Coon Hunting – The Night The Lights Went Out
Yes, it was quite the night alright, but before I get to it, I want to tell you about the lead up that took place.
I love coon hunting and I loved being able to help pay for Christmas with the money from it. My Pops had decided to come into town to pay us a visit. Roscoe aka Ross and I were quite the team and it did not matter day or night we walked hundreds of miles to find the elusive critters.
We had Perkins, the silent treeing German Shepherd, and in an earlier story I mentioned about finding the love of my life in a Bluetick hunting coonhound named Jassie.
Now Pops was not too sure what to expect, but we told him we hunt all night and anything can happen. Pops was game for anything.
This particular night we had decided to only take Jassie, as her and Perkins had not worked together yet, and well…it proved to be a smart move.
Jassie had that pride and she liked to be the boss, so we set out for a place that we were hoping was going to be a honey hole.
It happened to be down at the bottom end of Rice Lake, a dangerous spot, as coons like to drown dogs and the more water for them the better.
Ross said, “Well Brian, we will see how good she really is.”
My Dad was very interested to see how she worked and how we made out.
In our preliminary running of Jassie she had proved herself, but just how good was she?
We loved the fact that she held the tree and would not leave it until we took care of business. It was a clear, crisp night, a great night for hunting with a full moon. So we had a plan that we would put her in at the top of the corn fields leading to the lake and see what she could pick up.
We thought it was World War Two right away, her bays started immediately, and man, was she moving around! Which was very odd, she was like in a roundup mode.
Ross looked at me and said, “Wow, she is going back and forth. Either it is one big smart boar coon or she is rounding up everyone of them in the county!”
My Pops was really into this now, and well, this went on for about an hour, she was back and forth, back and forth. We then had the strangest thing happen, and it certainly spooked Pops, and he stayed very close after this, when he looked up at the fence row and saw a very large pack of wolves.
Eyes were staring right at us. “Wolves guys, and I mean a lot of them!” Pops said.
We laughed and said, “We see them all the time, our friends!”
“Right,” he said, “You two are nuts!”
Now after calming him down we said to him, “Pops, they are waiting for dinner.”
He said, “I know that and I don’t want to be their next meal!”
We assured him that he would see for himself in a bit.
We were trying to catch up to Jassie who was on a mission. Now, finally, we thought, she was fixated on this one big tree, but then after about twenty minutes and getting tired of waiting for us, she did the unthinkable. Jassie left the tree and then headed to another tree.
“Odd” we thought. She went to this tree and then left it, went back to tree number one, as we tried to find out what was going on. Now coming up and over that hill and putting our lights on the tree she was now on and had been going back and forth to our mouths dropped.
“Oh my God!” “Ross look!” “Pops look!” I said.
Up that one tree was, and I kid you not, thirty coon, shaking to high heaven and they had met their maker in Jassie girl.
After she saw us coming to the tree, she left the tree, and went to tree number two.
“Say what?” This was not like her at all.
Ross said “What the heck is going on? Wow, have we got some shooting to do! Brian you go and see what she is up to and I will take care of these!”
Now the wolves were getting excited, getting closer, and my dad’s hair started to stand up on his back.
“You guys are crazy!” Pops exclaimed.
They were very close. Now as stories go and nights go, this was the biggest night, we ever had in the many years of doing this, and well, as I put my night light up into the lone tree in the field, about two hundred yards, from the other tree, it was apparent what was going on.
I could not believe my eyes! Jassie was shaking with excitement her tail going like “Hey, I am the Queen!”
I kid you not, another twenty five coon and they were all big, no small ones allowed.
“Well” Ross said, “My oh my! Jassie has treed half the county!”
So Ross takes care of his tree and then he joins us and we take care of the other twenty-five. BAM BAM BAM! Fifty-five in total!
Ross looks at Pops and says, “That was the fun part. Now the work begins…we have to feed the wolves.”
The look on my Dads face, it was priceless!
So one by one we jacket skin them out and take them up to the fence. The wolves were waiting…the big male wolf looked right at Jassie and us as much to say, “My family and I thank-you!”
The whole pack had quite the feed that night and poor Jassie she slept for two days she was so tired.
Ross said, “Honestly Brian, for a dog that was supposed to be a deer hound, she is the best coon dog I have ever seen!”
Pops said, “All I can say is what would you have done if they had attacked you?”
We laughed and said, “Pops, they never bite the hand that feeds them.” At least that’s the theory.
We downplayed the wolves and went home to bed, nice and dark, all because the lights went out at Rice Lake.
God bless you, Jassie girl, there will never be another one like you.
Another true tail from the Squirrell’s Nest from Brian “Bear” Squirrell at Big Bear Outfitters – Nova Scotia, Canada.