In all my years of hunting and trapping, both by day and by night, I have found this animal to be a sly and cunning "varmint." My first encounter with him dates back to the time when I as a small boy, had a few rat traps set along a small stream one frosty night in early November. Imagine my surprise on visiting my traps to find two 'coons, one a small seven pounder and the other an enormous 18 pound swamp 'coon, whose fur was almost yellow from age. I tell you it made me hustle to carry that 25 pounds the mile to my home, but I had some satisfaction. I was a real trapper now.
That same fall, near the first of December, I took a walk one day to our south woods and along the line fence into a wheat field. This land was sandy and I saw some 'coon tracks, evidently made the night before. This set me to thinking and I remembered a large basswood tree in our south woods which I had' always imagined contained 'coon. Upon approaching the tree I thought I could detect the fur of some animal blowing away up in the treetop. I made a rustle in the leaves and the fur withdrew into the hole from which it was protruding. I examined the tree and it was all clawed up, so removing my coat I placed it on a bush nearby (this was a home tree, ha! ha!) and rushed home after an axe and rifle. The tree was soon down and it had hardly hit the ground before a large 'coon started across the field. I gave chase with the rifle, which was an old Palmer .56-50 with a safety device. The rifle was locked and would not go, so I finally jumped upon the 'coon's neck with both feet and with the aid of the rifle barrel, I killed him. I just got back to the tree when another ran out. I killed four in that tree and they were all good sized 'coons. That ended the home trees in our woods and for miles around.
There are no 'coons here now, why should there be? Where are their homes? Who destroyed them? Who killed the goose that laid the golden eggs?
They are gone from here for years to come and all other fur is rapidly on the decrease. Brothers, if we continue to cut the home trees we will soon not need Fur News. Think this over before you cut another tree.
Genesee Co., N. Y.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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