There was a time in the not so distant past when coon hunting was a national pastime for rural America. Young kids and veteran hunters took to the woods at night with their dogs and searched for the elusive raccoon. In the 1970’s and ’80’s there was a lot of money to be made in the sale of coon pelts, so for many families it became a way to supplement income. But for many more hunters, coon hunting was a passionate hobby. Many kids were introduced to coon hunting at a young age, and it was a hobby they could do without the close supervision of adults. Coon hunting became a great way to foster independence in kids, and teach them responsibility while taking care of their own hunting dogs.
But fast-forward to today and the hobby has all but died out. Over-zealous animal rights groups have won the battle against coon hunting, virtually erasing it from mainstream America. While raccoon pelts can still be sold, due to changing fashion styles, they are not in high demand as they once were. There are also signs that raccoon populations have soared since there is nothing to keep their numbers controlled. More raccoons are seen on the side of the road than ever before, and in the last decades they’ve become a nuisance to both rural living and city neighborhoods.
Coon hunting is a practice undertaken at night, which can make the sport much more challenging, and much more exciting. But it is for this reason that a good coon dog or two is necessary to the hunt. A good coon dog should listen exceptionally well, when hunting in the dark of night a hunter needs to be able to have full trust in his dog. It’s also a plus if the dog is vocal, when he picks up a track the dog should start to bark as he’s following it. This will let the hunter know the dog is actually on a track and not just forever sniffing around. When the dog finally gets the coon treed, he should be very vocal, a hunter should encourage this trait in his dog. The hunter also has some options for keeping track of his dogs when hunting. He can buy a collar with lights powered by small batteries, or a vest that reflects when a flashlight is shined on it. However the hunter chooses to outfit his dog, coon hunting is a pastime that is well worth the effort put into it, and provides a great experience for everyone who partakes.