Cows, coons and cats, oh my!
I love the outdoors like most red-blooded American, but I learned at an early age that I'm no hunter.
I can fish with the best of them whether it be just a cane pole and some wigglers or 75 miles off the coast of Florida. I love to fish.
So with the arrival of bow season coming ever so quickly, I have to share with you my first and my last hunt at the age of 12.
I had always asked so many questions about hunting with some of my friends, but had never been. So when the invite came along I jumped in with both feet.
Only I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
My friend had often talked about how fun raccoon hunts were. He had about three or four blue-tick hounds that he personally raised and trained to become great coon hunters.
Having never hunted before, there was no chance that I would be carrying a rifle.
But I did get to walk what seemed to be miles and miles in the dark woods keeping an ear out to hoping to hear a dog baying at a treed coon.
On the way to this profound hunting ground, my friend's father told me that we would be cutting through a cow pasture. The warning wasn't that of the odoriferous patties, but the fact there was a bull that was not very hospitable. So if we heard anyone say run, don't look back and run for the fence.
He didn't have to tell me twice.
As we walked down the pasture I heard my friend's dad yell, ”run!“
I may not have been the lightest guy on two shoes, but I knew that I didn't want to get trampled by a mad bull.
Needless to say, I left the hunting group eating my dust. As I approached the fence full speed I pulled a Pete Rose and dove head-first under that barbed wire fence.
So for almost two or three minutes I waited for someone else to catch up.
Finally someone did.
It amazed my friend's dad how fast I got under that fence wire. To me, it wasn't anything.
To this day, my friend's dad revels at how fast I dove under that fence wire.
After avoiding a mad bull, it was time to walk through the woods to finds the dogs baying and bowing at a coon that they had treed.
My first coon!
I was so excited.
When we got to the tree, lights were shined into the tree and there he was in all his glory. It was the biggest raccoon that I had ever seen. And he wasn't too happy to see us.
So before any shots were fired, my friend's dad told us if the raccoon jumped out the tree to get out the way.
The second word of advice came when there was a cooing coming from another tree. It wasn't the coo of a dove but that of a bobcat. So we were told if we heard a cooing above our heads to move slowly away.
Don't have to tell me twice.
The first shot and the coon was knocked from the tree. It came down on its back and then jumped to it feet with three dogs surrounding it. Then the fight was on.
After a couple minutes, it was Dogs 1, Raccoon 0.
Our first of the night.
Even with all the commotion, I still keep hearing this cooing over my head. My friend's dad told me to move away from the tree I was standing beneath.
Didn't have to tell me twice.
I moved away.
It was only after the hunt that my friend's dad told me that a bobcat was perched on a limb just above my head.
It certainly was a hunt that I'll never forget.
I don't have anything against hunting or hunters, but I don't see myself going on a coon hunt again anytime soon.
Kevin Taylor is sports editor of the The Greenville Advocate. Call him at (334) 382-3111 ext. 122 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.