Hunting in the moonlight....
11/18/2010 10:06:59 AM
Rocker Van Morrison penned these words:
"We get it on most every night
when that moon is big and bright
its a supernatural delight
everybody's dancing in the moonlight."
My buddy Courtney Risk and I didn't go dancin' but we did decide to take a walk with the hounds last night! Court has been a little under the weather but is improving. It was a clear night with a nearly full moon to light the woodlands surrounding Jordan Lake where we do most of our hunting on state game lands.
We drove to a spot we'd discussed as looking pretty good and it didn't take long for the dogs to get struck down by the lake. Hoss pulled up treed. We waited awhile and headed toward the dogs to learn that Sadie, the Walker and Tory, my Plott female were not there. Hoss, my young Plott male, was treed on a tall, slim poplar that went into a pine. We shined it pretty well and decided it was slick. The fact that the other dogs didn't back him convinced me it was a squirrel. I've treed a lot of squirrels over the years on moonlight nights.
The dogs booked out of there and headed toward the dam and were out about 900 yards. I had Hoss on the leash and didn't release him until we could decide where the dogs were. As it turned out they crossed the earthen dam and were soon struck in the timber on the other side of the tail race from the dam. We listened as they came treed. We crossed over and as we got within about 100 yards of the dogs Tory packed her junk and moved out. She didn't open when she left but did return to the tree just as we arrived. It was about 8 inches at the base and had a nice grinner sitting up about 30 feet. We "discouraged" the dogs and led them back to the truck. Hunting on moonlight nights where coon are scarce and off game is prevelent can be frustrating. That was the first possum I've seen Tory on if my memory serves me and Courtney remarked that it was the first off game Sadie had accounted for since he's had her.
We walked back to the truck, taking a steep hike back up to the top of the dam and drove to a new spot that features several small drainages leading down to the lake. Hoss has gotten really fired up this fall and I noticed that he wanted to babble a little on our first drop of the night. I put the Trashbreaker Ultra on him when I put him in the box after the first drop. When I cut him this time, he soon figured out that a #3 on a Trashbreaker transmitter will take the urge to loose bark away instantly. He came back to me for a quick pat on the head and was soon down by the lake with Tory and Sadie when they struck. The Garmin said the track was along the edge of the lake, sometimes in and out of the water and it wasn't long until all three hounds were "killing it" in Courtney's words as we walked the 300 yards to the tree.
They were treed in an oak right on the edge of the lake. We tied the dogs and I told Courtney to lead Sadie where I thought the coon would fall. I shucked a Remington Hollow Point into the chamber of the Browning Buckmark and took my Bright Eyes White Lightning off my head, holding it in my left hand. "Ka-rack" and out came Mr. Boah coon, graveyard dead. This little Browning will kill right where you hold it if you hold it still, something that gets to be a real challenge when shooting at a coon high-up and straight over your head. But this was a fairly easy shot and I won't brag about it because my friends know it ain't always that way.
We let the dogs wool the carcass awhile and since Courtney asked me the last time we were out if I knew how to skin a coon, I had to show him. This was an average coon for down here, weighing about 8 to 10 pounds. We draped his hide over a sapling stump and Courney and I shot a few photos with my Droid 2 phone before heading home. We had a good time.