So Your Thinking About Buying A Coon Dog
Years ago I was new to the sport of Coon Hunting and spent too much money with little to no results. So, if your new to the wonderful world of Coon Hunting but, have question upon question about how, when, and where to begin Coon Hunting, then you have come to the right place. Getting a dog and hitting the backwoods, for a night of fun sparks interest in so many people. But, the basic start up cost involved for new Coon Hunters can sometimes be scary and in the worst cases can overwhelm many new hunters! If the start up cost and lack of knowledge sounds like your problem, have no fear the old Cooner is here to help. I've been doing some research on how to help you new Coon Hunters tree a dog, without breaking the bank...
Coon Hounds Can Be Expensive
I'm assuming that if your taking time to read this blog post you are either new to Coonhounds with some basic knowledge of the sport, just curious about what this blog post is about, or you are already a Coon Hunter just wanting to see what I have to say. I'm also assuming that most of you new Coon Hunter know that Coon hunting is done at night and in the dark, with a Coon Hunting dog, and some special equipment is needed. But, before we go full force into hound dog bloodlines, tracking systems, dog boxes, and what is the best brand of dog food to feed your hound. There are some simple things I believe you new Coon Hunters should know but, might seem overwhelming to you at first.
Coon hunting can be an expensive sport depending on what area of the sport you want to get into. It is easy for a new Coon Hunters to spend between $400 to $3000 dollars just to get started especially, if your interested in breeding Coon Hounds or Pro Hunting events . Many times even after spending such large amounts of money the new hunters, still do NOT get the correct equipment or hound to fit their needs. On the other hand, it could be you just want to hunt beside your home and with your friends and don't care about any competition Coon Hunting. But, for anyone new to Coon Hunting there are some tip's and trick's to help lighten the blow of start up cost that many old timers in the Coon Hunting world take for granted. Tips that would be great information for anyone that is new to the sport. I've made a list below that has some points, many of us old time Coon Hunters overlook. Here are some quick tips that will save you time and money when you first start into the world of Coondogs...
The First Steps To Take When Your New To Coon Hunting
- Look around your local home town for a Coon Hunting Clubs. Explain to the seasoned hunters at the club, your new to the sport and need advice on how to start hunting. (Examples of questions you can ask at the club : Are there any dogs/ puppies for sale or trade, what are the breeds and bloodlines of the dogs in your area , is there used equipment for sale or trade, and safe places to Coon Hunt for you and your dog in your area. Also, a must ask question to ask the seasoned Coon Hunters in your area is. Is there any special equipment/license needed to hunt in your area of the country.)
- Research online Coon Hunting web pages U.K.C./ P.K.C./A.K.C./ and Coondawgs.com are great websites and also are the major registers for Coondogs. Join the message boards at these sites, for more information and to meet more people in the world of Coonhounds.
- Equipment, at first just a standard $2 flashlight/head light will do, to help you find your way at night and keep your hands free. Also, some inexpensive rubber boots, will usually be just what you need to start off.
- Lastly comes buying a hound dog.
Have You Ever Been On A Real Coon Hunt
If your new to coon hunting, BUT have never even been on a real Coon Hunt, a good experience on your first hunt will help you see what Coon Hunting is all about. At your local Coon Hunting Clubs usually, most clubs will let someone new to the sport tag along on a monthly or weekly hunt, just to see if they will enjoy the spot. Coon Hunting can be physical and financial demanding at times. Seasoned professional Coon Hunters (if their not in a big money hunt) in general are always happy to welcome new hunters to the sport. A little side note here for you new Coon Hunters, from the old Crockett Cooner: If you ever are in a conversation with someone about Coon Hunting and they start the conversation with...
"I went Coon hunting ONE time!!! and let me tell you those dog's ran, I thought we would never catch them!!!
Remember the old Crockett Cooner here said, people that start a conversation in that way are NOT real Coon Hunters!
What To Know Before Buying A Dog For Coon Hunting
Now I'm going to get down to the meat and potatoes of Coon Hunting, the dogs. If you are new to hunting and have decided to just be a pleasure hunter or even a major competition hunter the first thing is to start with is a fairly decent Coondog. There are a six major breeds of hounds that are considered Coondogs, that the major registers such as U.K.C. or P.K.C. recognize. In the list below are the breeds of hounds that are considered Coon Hunting Hounds or Coondogs.,..
