Past and Present Coon Hunters

Full Cry March 2012 CoverI am starting this the last week of August but it’s hard to tell when I’ll finish. I’ve been having some good coon hunts in this cool weather. I am hunting a couple young dogs so we all know that with young dogs that are not finished, you don’t have a real good hunt every night at least not me. I hear of some that do but I know better “just telling it like it is.

I had a hunter call me asking if a Feist was any good. He had bought a pup. I have several ask me if this breed or that breed is good, and my answer is always the same: Some are and most are not. If any one breed or strain was all good that’s what all of us would be hunting.

I will say there are some breeds and strains that make better dogs than many others. Of course the pups have to go to hunters who will hunt them and know how to train them.

I have a friend who raises, sells and trains German Shorthaired Pointers. His pups really turn out to be most outstanding dogs. I notice his secret is he will not sell a pup to just anyone.  He has to meet and talk to the buyer before he will sell him a pup. I will hear him say “No, I don’t want to sell you a pup because I know you won’t do it justice.”

I, too, hear of many pups not having a chance to make a good dog. I’ve been asked several times down through the years what secrets I have. My answer usually is hardly any. I say “Just hunt your dog and use some common sense.” All pups are like young kids. All have different personalities and you must find out quickly how to handle and train your pup. Most don’t take the time to break a dog. As I’ve said many times before, don’t fall in love with your dog to the point where if he isn’t doing what you expect that you keep him. It’s better to get rid of it and
start with another one. Of course, there are exceptions to most everything.

I have been working with a young dog that I had begun to think he wasn’t going to make what I wanted. Two nights ago he kicked up another
notch and now I have pretty high hopes. Cree and I have been talking about doing away with the Bare Den. Many of you have been here
and seen it. To those of you who don’t know about it, it’s a hunting camp for hunters and their dogs who come to visit and hunt. l have a
lot of good memories and maybe next month I’ll write a story about some of the things that have gone on over the years. It’s too much for Cree and me since we are older.

My friend Scott Johnson from Pennsylvania brought me over a 1992 Ford Ranger to use it for hunting and hauling wood. It is in good shape and I am glad to have it. We went coon hunting and you guessed it . . . another of my young dogs jumped right on the hood.

Some of Tom and Carol Conner’s family live close to Scott so he rode back home with Carol since she was going that way. Scott is coming back in October and we were going to Elnora to the big hunt.

I am sitting here looking out the window as I wait for Claude, his wife, Naomi, and their daughter, Sis, who are going to stop on their way east. They said they couldn’t stay for dinner on account of their time being limited. When Cree told Claude she would have fresh peach cobbler, he said he could stand for some of that. I doubt if there will be any left for tomorrow. Ha, ha.

I have a problem with one of my young dogs. I turned her loose and she is silent. She has been silent as long as an hour before I see or hear from her. She usually comes up treed some place not far away and she will have a coon. I don’t have a tracker and I know I could tell very quickly what’s going on. For now, I’ll have to find out the old fashioned way. When she trees, she will stay so that eases the pain. Ha!

It’s to cool off next week so I’ll work her a lot then. One thing I do know is she won’t run a deer which is usually what they are doing when they don’t show up for a good while then tree close by.

I have been fixing up my dog boxes for winter. One thing I do is cut an old inner tube and nail it over the opening of the dog box. This way it’s
flexible and doesn’t freeze when it gets wet. An old sack works when it’s not cold. I fill the box full of good straw and your dog will feel comfortable when it’s cold and the cold wind blows.

Another thing thing I sometimes do is I use good, clean hay. It doesn’t break up like straw will. I remember 50 years ago an old man lived
on a farm back in the hills and always had a bunch of hounds. Many of them ran loose and would sleep in the barn. He told me if he had both hay and straw on the barn floor, they would most always sleep on hay before they would straw if they had a choice. I’ve found that to be much better if I filled their box with hay.

Write, call or come see us. Remember to attend church and try to get your neighbor to go also. How would you like to live where there were no
churches? Think about that.

By Dick Bare, 13113 State Route 668, Mount Perry, OH 43760.  Phone 740-659-2487

PDF – Past and Present Coon Hunters – Full Cry, Nov 2011