What Hunting Means To Me

written by Caitlyn Bridgewater

A theory in life that many individuals choose to believe is true is; "Throughout life many friends will walk in and out of your life, but if you make one best friend you should be thankful." In my short fifteen years, I have gained and lost many friends, but I have come to find my best friend is my coon dog Rebel.

Rebel is a tri-colored walker out of Goose Creek Slugger. He has a stout build from the ground up. His eyes are a deep chocolate brown. Not only is Rebel a Nite Champion, but he is a sure tree dog.

I hunt UKC youth hunts faithfully and I am very competitive in them. Rebel is a dependent dog I can always count on to be treeing every breath, walker style, when my cast arrives to score the tree. As I load Rebel up into the dog box before every hunt, I whisper into his ear “Ol' buddy I am depending on you tonight do not let me down”, he always seems to clearly understand what I tell him. Not only do I hunt Rebel in the hunts, but I enter him in swim races, field trials, and treeing contest. In every event Rebel puts forth all his effort for the duration.

On somedays I need time to find myself and the best way I can do that is to go pleasure hunting. I can find nothing more relaxing than listening to Rebel sing his track. When I arrive to the tree I can always count on him to be slinging slobbers and have any shrub around the tree knawed down.

Rebel and I have hunted a lot of rough terrain. From Delaney hills, Brookville lake, and knee deep swamps. Two hours or even one can seem live forever when hunting, but Rebel and I as a team do not give up. I have hunted on stormy nights when all the other dogs quit, but Rebel kept right on hunting. When Rebel and I come to a thick briar patch he automatically cuts me a path. As everyone knows, after pulling some dogs off a tree they return right back, but with Rebel I can lead him 6 inches away and he goes on hunting.

I have made many memories hunting with Rebel. I have come to find that for some people they search many years for that one special coon dog, and it has luckily only taken me two years, The best part about the coon dog I have found is he is my best friend. No money in the world could buy Rebel from me.

As coon season is quickly approaching I am counting down the days until I can tale Rebel for his evening runs. As the leaves are changing and the crisp autumn air blows them around, I think of hunting adventures in the past and hope this year brings as much joy and to Rebel and I.

Coon hunting is a very special fun sport, but when my dog, partner, and the best friend is beside me all along the way, I can get an adrenaline rush like no other. In my heart, eyes, and mind, Rebel is a legendary coon dog. Most importantly he is my best friend.

Caitlyn Bridgewater
Age 15
Vallonia, IN

2010 CoonDawgs.com Youth Essay Contest Winner

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