Recognized Coon Hound Breeds
- The Walker Hound
- The Black And Tan Hound
- The English Hound (Sometimes called a Red Tick)
- The Blue Tick Hound
- The Red Bone Hound
- The Plot Hound
- *And In Some Registers (The Cross Breed Hounds)
- *And In Some Registers (The Cur Breeds)
If you notice the first six breeds of hound mentioned are very self explanatory with a quick internet search you can look up tons of information on each breed. But!!! you might be asking the question, what is a Cross Breed Hound and what is a Cur Dog? To explain a little further, many different breeds of dogs are hunters. Everything from German Shepherds to Black Labs, and some Bulldogs. But through years of selective breeding the first six hound dog breeds have been bred to give mouth on the track and when chasing a racoon up a tree they will then "Tree the racoon." When it comes to Cross Breed Hounds its usually a mixture of different varieties of the first six recognized breeds. In other words it might be a Walker Hound/ Blue Tick cross or a Red Bone / Black and Tan Cross. When it comes to Cur breeds for Coon Hunting dogs such as "Old Yeller" from the Novel by Fred Gipson. For those of you new to Coon Hunting. I believe Fred Gipson was writing about a Black Mouth Cur Dog. Other examples of Cur Dog breeds are...
A List Of Cur Dog Breeds For Hunting
- American Leopard Hound
- Black Mouth Cur
- Blue Lacy
- Cajun Cur
- Camus Cur
- Florida Cracker Cur
- Mountain Cur
- Treeing Tennessee Brindle
- Southern Black Mouth Cur
When Talking about Cur Dogs in the world of Coon Hunting there are many different varieties, and many Cur Dogs are duel purpose. Meaning they may hunt Racoons at night and Squirrel and or Pigs during the day. Now for all of my readers that are Cur lovers, I'm sure that I didn't mention all the Cur Dog breeds in the above list, but that's a topic large enough for its own blog post. But, I recommend for the new Coon Hunters to start with one of the six recognized hound breeds.
What Can You Expect To Pay For A Coon Hound
For new Coon Hunters my best advice to save time, money, and your back would be to first buy a Coon Hound that is an adult doge, around two years of age or older. That has already been trained to Coon Hunt!!! Especially if YOU yourself are not a seasoned Coon Hunter. The topic of training a new Coon Hound Puppy is so complex, I'm going to definitely save that topic for a different up and coming blog post. But, if money is no option there are many reputable breeders, handlers, and trainers that offer seasoned hunting dogs but, it usually comes at a price. I've seen many well papered hounds that have won titles such as Campion, Grand Champion, or Duel Grand Night Champion sale for as little as $200.00 to $10,000.00 it depends on the specific dog and its abilities.
Now to change gears, if you are just a pleasure hunter and money plays a big factor on what you can pay for a Coon Hound and your not concerned with papers on your new Coon Hound. I suggest first asking the older Coon Hunters at a local hunting club or look for postings online about hounds dogs that are for sale or trade. Usually older hunters can help you with information on who in your area will sale a good dog for a reasonable price.
Then another option is to check you local animal shelter. Many times there will be Coon Hounds that have been abandoned or left at an animal shelter that are already hunters, but their previous owners could no longer care for them. But, I must confess that any hound dog be it the most expensive down to the free ones have good and bad traits. Another side note: One of the greatest parts of Coon Hunting is finding out what a New Hound will do on the hunt!!!
What's It Cost To Feed And Maintain A Coon Hound
The price for keeping and maintaining a Coon Hound can sometimes be costly. It depends on many factors such as the hounds health, what environment is this hound being kept in, and does your hound hunt? If you are planning on keeping a Coon Hound you can generally expect that most Coon Hounds are hearty dogs. The vet bills are usually just the basic cost for vaccinations such as rabies, parvo, and heart worms. But, if you are planning on taking your Coon Hound to hunt you many encounter vet bills that become more costly. A great point to remember is a Coon Hound that is a hunter and is being hunted nightly is a working dog or athlete. More cost can come into play if your hound encounters such things as snake bites, tick and flea bites, lice, falls, cuts, and abrasions. Not to mention the countless things such as intestinalis worms, heart worms, or skin elements that become more prevalent in a Coon Hound that is hunting and working nightly.
