HARDIN COUNTY, OHIO, RACCOON HUNT
While stationed at a little one-horse place, called Silver Creek, in Hardin county, Ohio, for four years, I believe I had the best time of all my life, when it came to hunting.
Being unable to get board there, being the station agent, operator and flunky in general, for the Big Four Railroad, I was successful in getting a camp car placed there for our convenience.
Getting all set, the next thing that confronted me was a good dog or two to pass away the lonesome hours between working periods. While writing and inquiring for a dog, I was busy hiking over the country, looking up territory suitable to hunt and trap, which was found to be very good for especially skunk and muskrat, which were quite plentiful, but the coon were scarce, until you got back near the larger streams and swamps.
After spending quite a bit of hard earned cash expressing clogs back and forth. I finally succeeded in getting a dandy young hound, four years old, from an old gentleman near Portsmouth, for ten bucks, and the best buy I ever made. I came to the city and had at least fifty buyers for him which resulted from an advertisement in the good old H-T-T, and let him go for $100.00 and wish now I had him back.
I will state one instance which I well remember and laugh every time the thought comes to my mind. A young man, Mr. AJvie King, living close, came to the office and told me where there was plenty of game including coons and as it was going to be an ideal night we decided to go which meant a straight walk of two miles to the place called the swamps, which was cleared and partly under cultivation but only a short time and an ideal place for skunk. This man King was one of these easy going chaps that never worried about anything but his dog and chewing tabbacco. He wore an old fur cap at least two sizes too large and a pair of felt boots, one a number ten and the other at least a twelve, and his action was as great as 'a sick cow, in getting about. No sooner than we hit the swamp old Speed had a skunk bayed which we devoured and crossing the creek old Speed let a yell out of him somewhat different from usual as he had come in direct contact with an old swamper which he could not handle and had holed him in an old beech tree. King got a pole and grunted and cussed but could not twist him down which I was well aware of and laughed. We finally decided to cut the tree but we had neither gun nor ax. King thought I was bringing them and I thought the same of him. so there we were.
Finally, his mind related to a woods nearby where lumbermen were cutting and we found an ax. Did you ever try cutting an old beech? No more for me. King and I toiled for two hours, and old Speed got tired waiting and had me running to him three times to kill a skunk he had bayed.
Finally down came the tree and we cut right into the coon just so we could get him by the hind legs. We decided to see what kind of a fighter Speed was so we pulled him out and I was holding the lantern, and the fun began. Say, that coon could whip a dozen ordinary dogs and away they went, first the dog on top then the coon. I told King to get a club, and the coon takes us through fallen tree tops, brush heaps, and logs. I fell down and out went my lantern right in the thickest of the fray, expecting any second for Mr. Coon to climb my frame, but it was just light enough to keep track of where they were going. King's fur cap caught on a brier and away he went striking at the coon and missing him and would get all tangled up with those felt boots and fall down. But as luck would have it there were no holes or den right close and finally we got the coon out in an adjoining young orchard. Say, that coon would stand on his hind legs and come at you like a bear. Finally King got a crack at him and put him to sleep. It was now coming daylight and two and a half miles to walk. After gettin? all of our paraphernalia together we started home and I don't know which was the nearest all in, anyhow I look back to that night. and to be honest would no doubt repeat again.
If this is not censored I will relate some more good nights. I am located here in Columbus where H-T-T is printed and they are fine people and a very fine location and are not equalled by any.
G. C. Harper
Hunter-Trader-Trapper. October: 1921,
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