OK, maybe this kid’s little sister was brutally attacked by a raccoon, and he was just defending her. Or maybe he was getting rid of a dangerous rabid raccoon infestation haunting the neighborhood. Raccoons are seriously overpopulating some areas and maybe he’s into game management. It could be that he was part of a long tradition of finding and honoring the animals that give their lives for our meat and fur. Family traditions of years of coon hunting may have made it inevitable that this kid would be holding a dead raccoon one day.
Or maybe he just likes to kill things and watch them die.
Humans kill animals, for all the reasons listed above. They have hunted for uncounted centuries and will continue to do so for generations to come. All the vegans eating all the humus in the world won’t change that fact.
If there are raccoons around in the woods, there is probably a formal or informal raccoon hunting club. If interested, start with the American Coon Hunter Association or some of the other sources listed in references. Just like deer hunting, raccoon hunting can be a family tradition that treats the hunted animal with respect. Or it can just be someone stumbling around drunk, waving a shotgun around in the dark, shooting at shadows. You choose.
Dogs are often used to tree raccoons. Once a raccoon is chased up a tree the dogs will bark all night to let you know that raccoon is trapped. The Coon Dawg site is very informative if you are in the market for a hunting dog. As is the competing Coon Dog site. Top dogs can go for $10,000 to $20,000 so you can spend like crazy if you desire. There’s two old school magazines Coonhound Bloodlines and Full Cry. There is even a cemetery just for coon dogs, in northwest Alabama. All good coon dogs go to heaven, you know.
Not everyone is in this for the thrill of death. Some just like the chase. The Chester-Berks Coon Hunter’s Club near Philadelphia lets their coon dogs chase the raccoons up the trees, and then just verbally kills them with the words ‘dead coon’.
As abhorrent as hunting is to some, many can see the necessity of thinning an overpopulated invasive species. And there is nothing more hypocritical than eating grocery store meat but criticizing hunting. But then there are those noble individuals holding to the fine American tradition of trapping raccoons using a steel-jaw leg hold trap. A raccoon – or an other animal or small child – wanders into these metal jaws of death and it slams shut on their leg, giving them a long, painful and tortuous death. If you’ve ever been in the woods and stumbled upon a live animal trapped in one of these the image will haunt you forever.
Setting a trap in the woods must really make you a man – or it at least makes you something, probably a murderous psychopath. Don’t most mass killers start with torturing small animals? Get your start early by signing up!
Or work to shut this practice down. Several states including Washington State have outlawed this practice. Check out Born Free USA.
The market for raccoon meat and fur still exists, but it ain’t what it used to be.The state of Ohio had a raccoon farm in the 1930’s to distribute raised raccoons into the wild to offset the ‘dwindling’ raccoon population, so hunting would be productive statewide. But half the fur used in North America now comes from fur farms in China, where animals are routinely treated horribly, being skinned alive.