Coon Dog Food I know you have all heard the old sayings a "Chow Hound" or a "Pott Licker" who ever came up with those expressions, owned a Coon Hound, I'm sure of it!!! Generally if you feed a Coon Hound once daily a basic dry dog food the price will usually be around $55.00 for about a three weeks to a month period. If you decide to move into more expensive dog foods the price can go upwards to around $150.00 a month for one adult Coon Hound being fed once a day. Keep in mind that I'm comparing the prices of a standard dry dog food in this present day and time compared to the standard size Coon Hound and it's food requirements.
Weather And Dog Food What To Expect If you are planning on hunting your new Coon Hound regularly one major factor is the weather and climate. In warmer weather generally Coon Hounds will do fine with lighter blends of dog foods and with less dog food daily. When the seasons move into the winter months most Coon Hunters choose to feed their hounds dry food that has larger blends of proteins and fats, increasing the price of the dog food. Some of the special dog food blends such as the 24/20 blends can be $80.00 to $100.00 a bag!! Usually due to the coldness of the weather and harsher conditions, Coon Hounds will require larger amounts of food in the winter months to keep them healthy, especially if they are hunting nightly. Depending on the type of dog food you feed. The dog food bill can go upwards to about $160.00 to $200.00 monthly in cold weather conditions. Once again I based this on buying 50lbs. bags of dry dog food.
Examples Of Prices Low To High For The Basic Equipment Needed To Start Coon Hunting
For your feet
For Your Head
For Your Hounds
Tingley Rubber Boots $11.49
Ozark Trail 100 lumen $6.97
Owens DIY. 55048
Muck Boots, Waters Edge Style Boot $72.99
Nite Light, Nite Sport II $100.39
Deer Creek Houndsman Deluxe $579.99
LaCrosse 4x Alpha Snake & Water Proof $119.97
Superior Hellcat Max Cap light $339.95
Owens Pro. Hunt Aluminum Double $1,549.00
Equipment To Go On Your Coon Dog
Other cost many new Coon Hunters don't consider are dog collars, dog leads, dog pens/ dog houses (for hounds that stay outside),medical supplies for dogs and tracking systems. But! due to different geographical temperatures and locations, different seasons effecting different parts of the country differently, and different medical needs for individual Coonhounds. These cost are never exact and will many times very. This is another reason why finding an older Coon Hunters in your area or online to befriend and asking questions too them is so important for the new Coon Hunters starting off. Spending to much money on unneeded supplies and equipment that want last, is a major newbie mistake and when an older Hunter can give you personal experience, its always helpful.
Dog Collars I personally like the reflective collars that are handmade by the Amish families in my area. A typical price for an Amish made reflective collar is about $10-$15 dollars depending on name plates (Must for a Coondog) the amount of lead rings on the collar and the different types of materials the collars can be made from. The plastic coated collars (which I like) cuts down on smell, wetness, and skin irritation on a hounds neck. But on the other hand some hounds can only wear leather or nylon. It really is a trail and era for each specific Coonhound and depending on where you purchase your collar the prices for a collar can be as high as $20.00 a piece.
Dog Leads The dog lead is something most Coon Hunters want leave home Without. A good dog lead for hunting usually will have the ability to tie the hounds to different objects while hunting. Once again I usually personally use a dog lead that is referred to as a 60/40 lead. Meaning the lower half of the dog lead or the lower 60% of the lead is chain (for hounds that chew on the lead) and the top 40% of the lead is made from nylon or coated plastics, just like the hounds collars. But, a good quality lead with a snap ring that travels the entire length of the lead and a snap at the end that ties the lead will usually cost around $20.00.
Dog Pens/Dog Houses A good quality dog pen will cost anywhere from $150.00- $400.00 depending on the material the pen is made from, the size of the pen, does the pen have a roof, and who manufactured the pen. Dog houses usually range from $50.00-$300.00 depending on the material the house is made from, the size of the dog house needed, and where you purchase the dog house.
