A KANSAS 'COON HUNT
Well boys, as I am a reader of Fur News and have been for some time, will try to tell you of one of my 'coon hunts, as I like that sport; I hunt some every winter.
One night in February, 1915, a friend of mine came over to go hunting. He had three very good dogs; I had two. One dog my friend calls Sam. He is a good ranger and very fast. My friend's name is Bruce Henchy. Well, when he came he was leading old Sam. Two of my brothers-in-law went with us. We started for Leader Creek, about five miles west; there is a range of hills and some very rough country to cross. I wanted Hence, as I call him, to turn Sam loose with the other dogs; but Hence said he wanted him fresh when we came to the creek. I thought there was something wrong; I asked him if the dog would run coyotes. Oh! no, he never starts one after dark.
Well, just as we were coming to where we wanted to hunt Hence turned old Sam loose. He hadn't gone fifty yards when he opened up. Hence said it was a 'coon; he could tell from the way the dog worked. Well, I didn't think so, for one of my dogs had crossed the same trail, so we let Hence's other dog work for a while. Hence said it was a 'coon, so I called my dogs in and they would first whine for a while, but a? the other dogs warmed up they fell in. Then for the first two long hours we listened to the finest chase I ever heard. It was one of those bright moonlight nights, still and cold. We built a fire and sat down to wait for them to come in. Finally they came so close Hence stopped one of his dogs; she is old and was getting tired, so Hence got her to bark treed up a tree; his dogs came to her, then we started on. My dogs finally caught up. We started several trails, but it was cold, so we called the dogs off. Finally we came to some of the worst country to cross with a horse. We were on the bank of a deep canyon, where we would have to go a half mile to get down in it with our horses.
Well, here is where flic 'coon hunt starts. The dogs all opened up at once nearly, but one of my dogs left the others. We didn't see him and couldn't hear him for some time. Finally we heard him barking treed down the canyon, so we left the other dogs and went to him. We found him in the ground where the bank had curved off. Well, he made so much fuss that all the other dogs but Hence's old bitch came in; then the fight started. It was a hard place for the dogs to get to the 'coon. Finally they made it so hot for him he tried to run out and get to a cave close by, but Mr. Coon didn't think he would try to run over a dog, but he did, also a full-grown man. The man wasn't looking for him, but the dog was. I heard Fred say "Here he is." The man, dog and 'coon went down into the ditch together. I couldn't do anything but laugh. You couldn't tell which one was on top sometimes.
Well, old Fred didn't get bit, but scratched some. It didn't take long for the dogs to kill Mr. Coon. So Fred got up and we all laughed good. Just then Hence said to listen, but the dogs had already heard the old bitch treed up the canyon so we went to her. She was in the ground. We couldn't see anything and the dogs couldn't get in, so I stuck a stick in the hole about two feet. There Mr. Coon was. We didn't have anything to dig with. We tried to smoke him out, but couldn't, so finally one of the dogs went down under the hill and started to dig and bark. I went down with him and found a small hole. After using a stick for a spade, I made a hole so I could turn a flash-light in there Mr. Coon was. I told Hence to come and shoot him with his pistol; the dogs couldn't reach him. Hence shot him. We pulled him out with a wire. Well, we thought that would do for that night, as we had two 'coons and lots of fun. We got home just after daylight, hungry and tired, but well pleased.
J. S. Kennerly.
Barber Co, Kans.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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