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Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

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Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby FireCloud » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:17 pm

Had a little extra fun tonight at the end of a great day outdoors. During the afternoon and early evening I had been burning some trees and brush and had a nice bed of coals left. I returned after eating some dinner to put out the fire. I sat watching the fire burn slowly down for about an hour, then smothered it with dirt.

I was sitting on my trusty paint bucket stool beside the fire and behind the brush pile. As I always do, after putting out the fire, I waited for a while longer in the dark just observing to be sure there were no stray coals still uncovered that might flare back up. The night air was cooling off nicely and the stars were out. But since the moon was not yet up, it was pretty dark with the fire out. Although I had an 18 volt flashlight, I enjoy being in the dark in the woods at night so I did not have it on.

As I sat there just listening to the night sounds, I heard a sound much like a large cat purring and coming toward me. A large black cat often roams my trails so I figured that was what was coming up the trail toward me. I switched on the light and was surprised to see a raccoon about 10 feet away from me. It was blinded by the powerful light but did not stop approaching me and continued its cat like noise making.

I had violated my own rule about never going in the woods without my gun because I was only there to put out the fire. I had nothing but a rake with me. This raccoon was one of the two young raccoons belonging to the mother raccoon that visits my mineral site nearly every night. But this raccoon was alone tonight. Since it was so close and still approaching I decided perhaps I would see if I could raccoon hunt with a rake. Because I was behind the brush pile, the raccoon had not seen me and when I blinded it with the light, it still did not see me clearly. But when I stood up and moved in its direction with the rake, it did an about face and headed for the nearest tree.

The raccoon climbed up the tree while stopping now and then and looking at me as I kept the light on it. All I could do, of course, is continue to tree the coon. At about 20 feet up, it found a couple of limbs and decided to perch there. Thinking quickly, I devised a plan to get this raccoon.

I switched off the light and moved to a new position and waited a minute before turning the light back on. The coon was not phased by me taking a position on the opposite side of the tree. I repeated this process a couple more times...moving farther away, leaving the light off a minute or two, then moving in closer, changing positions each time. The racoon easily figured out the game and was not about to climb down just because I turned the light out and moved away for a couple of minutes. That was exactly what I wanted to make him do. I needed about 5 minutes to make a round trip to the house for my gun so I wanted him to simply think we were continuing to play the cat and mouse game while I was gone and the light was off.

When I figured I had him accustomed to staying in the tree when the light was off and I was moving around in the dark, I then made a dash to go get my rifle. Its about 150 yards from my stand to the house and I did a very respectable broken field run dodging trees and jumping the ditches. I got my rifle and a bottle of water, then made another 150 yard dash back toward the coon. If I do say so myself, with the speed and agility I displayed tonight, I think I could have toted the football over the goal line had I been playing for Ole Miss yesterday and won that game!

As expected, my plan worked perfectly. The raccoon had not moved from his perch in the tree, obviously thinking I was still playing the cat and mouse game with him. I could tell he was getting a bit unhappy about having to hang on a tree limb and endure the bright light in his eyes while I circled around at the base of the tree. It was obvious that was not what he had planned for his nightly outing.

I sat down on the bucket, propped my rifle on top of the post where I mount my game camera to give me a good shooting rest, and positioned the light to shine on the coon. Holding the light between my knees was a bit tricky. The raccoon was partially behind the main tree trunk and flattened against the limb, presenting a difficult head shot target. Although the rear two thirds of the coon was readily available, I turned down that shot opportunity as I always like to shoot coons in the head when I can. Taking aim at the portion of his head that I could see, I squeezed the trigger. Although the shot was only about 15 yards, I shot slightly over his head and missed.

I bolted another round in the chamber and made a little "squirrel chatter" noise with my mouth to get him to raise his head. One the second squirrel call, the racoon took the bait and looked full at me. I centered the crosshairs between his eyes and this round found its mark right on target. He dropped like a rock out of the tree but crawled about 5 feet into the brush pile and was still trashing a bit when I walked over, so I finished him off with another bullet at the base of his skull.

This raccoon weighed 3 1/2 pounds but should be nice and tender when grilled tomorrow for my holiday dinner! I am glad to get rid of this one before he grew full sized. Now if I can just get his mother and brother one night soon.
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby LazyGhost » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:57 am

That is a hunt to remember. Good work! ;)
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby Honey Bee » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:56 pm

Now thats a story :D
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby LadyHunter » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:55 pm

Personally I would like to see video of you running and jumping ditches!!! :rotflol: :rotflol: At our age that is a sight to see!!! I notice you stoped for a bottle of water!
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby Bullie » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:21 pm

If you learn to bark treed folks make a drop or two with you.
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby Smacko » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:51 pm

Bullie wrote:If you learn to bark treed folks make a drop or two with you.



:rotflol: :rotflol: :rotflol: :rotflol:
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby jv » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:50 pm

Great
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby FireCloud » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:40 pm

Ok, Ladyhunter...ya gotta good point. People who are 57 years old and weigh 229 pounds don't make the best 150 yard dash sprinters! Especially after the yellow jacket nailed me below my left knee and it was swollen and stiff. But when it comes to hunting or chasing women, there is not much telling what I might do!

Bullie, I guess I could have barked at the coon but that would have eliminated one of the tricks I used in this case to get the coon. I have learned most of the urban animals expect humans to make human noise. I never made a single sound the entire time until I was trying to get the coon to raise his head up enough to give me a good shot. And I then gave out a squirrel chatter, which was probably the LAST thing he expected to hear coming from my direction at night. So he could not resist raising his head to see what was going on. And that is when I nailed him. I have found in hunting, being completely silent until it is necessary to make a verbal noise, then use an animal sound to create confusion is a very effective tool. I guess I could have barked...but something tells me the coon would not have responded the same way! :D
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby terry08 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:14 am

Firecloud, I must agree! Had you barked like a dog, that may have changed the whole outcome. I feel that by barking, the coon would have most likely slipped around to a better vantage point while your light was off, and once you turned it on again he would have made a daring leap for your back, catching you off guard, and then the fun would have really began. And we would know, exactly how fast you can really sprint. :rotflol: :rotflol: :rotflol:
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby SouthernHunting » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:32 am

Now that's a story! But I agree...you should take a camera with you into the woods from now on, cuz that kind of stuff doesn't happen very often!
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Re: Tonight's Coon Hunting Story

Postby FireCloud » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:06 pm

SouthernHunting wrote:Now that's a story! But I agree...you should take a camera with you into the woods from now on, cuz that kind of stuff doesn't happen very often!


If I had thought about it, the game camera was mounted to the post I was using as a shooting rest. All I had to do was twist it around to point at the coon and I could have gotten a couple of good pictures. I'll try to remember that next time.

And on this place of mine, things like that happen all the time. I'm not sure if they are still posted in my blog on this site (Life on Trehon Creek), however, if you like stories like that, check out the posts in my blog entitled "Racoon Wars."
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