Ben (my son) and I were checking out the hardwood bottoms of the ranch last week and I saw this wonderful coon track in a sandbar. Immediately, my heart began to race as the sign brought back memories of my young adulthood. In the late 1970's and early 1980's I almost eradicated the coon population on the ranch. I loved to coon hunt.
I only had one coon dog at a time, but we hunted frequently. My friends from school would come out to hunt with me. I had some great memories, like running down a county road, (I hunted on foot,) chasing my dog Stump who was hot on a trail, and ending up jumping a fence around a large cemetery because that where the coon decided to tree. My friend would not go with me and I did not shoot that coon out, because of respect for the dead and the fact that I did not want to talk the a sheriff deputy that night.
Of course, I hunted at night, crashing through briar's and sloughs with only a small head light and a hand held flashlight. Usually I hunted in the winter, so I could sell the hides of the coons I killed.
Now I look back on those days, and instead of being amazed at how stupid that seemed, I would secretly love to live them again, without the darkness, the scratches, and the cold wet clothes. The coons are back, and for now-they are safe.