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Raccoons and Hounds?
Small Game hunting related discussion
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tjparker_81
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:41 pm    Post subject: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

The guy that sold me my rifle said he'll take me out raccoon hunting next time he goes. I don't really know what to expect other than its night hunting. Can anyone give me a little crash course on so I'll be a little prepared when he calls me.

Also, if I like it, my wife's brother brought over some black and tan/blue tic pups for us to keep till we can find a place for them so they don't get put down. We decided to keep one and I'd like to know how to train her to hunt. Any body got some tip on that? Hell.....anyone want some pups? There's 7 total and they're driving me crazy.

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

Somebody found a nice home to park their pups in!!! You have to like a few barks to have a hound dog around. Very handsome dog though. I bet they're pretty easy to train with a long leash and a whistle. Just let her loose in the woods (on leash) they go crazy with the smells. Take her when you go coon hunting and let her see and smell a dead coon a few times, she'll be on target in no time.


I just
made
that up
Suz

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44marty
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

Really all you have to do is train them what NOT to chase. Get them after a raccoon and they will be less likely to go off on other game. The worst things they can get after are deer and ducks. A coonhound that chases ducks will have you slogging circles in swamps all night. Deer tend to run in a straight line - for a long long way - so you have to find a road the dogs / deer will cross and get there ahead of them to intercept them.

There are (were) coon hunting magazines, and are many good books on the subject. One of the best magazines was "Full Cry" - don't know if it's still in publication.

Oh, and like all hunting dogs, you have to train them not to be gun shy. When they are busy doing something else (like eating their supper) fire a cap pistol. Keep about your own business like nothing at all has happened. After doing this a few times, and over a few days, until the dogs pay no attention to the noise, go to a louder sound - like a starter pistol that fires blanks. Work your way up to louder sounds until you get to a shotgun.

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44marty
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

See if you can find a copy of "The Coon Hunter's Handbook" by Leon Whitney and Acil Underwood. It is one of the books once offered in the Field and Stream outdoor series.

The easiest way to train a coon dog is to run it with experienced coonhounds. You first must train the pups not to be gun shy. They must also be firmly taught "don't touch". The other important lessons: "good dog" and "take it". Train the pups at home the commands "don't touch" and "take it" with a piece of steak.
Don't touch is the most often used command during the training period. Like I said before, you have to firmly train the dog what you do NOT want it to chase.

Going coonhunting you will need a good light. A headlamp is best because you may need hands free to handle dogs, a gun, and sometimes have to climb into a tree to get a decent shot at the coon. (EDIT: It can be a real rush to have climbed into a tree with a .22 only to find that it was a BEAR instead of a coon up there. Pay attention to tracks!!)
You will also want good waterproof hunting boots that you can run / hike in comfortably for good distances. I found a .22 mag handgun the best option for a firearm, but use whatever you like.

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Last edited by 44marty on Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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44marty
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

PS- Blueticks are awesome. They are the best hounds at sticking to the game animal they are trained for. They also have amazing ability to track older, fainter trails.
HAHAHAhahaha - Starting right out with SEVEN coonhounds - You have your hands FULL (I Know). How old are they? Photos??

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

bow wooooh woow
man that sound of a crooning hound gets the blood going
+1 on the what not to do bit. my dogs get mutton aversion training on the lead all the time, you walk past some sheep and if the dogs head turns towards them "smack" on the ol lughole! they soon learn. my wife was doing paper round with Daughter the other day and some lambs were out running around the street. one lamb ran up and sniffed the dogs bum. he just about turned himself inside out trying to get away without looking.
I dont know if you can do it with hounds but a rock solid( do it or else)stop whistle can save a heck of alot of grief, when pooch looks like hes about to go off on a tangent blow your stop whistle down goes the bum and hey presto you are back in control.

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MacD
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:11 am    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

My first coon hunting trip was an adventure I will never forget. By the end of 5 hours of crashing through swamp, thickets and a plowed field I was scratched by thorns and branches, food for a host of biting insects, got a smack in the chops from a bent sapling and a boot full of evil smelling mud. I must have looked like a survivor of a WW1 trench raid. It was all worth it to hear the dogs on each coon's trail, the change in their bark/howl when they treed a coon and that first glance of the eyes glaring back at you out of the tree when you finally got a gun light on your quarry. I let my host do the shooting, although he graciously offered each time to let me do the honour. I was just too pumped, winded, shaking and sore to be confident I would hit the tree, never mind the coon. I learned better how to follow the dogs after a few more hunts and shot my first and only coon on my last one. He was well up in a beech tree and he stayed there after I shot him. Couldn't climb the tree so we had to go back to my host's farm to get a ladder. I climbed up the ladder close enough to poke him out of the tree crotch with a long stick just in case my coon was playing "possum".

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tjparker_81
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

MacD wrote:
My first coon hunting trip was an adventure I will never forget.

Haha
Sounds great. I think I'll enjoy it when I do go.

