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Old August 5, 2013, 10:01 PM   #1
TXAZ
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Tenn. Coon hunt: Any experience?

I may have a chance to go on a Tennessee coon hunt in October. Haven't done this before, and I'm not sure this is for me.

A couple of questions:
I've not been night hunting but the implication is most of the hunting is in heavily wooded areas. Any recommendations? How crowded have you hunted coons in the woods?

Are night vision or spotlights legal?
What caliber have you used? They seem small, and I'm guessing a .30-06 is overkill.
Any other suggestions? If I'm misreading the Tenn. regs, please let me know.
Thanks.
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Old August 5, 2013, 10:57 PM   #2
ripnbst
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Tenn. Coon hunt: Any experience?

12GA buckshot or something like .223. I've heard that .22 sometimes is less than humane. My concern with .223 is some coon shots are into trees and if you miss that trajectory is lofty and who knows where it might come down.
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Old August 6, 2013, 07:34 AM   #3
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Usually only one gun(usually a 22 rifle) is needed on a coon hunt and most likely carried by the owner of the dogs. Expect to do a lot of walking around in the brush in the dark tripping over logs, rocks, and fences. Lots of walking into spider webs unless it's been pretty cold and windy. You being the guest, you may get the "privilege" of packing the flea and tick infested carcasses.
Now I remember why I quit coon hunting 30 years ago.
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Old August 6, 2013, 09:34 PM   #4
TXAZ
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Thanks Mobuck. Haven't done it before, but you're not making it seem like the belle of the ball

Any idea if thermal / night vision sights and cameras are legal? I'm thinking that's why I was invited.
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Old August 7, 2013, 09:02 AM   #5
Mobuck
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I don't know about Tenn but in MO, shining a light around in the night w/o having dogs on the ground is called "spot lighting". As for the night vision, it would seem to be another unfair advantage. Much of the lure of coon hunting is the running of the dogs. Some real dog men don't even kill the coons-just run and tree to hear their dogs run. Some states have a "no kill" season just for training dogs.
I'd suggest you have an indepth discussion of what your host expects and how they hunt. A good red lens light(with batteries to last several hours) will aid walking and prevent accidental trips/falls. After the prey is treed, a high powered white light will illuminate the tree and locate the coon.
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Old August 7, 2013, 09:09 AM   #6
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Handguns are not kind to raccoons. Most handgun calipers pass right through them, angering them greatly. .223 Winchester varmint in 45gr is pretty good on them. Hornaday vmax makes a mess of them. I'm sure it's going to be one of those dog hunts, do I'm not sure what of my experience applies to that.

Coons can be resilient. I learned to wait for them to stand upright and shoot the chest neck. Or climbing vertical
Pound for pound, raccoons are the meanest critter I've ever dealt with. Some are docile though.
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Old August 7, 2013, 10:07 AM   #7
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Need more info on the type of coon hunting. Traditional method is with dogs. In this case all you need is a LED head lamp for walking, a LED maglite for shining and maybe a .22 even though the guy you are hunting with will have one and you don't need more than that.

Coon "calling" with electronic callers is gaining in popularity. It can be done either at night or during the day and is great fun. Can't help you with the game laws in TN as for if you an use a light at night while callin (can't here in Iowa) so you'll have to check that out for yourself. As for guns the single best medicine for coon callin is a 12ga with "low count" #4 buck shot. Traditional 2 3/4" shotgun shells use 27 #4 pellets, I prefer the ones that hold 21 pellets. The shooting will be close and fast and you don't need or in most cases want to blast em with heavy loads. You also don't want to blast em with too many holes so stay away from anything smaller than #4 buck.

Coon hunting with dogs can be hard work but is very rewarding, coon callin is easier on the body and a lot of fun but a trained monkey could call and kill coon. Reward factor is limited.
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Old August 7, 2013, 10:33 AM   #8
dahermit
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Then there is the Southern "Coon Hunt" were, when a fresh 'coon trail is struck by the dogs and they give chase, the participants build a fire, sit down, pass the jug and talk about what dog is barking and what the dog's barking is indicating.
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Old August 7, 2013, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Then there is the Southern "Coon Hunt" were, when a fresh 'coon trail is struck by the dogs and they give chase, the participants build a fire, sit down, pass the jug and talk about what dog is barking and what the dog's barking is indicating.

Is how we did it in the 60s, put up a card table and play cards, dad would say treed and we would go find em. Shoot the coon set dogs on the run, go play cards drink hot coco we was kids and it was a lot of fun staying up that late.
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Old August 8, 2013, 09:01 AM   #10
TXAZ
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Learned more last night, I'm going to pass.

Not sure I want to take expensive gear out, particularly if this appears there is a significant amount of beer involved.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Last edited by TXAZ; August 8, 2013 at 06:49 PM.
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Old August 9, 2013, 08:56 AM   #11
hogdogs
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Florida law is like much of the nation... One gun per group (I may be wrong on only one gun but that law is not needed as there is already plenty to do and carry and dog owners limit who shoots around their dogs) in rimfire or .410 (I think .410 must be a single shot) and must remain unloaded until coon is in the spot light and treed...

I rather go chasing hogs with no gun than chase coons... at least my dogs don't end up in town with a coon or bobcat treed in someone's yard 10 miles away...

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