Coon hunting with hounds

Coonie the Ole Ringtail Coon

Written by Mary Lou McKillip

Now it's just about time to hear from the source it's self., those smart el-lecks dawgs strutting around telling of how many coons went in the sack. Now I'm here to tell how many coons like me Miss Coonie got away.

I was born and raised in an old holler tree south of the border of Tennessee. Mongoose my mammy had a paschal of us little ones that night I was born. Mongoose heard the coon dawgs coming and she knew she couldn't let herself get caught before she had her younguns. She went to a patch of wild onions and eat her a bate. Then she swished them in the creek and made a mud paddy to cover her mangy hide. This was to throw off the coon sent and boy it worked or the God Lord above helped her one.

When us younguns were born we could hardly find our source of milk the mud was caked so on Mongoose's hide, but by the grace of God we made it. There was a coon dawg by the name of Rascal he doubled back to the tree where us younguns were and we had to scurry up tight and be still. Then as luck had it he joined his other coon hunting dawgs buddies.Talk about a narrow miss, Mongoose bedded down safe that night with us hangin on to her belly.

I was the only female coon in the liter and the smartest too in my book. Mongoose sensed that and taught me some tricks how to outsmart those good coon hunting dawgs. Mongoose luck ran out two week later Ole Rascal came back to the holler tree near Narrow creek and bayed us all. The other coon dawgs came to help with the treeing.

Mongoose knew it was not going to be long. I raised up out of the bed in that holler tree to see don't you know. Mongoose in all her anger and fear accindently knock me out of the den and I landed in a briar thicket.

I held on tight to a briar limb. Rascal and the other dawgs treed and old John spotted Mongoose and shot her out. My little brothers held on to mammy and they all hit the ground.

John said," Hold on Rascal, there is a bounch of little ones here and we want to catch them alive and take back to help train old Sudie the new coon dawg.

John got his sack and began to put my little brothers in the sack along with Mongoose my dead mammy. In all the ruckus they missed me hanging on that briar limb for dear life. John got hold of Rascal and the other hounds and headed for his truck. When I felt it was safe I swung down and headed for my home in the holler tree there I shivered and cried almost all night missing my Mammy Mongoose and my brothers.

Now I was in this big world along and scared out of my wits I began to climb down the tree and scavenge for food and soon got pretty good at feeding myself on what surrounded me. I got grown in a hurry and found me a mate and had me some baby coons. I keep the holler tree and buddy and me survived there for months.

One night I heard ole Rascal and John coming with lights that lit up my holler tree like a Christmas tree. Buddy and I lay still as church mice our younguns had trees of their own by now. I thought Rascal would never go and leave us be. One of John's old hound took off and Rascal followed him. Old John soon started up the ridge on another coon sent.

I was beginning to think ole Rascal's nose had gone cold, but no way. The next Saturday night he treed old buddy and now I was alone again. I would never show myself or move and kept mud packed hard on my body like Mongoose did before I was born.

Then my luck was about to come to a halt and I didn't get back in the holler tree far enough and Rascal got wind of me. O Lord I knew I was a goner, but John came up and took Rascal by the collar and said, "Rascal, there is no coons in that tree we've caught them all."

After that I didn't venture to far from my tree and I felt safe after hearing old John tell Rascal we got all the coons in this tree. Then John hounds came back to my tree and there I was with my guard down and I started down the back side of the tree to slip away from Rascal and there he was nabbing at me to close for comfort and I peed in his eyes and he hollered and whined and carried on something awful.

I had taken a liking to Rascal and I hope I hadn't burn his eyes to bad, I couldn't help it.

Rascal caught me and John put me in his gunny sack and away we went to John's farm.

I was in there with coons I didn't know and I knew I had to get out in a hurry. Rascal came by and I reached out of the cage and pinched Rascal on the nose and he started barking like he was treeing me.

John scolded him and said," Rascal, that OLE coon is already in the cage whats your problem?."

I worked to get the latch undone and when John scolded Rascal I high tailed it back to the woods was free at last. You know I had respect for Rascal, I thought he was the best coon dawg around and I Coonie was the slickest coon around these parts as well.

If it weren't for good coon dawgs and their master coon hunters us old coons wouldn't have any fun at all.

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