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44marty
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

One of my first trips:
My hound tracked a coon back to its den tree. This was a hollow tree on a tiny island in the middle of a swamp. There were mats of floating bushes on the water with root balls big enough that the dog could run on top. I waited and called for a couple hours, but the dog just wouldn't give up on that tree.
Lots of these bushes were heavy enough that a person (lucky me) could just manage to walk on them and stay afloat. It was like a maze trying to pick out a route of heavy enough bushes to make it out to the tree. At one point, I slipped off a root system and went straight down between the bushes into the water. I had my 22 rifle on a sling and when I went through - the rifle spun crosswise and caught under my armpit. This kept me from going all the way under. (I still don't know how deep that water was.) Finally, soaked and miserable in 30 degree weather with a 25 MPH wind, I made it out to that bloody tree. That's when I found out it was a hollow den tree - no way to get that coon. The hound refused to leave the tree. I had to drag the bugger back on a leash. Of course, staying on the bushes without getting repeatedly soaked while trying to drag the dog was impossible.
When we finally got back to shore, the hound slipped his collar and - you guessed it - beat feet back out to that tree. I had had more than enough and sat shivering in the car with the heat blasting trying to get warm. The dog FINALLY gave up and came back, 6 hours or so later - an hour after sunrise.
Which leads to this often-used coonhunting tip:

If the dog(s) get separated from you, or get into a spot like this where you definitely don't want to follow, LAY YOUR JACKET ON THE GROUND WHERE YOU LAST WERE WITH THE DOG. Go back to the fire (or the car) and wait. When you return later, you will find the dog curled up on your jacket waiting for you.

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The strength of the wolf is in the pack; the strength of the pack is in the wolf. ~ R. Kipling

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

Good stories boys. Like the jacket tip.
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44marty
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

One story from the Coon Hunter's Handbook is a long read, but a great tale:

"Come with us on a coon hunt that stands out in our memory beyond all others. It was in Maine, not far from the town of Brunswick. One afternoon we saw some coon tracks in shore mud of the Cathance River, but it was eight o'clock when we returned with our dogs to hunt. The night was still, the moon full. Not far away we could hear two foxhounds running a fox. After much working, Bob, one of our dogs, found a track which ran directly toward the farmhouse where we were staying. Though this did not look any too hopeful, we remembered that we had cut the track of the foxhounds and their fox, so it was probably not a fox that Bob was running. Before we had gone far, we heard Bob barking tree apparently just beside the house across the road from ours. We arrived to find a coon in a cherry tree which drooped over a henhouse. The coon jumped to the top of the house and, with an ease that showed a familiarity with farm buildings, eluded us. By the time the dogs had found his track on the other side of the barn, he was off to the river, and, guided by the dogs, we shot him out of a tree on the bank. . . . . . . . .

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The strength of the wolf is in the pack; the strength of the pack is in the wolf. ~ R. Kipling

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44marty
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

. . . . For a while we sat upon a bluff overlooking the river, watching, in the brilliant light of the moon, the dogs working the river bank below. The black dog, TNT, suddenly stood on his hind legs, scenting the air drifts. Then Bob, the white dog, got a whiff. TNT walked out into the cold water, swam to the other shore, and ran up river for a hundred yards. Bob ran along our side of the river; then he too crossed. They began to bay, a stirring duet. We watched intently.
Suddenly our attention was called to something swimming directly toward us, breaking the water and sending out tiny waves. We shone the eyes, which, while not bright, showed much luminescence. It was a coon.
He was losing in his race, for we have never seen dogs swim faster. They bayed as they swam - a music that was in harmony with the witchery of the night, the moon, the frost in the air. . . . . .

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The strength of the wolf is in the pack; the strength of the pack is in the wolf. ~ R. Kipling

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Last edited by 44marty on Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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44marty
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

. . . . Three quarters of the way across they caught up with the coon. One young man with us knew where a duck boat was pulled upon the shore. We ran to it, pushed it into the river, and all four piled in, though it was meant to carry but two. The fight had gone back to the middle of the river, and Bob was not to be seen. TNT lunged forward and caught the coon by the side of the throat. With that, Bob came to the surface, for the coon had been riding on his head. TNT swam to the far shore; when we reached him, he had the coon buried in the mud at the water's edge. We dug it up, sloshed it off in the river, threw it in the bottom of the boat, and started back.
The coon must have been shamming, for he picked the middle of the river as a good place to come to life. Craving action, he bit the leg of the heavyweight of the party. The bitten one flared up like a rocket and sought immediate revenge. Up came the sculling oar and down went the butt at the head of the coon, but the coon side-stepped and the butt went through the bottom of the boat. That made trouble, and plenty of it. The boat was too jammed for anyone to get out of the coon's way, and everybody had to take his punishment. The heavyweight put a large foot over the hole so the boat didn't go under until we were near enough to the shore to avoid a swim. As it was, the water was above our waists, and the entire party, including coon and dogs, went for the shore under forced draft. The dogs treed the coon after a short chase and he was shot. We returned home to change our clothes and hunted until daylight."

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The strength of the wolf is in the pack; the strength of the pack is in the wolf. ~ R. Kipling

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

pig hunters do the jacket trick over here too.

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44marty
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Raccoons and Hounds? Reply with quote

Oh, that last story reminded me - - I was severely reprimanded by my hunting buddies after my hunting/swimming trip NOT to hunt coon near water with just a single dog. A coon can and will drown a lone coonhound if he can get her in the water.
Of course with seven hounds you won't have that problem. Hey - where are the photos?

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The strength of the wolf is in the pack; the strength of the pack is in the wolf. ~ R. Kipling

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