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Coon Hunting with Owen

Ruby Neisser, Staff writer

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John Grinnell, known as Owen and has done very well in the “coon dog” hunting competitions, earning titles for several of his dogs. Grinnell  said “My oldest male (he is eleven years old), he has his grand night champion and my four year old female is just a night champion.” From a very young age, he has been working with and training these coon dogs, and has an evident talent.  He trained the dogs in order to participate in competitions, in which they hunt a raccoon. His father also started working with coon dogs at a young age, and sparked Grinnell’s interest in coon dogs. “I just love how coon dogs work” Grinnell said.

He currently has two adult coon dogs, named Ace and Daisy, who he is training. Additionally, he has numerous rabbit dogs and 3 puppies. Grinnell said, “[I love] seeing the light click on in puppies, and getting them really started running good.”, when he was asked what he likes about training these dogs.

He cares for the dogs before and after school by feeding them, cleaning their bedding, giving them fresh water, and training them for competitions. Most of the time, he works with his dogs on the weekends, unless he doesn’t have too much school work during the weekdays. Also, in regard to training, Grinnell said “ I am strict with them. If they don’t do what I like or  if they have a quality that I don’t really like, they’ll move on down the road. It’s just the way it goes.”

Grinnell begins training his puppies using a hide, and then “[w]hen they are about four or five months old, I will take a live cage coon and I will use that.” said Grinnell

At competitions, the dogs hunt live raccoons. According to Grinnell, “You get chosen into casts (five or six dog casts) and then you have one guide and the guide will take you where you are going hunting. They turn the dogs loose and whoever’s dog strikes first gets plus stuff and whoever’s dog trees first gets plus stuff and points.” Treeing is when the coon dog runs up a tree. Then, the judges identify the tree that the raccoon ran up, and the competitor stays beside the tree. Both treeing and striking the raccoon result in the participants receiving points, during the competition.

“ You can meet some mean and nice people, but I just say: let your dogs do the talking not your mouth.”, said Grinnell. “It is just a good sport to be a part of.”

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