|Jacket Logo for the 50th Grand American|
Sometimes when a good thing gets going such as the Grand American did 50 years ago, it’s like a train headed down the tracks that can only lead to more outdoors enjoyment. The NewYear got off to a grand start for raccoon lovers with a dinner on January 1 to celebrate the Golden Anniversary, followed by two days of festivities at the Orangeburg Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday. After two nights of coon hunting it was ‘Edisto Swamp Squeaky’ of S.C. that took home the title of 2015 Overall Winner.
While New Year’s Day started with near freezing temperatures, by the coon hunt on Saturday night it was back into the 60’s with heavy clouds and some rain. Of course the hunt must go on no matter the conditions, and while all hunters endure the elements from time to time, coon hunters are the ones who do it with the most regularity. The hunt is always challenging since it takes place in the darkness of night and in remote woodlands, but can also be complicated by water holes, briar thickets and other impediments which the raccoon will be sure to use in their attempt to escape.
|David McKee is President of S.C. Coon Hunters|
with Lee Currens
|Coon Hounds are Very Real Canines|
No raccoons are harvested at the Grand American, they are only chased and treed so that the field judges can grade the coon hounds on their abilities. Once the judge has made his decisions the coon hounds are led away and the raccoon is left to pursue their own nocturnal habits. After the Saturday night hunt, the winners returned to the fairgrounds for an awards ceremony in the pre-dawn hours, run by American Cooner magazine in conjunction with the United Kennel Club (UKC).
|Golden Anniversary Artwork|
To view this entire article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
To view the 50th Anniversary of Saluda (N.C.) Coon Dog Days click here.