Coon hunting deserves no celebration

Reading the article in Mountain Xpress promoting Coon Dog Day in Saluda [“Free Barking: You Won’t Get Hounded by a Lot of Rules at Coon Dog Day,” July 5], I found myself drawn back in time to a haunting childhood memory, forever etched in my psyche, [of] when my father took me along on a raccoon hunt with a group of his buddies. I was absolutely horrified by all the barking and chasing, not to mention the perverted enjoyment of the hunters as they watched the poor, terrified raccoon desperately try to escape the bloodthirsty men and their hounds at her heels.

The relentless mob of hunters and their trained dogs ended up chasing this trembling innocent up a tree, where she fearfully struggled to climb as high as possible, understandably frightened for her life as she attempted to cling to the ever-narrowing tree trunk—the dogs wildly baying all the while from down below. Finally, after they had apparently squeezed all the laughter and “enjoyment” they could out of watching their terrorized victim caught in the glare of their flashlights, rifles were raised and gunfire ensued.

There was to be no escape from the stinging bullets that pierced her body high up in those branches that dark night. As she fell to the ground near where I was huddled in my own disbelief and horror, I remember crying while staring into her sad, fading eyes as her warm blood soaked the ground, and the hounds and human slobs closed in. I will never be able to erase this disturbing nightmare from my memory.

Recreational hunting is a pathetic and inexcusably cruel tradition that deserves to die. Saluda’s annual Coon Dog Day Celebration places this atrocious, bizarre behavior on an undeserved pedestal. Please do not support such glorification of senseless cruelty and violence with your attendance or your dollars next year, or ever. Remember, no one is free when others are oppressed. Go to to find out more.

— Kayla Rae Worden

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6 thoughts on “Coon hunting deserves no celebration

  1. bubbles

    I coon hunt! I also do not like killing them. All the people I go with kill them when in season. I then learned that if they were not thined out that they would take over and then it would really rise with a outburst of rabies. I have only shot 1 coon out in my coon hunting life I have only been hunting for 3 years. I understasnd if the anmials were not thined out that they could take over and it would be immposiable to even drive a car. I don’t like seeing them killed either but I also try to understand every side of the story.

    • You’re open to learning, good, understand this, there’s only one animal species on this planet (the 7 billion 2 legged naked killer apes) taking over & soon will be impossible to even drive a car since their population is predicted to increase to 10 billion within 35 years. Killing other animals, including raccoons is not going to save your arse, nothing is.

  2. The way you describe the hunt seems a bit exaggerated. Hunting should be celebrated especially in WNC.

    I’ve never actually been hunting but I want to start hunting this come season.

    • Killing should be celebrated? Unless you’re into inflicting terror & pain on any living thing put here by the same power of creation that put you here, pray tell why? Celebrate being fast enough to slap (kill) the mosquito that lands on your arm & takes a bite. True, not much blood & guts or watching the light fade out of it’s eyes, but at least you had a legitimate ‘reason’ to celebrate killing it.

  3. Lola

    it would have been completely different if the dog had gotten the raccoon on its own and killed it without human intervention. In that case, it’s nature. how is this any different from dog fighting? You’re training your dog to go after something and attack it right? Same thing. Thank you for this.

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