Just Coon Huntin’

Just Coon Huntin’

Season is in and the hunt is on. We’re not hunting any more or harder but it seems to be better when the weather is cooler. You can harvest the game if you choose to. We don’t take much game in season, so it’s not that much different; just feels better.

I’m hunting the most and feeling the best I’ve felt in a long time. I’m hunting with a group of guys who go at it and they keep good dogs to boot. I’ve always loved this part of the country and I’m enjoying living here and hunting with my friends – new and old.

My good friend David Gilroy, Nanjemoy, MD called to say he hadn’t been hunting much but he and his son, Tom, were getting ready to go at it. David started coming with his uncle Gordon Gilroy in the early 80s when David was only 14 years old. We’ve enjoyed many good hunts and a few tough ones, but David was always smiling and ready to turn them loose again. I’ve watched David grow from a fine, young man into an outstanding gentleman, hunter and friend.

Randall Coleman calls from Dillon, SC to keep me up on the hunting in that area and to tell me about the dogs.  Randall is one of my close friends and is one of the best hunters around.

I got together one night with Curtis Sparks, Elkin, NC and Junior and Justin Simmons, Thurmond, NC. We had a good time and I enjoyed my visit with these guys and even though the dogs didn’t look very good, we still managed to see a coon.

Chris Adams from right here at Elkin, NC joined us one night with his dog, Leroy. We had a good time and even treed a couple of things that they didn’t seem to appreciate. I enjoyed the hunt and was proud of the dogs as in one tree we had four hard tree dogs together and not one off bark was heard. To all of you non-believers, because they are hard, intense tree dogs, doesn’t mean they have to blow, face bark or be mean.

Curt hunted Star, an English female, in the hunt at Thurmond, NC winning second and then winning first at North Wilkesboro in the next hunt. This female is under two years old and trees coon for sure.

I hunt with Jason Dancy, Trap Hill, NC on a regular basis and he has two nice English dogs. His female, Tray, is one of the best dogs around. His young male is really nice with an outstanding mouth.

I talked to my good friend Russell Bellar of Indiana and he hasn’t hunted much in a little while but he was about ready to start up and hit it hard. I’ve hunted with Russ several times over the last 30 years, and believe me, he is one of the hardest hunters around.

Jason Patrick called from Darlington, SC to talk dogs and keep me posted on things in that area.  Jason and I used to hunt quite a bit together and he has some nice dogs. One of the guys who hunted with us was Harvey Drawdy, one of the most respected and well liked hunters and gentlemen in this country.

Harvey is a true, dyed-in-the-wool coon and squirrel hunter and enjoys the pure pleasure of it.  Boo Hodges called from Fairmont, NC and we discussed dogs and hunts from the past. Boo was one of my regular hunting partners when I lived in Orrum, NC and we walked, waded and chopped many miles together over the years.

Boo was one tough rascal and I never saw him back down, no matter how rough or how deep it got.

I talked with Josh Robinson, Bennett, NC and he’s hitting the woods hard. Josh coon hunts, runs coyote dogs and rabbit dogs plus he works every day. Josh is another tough one that goes where the dog goes and it doesn’t get too far or too rough.

I talked to Marvin Deal, Register, GA and he is hunting regularly and has several well bred Walker females that do a good job. I hunted with several of these females and his male dog and they were all very nice, young dogs.

Pete Barber just returned from his annual hunting trip to Canada to hunt with Steve Delorme and Burt Powers. Pete said they had a good hunt and these guys had some nice dogs.

Pete also said while he was there Vern Ramsey came over and said to tell me hello. Vern came the last year my Yadkin River Chico was alive. Vern stayed and hunted with me a week every night and I worked every day. I sure enjoyed Vern’s company and he’s welcome back any time.

I talked to my good friend Jack Dobson, East Bend, NC today and he hasn’t been hunting lately but said as soon as deer season
goes out, he would be ready.

I remember many hunts with Gene Cruse, Mt. Pleasant, NC. Gene was one of the most respected hunters of that time and knew more about coon hunting than most will ever know. We used to have some of the best areas you’ve ever heard. When the dogs treed, you would see a coon. These dogs were track dogs and could make a coon run and put the pressure on him.

I don’t know if coon have gotten too lazy to run or if the majority of dogs don’t have the ability to run a track and put pressure on it. A coon is just like a deer or a rabbit. If they don’t push him, he’ll piddle around in circles. If you have a dog that runs to catch, he’ll run for his life and you’ll hear what a real track dog is.

I don’t think most of the hunters out there now have ever heard a dog run track. Most of the dogs can’t push a track anyway, and if they do hit a good track, it’s automatically a deer or other off-game. It usually is because they can’t run a coon.

Of course the dogs being bred today are bred for treeing and how quickly they can get treed. They don’t want a coon to run because it takes too much time off the clock.  You also hear some hunters talk about running the track for two hours and in reality the dogs never even get the track warmed up. Actually, it’s just a figure of speech and I wonder if these people have ever heard a track dog actually run a track to catch.

Another thing, these real track dogs usually have the game when they tree. Many of the pleasure hunters know what I mean and many of the competition hunters will never know what I mean. I am not saying that competition dogs are outstanding track dogs or that all pleasure hunters have them.

Because of the breeding practices for several years now, the trend has been toward the quick tree dog and the outstanding track dog is falling by the wayside.

I love a good dog no matter what breed or crossbreed. If he’s a good one, I’ll give him credit.

I sure enjoy watching and listening to him work.

Come, call or write.

Jim Meeks.