Medical Expenses For Coonhounds Different people feel comfortable only giving certain medications to their hounds. These prices may very depending on the laws in your state and the types of medicines you feel comfortable administering to your hounds. In general heart wormer for Coonhounds range from $70.00- $115.00 and intestinal wormers range form $12.00-$75.00. Now another medical expense is, some Coon Hunters also give vitamins and different supplements to their hounds. I'm personally going to cover this topic in a different blog!!!
Tracking Systems Depending on who you are talking to a tracking system may be a must or not needed. New G.P.S. tracking systems generally range from $300.00 - $2000.00 depending on the manufacture and what parts come in the collar kit. A great place to look is Garmin tracking systems for dogs. There are other manufactures that make good quality products in tracking for Coonhounds. I personally would advice if your new new to Coon Hunting and trying to Coon Hunt especially hunting alone. Hunting without some form of tracking collar on your hound would NOT be a good idea. There is also the options of older tracking systems such as Wildlife trackers which use a wave band to locate your hound. These still work just fine and are cheaper. Usually you can find a good used tracking system for around $100.00. - $300.00
Coon Hunting Terminology To Know Before You Start Coon Hunting
- Strike The Dog or The Dog Struck: The Dog has found the trail/scent of a racoon and has started barking/ bawling while following it. (Also called pushing a track)
- The Roll Over or Locate Bark: The sound a hound makes when it is locating the correct tree with a racoon in it.
- The Tree or Treed: When the hound has found the tree it believes the racoon has went up and the hound is no longer pushing the track.
- Started Dog or Lightly Started Dog: A dog that has been trained just a little, but needs more hunting to become better.
- Waders: The rubber boots you wear.
- Handel You Dog: Get your dog from the tree and tie it back.
- Shine the Tree: Your looking up the tree, to locate the racoon.
- Bawl Mouth: Not a bark it is a bawl (most hounds make this sound while tracking)
- Chop Mouth: Means the dog barks on the tree not bawls.
- 80 Barks A Minute: For each minute of time a hound is on the tree, it barks 80 individual barks in a minute.
- Cold Track: The racoon was through earlier the scent is gone.
- Hot Track: The racoon scent is strong on the ground for the hounds to smell.
- Split Tree: Two hounds treeing on two different trees.
- Den Tree: Its a hole in a tree where racoon lives.
- Times working: (For Competition Hunters) Time dog has to keep the track working/open or the time a dog must stay treed to be considered treed
- Cast 4 or 3 dog:(For Competition Hunters) Number of dogs hunting in a competition hunt
- Judge: (For Competition Hunters) Person judging the hunt.
- Guide:(For Competition Hunters) Person guiding the hunt usually take you to a location to hunt.
- Spectator: (For Competition Hunters) Person going on a hunt to just watch.
Your Ready To Coon Hunt
I hope that you now have a basic understanding on what supplies are needed to begin Coon Hunting and what expenses are associated with it. Just remember this blog is to give you examples of cost in beginning Coon Hunting and the prices in this blog will change depending on many different factors. Thank you all for taking time to read this blog please feel free to leave us a review, we love to hear from our readers here at the Crockett Coonhound. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of new blogs and everything going on here at our website. Please take time and look around at the rest of the Crockett Coonhound website, we have many different things to see. Also, if you are ever checking out the old inner web make sure to look for me The Crockett Cooner and the Crockett Coonhound on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Thank you all again for reading this blog I hope you have a great day and an even better tomorrow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you Coon hunt at night?
Because, Raccoons are primarily nocturnal animals
Is it advisable to start Coon hunting without something on one of my lists?
Sure you can start hunting even if your missing something from the above list and reading. Everything is not a must have, just some good advice to start off on the right foot.
Will Raccoons swim across water while the hounds trail them?
Yes, many times Raccoons will swim across water and the hounds will follow. This is why it is good advice to buy rubber muck types of boots. (Side note: not to mention rubber boots help protect from snake bite!!!)
Why do Raccoons dip their food in water?
Raccoons use the nerves in their paws to better understand what they are eating, the water helps them do this. (Side Note: Hunting around creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, and streams is usually a good place to find raccoons.)
Do you have to use or have a gun to Coon hunt?
No. Many times people do not take a gun while Coon Hunting they just exercise their dogs. (Side Note: There is never a gun used while hunting on a competition hunt, it's against the rules of the hunt, they only use a stopwatch to time the dogs while hunting!!!)