad. Yeah, I know that Hoss is a little too heavy, but I’m working on getting him into shape. A month ago when I first picked him up from Herb and Debbie Landers he was a little pudgy.
Betty finally treed in a big leafy oak and we didn’t find a coon. I have my doubts as to whether it was up there or not, so I don’t give her any petting or “atta girl’s.” We move the truck a couple of miles and turn loose behind Raber’s Farm.
Several minutes passed before both hounds struck red hot and popped up treed! I led Nancy around the cockle burr patch and to the hounds. Betty was treed on our side of the creek with a coon and Hoss was across the creek about 50 yards with another coon. This is the first time that Hoss has split treed for me and had the coon so I’m pretty pleased with him and I let him know it by petting him up for a good ten minutes.
We called it an early night and headed for home. As I finish this article it is November 5 just three more nights until opening night of coon season. Betty and I couldn’t win but one round at the PKC World Hunt but we’ll be back to try again next year. We drew some tough hounds that just flat out treed more coon that Betty did. Let me mention just a few of the hounds that Betty and I drew that really impressed me, Russ Meyer’s Trax female, Brian Witted’s Mr. Clean, a man named VanMeter hunting a tough Walker dog named Rock, and Sluggo Payton hunting the Tank dog.
I bought a new pair of chap boots from the supplier Valley Creek. I don’t know if they’ll last like the Wick Froglegs did, but they sure are comfortable. Since the World hunt I’ve attended a few UKC hunts here locally. I got beat at Henderson, KY by a really good Plott hound. That’s the first time in about fifteen years since that has happen. The last time was Curt Sybert’s old Sarge dog. I wish that I had room here to tell you the Plott hound’s name that treed three coons on me at Henderson, but you’ll have to wait until next month, sorry Brock.
From Nancy and I here in Bolin Holler, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!