I wish to relate the experiences of my first and only (to date) coon hunt, thinking perhaps it may revive in some of you experienced coon hunters memories of your first treat at this great sport. After following you fellows in the coon hunts related in the H-T-T, which, by the way, I consider the best magazine I have read in this line, I became possessed of a great desire to get out along the creek with some dogs myself, so when the first opportunity presented itself I said, "You can count me in."
One glorious night the last of November, about seven o'clock, Reed, Cooper and myself with five coon dogs in a Ford sedan (some load) set sail for a creek about 13 miles from home. On the way Cooper asked me if this was my first coon hunt and when I told him it was, he said, "You will never amount to a — from now on." I can see plainly now why he said this, because if you stay out all night hunting you will not be able to work the next day and if you enjoy the sport as much as I did you will not be able to work much the following days for thinking of it.
Well, in due time we arrived at the creek and turned the dogs loose and they scattered in all directions, we following slowly along the creek. After a time we would hear a hound howl over there, then one over there; then in some other direction and at every howl my excitement would slip up another notch. Presently the dogs came close to us and such a noise as they did make and the way they rushed back and forth that with even no experience in the game my instinct told me that something was going to happen shortly. After a time all the dogs stopped under a large tree and their howls turned to barks. We watched them for a while and presently one of the dogs started to climb the tree. (Now this may not seem extraordinary or exciting to you older heads at the game but you can take it from me that I was getting all the excitement that was coming to me after about two years of waiting). About the time the dog had climbed about ten feet up down he came; I do not know just how but he came anyway and such commotion as there was under that tree. It looked to me like all the other dogs had jumped on him. After we had the dogs separated we found that we had a 'possum.
In a short time the dogs left the creek and started up hill through a cornfield. After they had gotten away above us and were making enough noise for 100 dogs my partners started on a run up the hill and angling across the rows of corn. I believe that was the toughest proposition I ever tackled. I do not remember how many times I fell but it was aplenty. I sure felt sorry for Cooper who was carrying six dry cells with a spotlight to shine the coons. By the time we reached the top of the hill the dogs were working down a draw, across another creek and into another cornfield. When we reached the creek we found some fresh coon tracks and then I guess I was some excited. We stopped at the creek, expecting the dogs to run the coon back (I guess that was what we expected) to the creek. All of a sudden Cooper yelled, "They've got him," and I guess we did some running. I forgot the water in the creek and just waded right through same as if there was no water there. When we reached the dogs they had a coon and believe me, he was putting up some fight. We pulled three of the dogs away and let the other two finish him.
All told, we got one coon and three 'possums that night by eleven o'clock and incidentally I had the time of my life and decided that I did not care to amount to anything if I could just hunt coon.
O. J. Hitchcock,
Hunter-Trader-Trapper. October: 1921,
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