Coon Hunting in Texas

| December 21, 2008

A True Story Like Old Yeller Hunting Raccoons in 1970s

Imagine you grew up on the South Texas Border, [ppw id=”133614920″ description=”Raccoon Hunting” price=”.10″]

and as a sixth and seventh grader, you feasted your growing appetite on books like “Old Yeller” and “Sounder”. You lived in a geographic area devoid of any meaningful trees, devoid of raccoons, baying ‘coon dogs, and heck (in regard to “Sounder”) even mostly missing African Americans in those days. It was the flattest farmland you can imagine, with the highest points being overpasses built for the future that is now. The Valley was a golden place at one time, but I lived through the era where the gold turned out to be plating and it was wearing thin. Yes, but that is another story for another time.

This story is about my own Coon hunting experience. I was already primed and ready for Coons by learning how to stalk and shoot out in the country outside town. It only took a couple of minutes to get out to the levy, and I would sometimes get out with Grandpa, and a .22, and a bunch of coffee cans. The old pump, tube feed .22, was from a time when American made weapons were at the height of quality and workmanship, likely built by the same hands that made the weapons that won W-W-eye-eye for the good guys. It had a perfect finish, a perfect wood stock, and an absolutely perfect action that never jammed, and an aim that was dead true. In short, it was built to last.

My Stepfather GWS, is from a rocky patch of Texas near Gatesville called Turnersville. Turnersville is straight out of a McMurtry book like “Horseman, Pass By”, or “The Last Picture Show”. Even then, to an eleven-year-old, I could discern the sound of a last gasp of a dying patient on a ventilator. GW’s school was a shell of a place where the gym was last functioning structure, reserved for 50th. anniversary parties, and family gatherings. Gatesville, in refocused retrospect, was a sleeping giant.

Out the caliche road, at Grannie and Grampy’s house, was some land, a Popping Johnny, farm animals and bees. It was a frame house from an era of zero insulation and staying close to the old gas heaters. If you left anything exposed in sleep, it could be frozen on waking. It was the first time a Valley Boy witnessed ice on the ground where a trough overflowed the day before. Not too far from the house was a windmill, later superseded by an electric well pump, and a growing lot of retired cars. Those cars are probably worth a fortune now, or they would be if not for all the subsequent bullet holes in strategic locations. Somebody, not me, was trying to create their own Bonnie & Clyde car for their million dollar scam. Further back were … trees, old cedar fence lines and tracks – animal tracks.

 

[/ppw]PART TWO TOMORROW –

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Life Observed, On The Road

About the Author ()

I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

Comments (2)

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  1. Cindy says:

    FALSE advertising.. unless you’re planning on posting it late in the night.

  2. Cindy says:

    i just learned this summer that caliche was called caliche. haha who’d thunk that it had a name. i was brought to speed on every aspect of it by my brother at camp this year.