“Moon’s getting big,” Dud said over coffee the other day.
“Sure is,” said Herb Collins.
“Time to go after The Ghost again.”
“I’ll be there,” said Dud.
The Ghost, hereabouts, is a raccoon. He lives along Lewis Creek and is a wily old rascal. We love going coonhunting here, but the way we do it is a bit different than they do it other places. Since we don’t have a lot of water around us, as they do in some areas, we don’t have a lot of ‘coons, either. So we conserve the ‘coons, but not the fun. We throw ‘em back when we’re done.
So we take these beautiful fall and winter nights, put on several layers of longjohns, and turn the hounds out along the creek. Sometimes the dogs strike a ‘coon track and put the ‘coon up the tree quickly. Then we tell the dogs how wonderful they are, hook the dogs to leashes, and drag them back to the truck. It’s hunting’s answer to catch-and-release. The coons stay in the tree until we’re gone and then go back to making the nights more interesting.
But not The Ghost. The Ghost is a big male, or boar. We’ve treed him more than a dozen times now, and then he discovered this was kinda fun. So now he waits in a one-acre patch of trees. Waits for the dogs. And when they catch his scent, he takes those dogs through farmyards, across busy streets, even past the dog pound. He does everything he can to shake them off his trail, and it works. The dogs haven’t treed him in three years now. It the dogs get smart to his ways and put too much pressure on him, he swims the river.
So Dud and Herb will try The Ghost again tomorrow. Will the dogs put him up a tree this time? Don’t bet on it.
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