Raccoon generally live in or near a wooded area. They also need food and water to survive. According to the website huntingraccoon.com, "Raccoon can be found in nearly any habitat providing some sort of food, shelter, and water.(1)" Corn is often a popular food source, so if you have access to a corn field that can be a good place to start your dogs. Water sources such as ponds or creeks can also be a great place to run your dogs. According to Raccoon Hunting 101, raccoon can travel up to 20 miles in 1 night so you can find raccoon pretty much anywhere (1). Even though raccoon could technically be anywhere a food or water source is a fantastic place to start your hunt.
Raccoon Hunting 101 states, "The weather can play a big role on the success of your 'coon hunt(1). If the air and ground are real dry it makes it much tougher for dogs to track. Since tracking raccoon with dogs is much easier in damp conditions, your hunt will be far more successful when it is wet. Even though you want it dry you do not want it overly wet either. Raccoon are not very active in extreme conditions so it is not a good idea to go when it is storming over snowing bad. According to Raccoon Hunting 101, Wind can also play a large factor of how your hunt will turn out(Raccoon Hunting 101-1). Wind can often trick a dog because the wind blows in a far away scent that the dogs think is close. Wind can also make it tougher for your dogs to be heard.
Bob Rakow states in Raccoon Hunting Basics and Beyond that, "Training a coon dog is sometimes quite time consuming" (Rakow 1). There are many ways to train a young dog. A good way to introduce a dog is to catch a live raccoon in live trap and show your dog the coon so it gets excited about it. There are also roll cages so if you catch a live coon you can transfer it into a roll cage. The coon then rolls while inside the cage and gets your dog used to chasing raccoon's. Once your dog has been introduced to a coon, you can use a coon hide or a raccoon scent and make scent trails for your dog to try and follow. Another way to train a young dog is to hunt it with an older experienced dog who is already hunting raccoon. According to Bob Rakow in Raccoon Hunting Basics and Beyond, teaming up your young dog with an experienced dog is the best way to train a young dog (Rakow2).
Trapping can be done in numerous ways. Raccoon can be trapped in live traps or foot traps. The first thing you need to do when trapping is find a good location. Water sources and food sources such as corn or berries are good locations for raccoon. Depending on what type of trapping you are doing you will probably need a bait for your trap. If you are using a live trap corn, marshmallows or watermelon are all good baits. If you are using a good trap you will probably want to find a trail used frequently by raccoon's or a raccoon den. Coon can be trapped pretty much any time of the year but according to advanced Raccoon Hunting and How to, it is more difficult to hunt raccoon in the winter because they travel less. You are however able to trap them as long as you know where they are living (Raccoon Hunting 101-7).
Breeds of Hounds
Raccoon Hunting is often done with the use of specially trained Hound dogs. Some common breeds of dogs used for coon hunting are Bluetick Coonhound, Treeing Walker Coonhound, English Coonhound, Black and Tan Coonhound, and Redbone Coonhound. Some other breeds sometimes used as Raccoon hunters are Plott Coonhound, and American Leopard Hound. According to CoonDawgs.com, "It is most likely that the Bluetick is principally descended from the quick foxhounds of England with some introduction of the blood of various French hounds which were used for hunting big game (CoonDawgs.com 3). Treeing Walker coonhounds were developed from English Walker Foxhounds from England. According to coondawgs.com most coon and big game hunting dogs are related to the English Hound (Coondawgs.com 4).
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- "Raccoon Hunting 101." Raccoon Hunting: Advanced Coon Hunting How to. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
- "Raccoon Hunting Basics and Beyond." Raccoon Hunting Basics and Beyond. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
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- "All Graphics » Coon Fighting Hound Dog." Coon Fighting Hound Dog Graphics and Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
"CoonDawgs.com Coonhound Breeds." CoonDawgs.com Coonhound Breeds. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2013.