Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coon hunt report

Went coon huntin' last night and bagged two- a male and a female. (also killed a skunk) Both were tree'd and I killed em' with a 9mm Glock.  One was stuck in a tree and had to be shot again with bird shot to push it off the tree limb.  Surprisingly,  very few shots penetrated into the muscle- most was lodged just under the skin.  The holes are minor and can be repaired if need be.

This was my first time hunting coons and I was really surprised by their weight.  Each weighed at least 20lbs.  I put them on ice in a cooler and cleaned them this morning.  That was another first.  Much more difficult than the videos on youtube.  Coons have thick hide and lots of fat.  I am attempting to tan the hides.  I scraped them pretty clean and have them soaking in salt water at the moment.  I've collected a bunch of acorns which I will boil and use the tannic acid in the water to soak (tan)  the hides in for a week. (I think the word "tan" comes from the tannic acid in the acorns) After that,  I will stretch them and dry them, sandpapering and scrapping as needed and finally "paint" on some scrambled eggs and let that dry (several layers with time to dry between).  Finally, I will rinse the hide, dry it, and work it until supple.  I'm thinking of making mittens out of the fur.

The meat looked good when I was cutting it up. but after cooking them (bone-in) in the crockpot all day today our house smells terrible.  I will not be eating this meat-  it is very dark very oily and STINKY.  I did not cut out the glands immediately as apparently I should have.  I hate to waste meat  but this is beyond editable.  Even my dog turned her nose up at the meat.

Lessons learned- coons are not generally good eating- unless you know a recipe I don't.  Tanning a coon hide is not easy and takes a long time.  My kids on the other hand really enjoyed watching and, surprisingly, they were not grossed out as I expected.  All the girls wanted to touch the tail and see the skin.  They even looked in the gut bucket and laughed when they saw the tongue sticking out.  I reminded them to be respectful and explained that this was one of God's creatures that we were using and that we should remember that and be thankful.

Oh, and I used my new shotgun to kill a skunk.  It was a clean shot and the gun performed well.  Much less recoil than my grandaddy's Winchester.  The modified choke and longer barrel help me to concentrate the 00 buck on target from about 20 yards.  Kick was minimized by the nice rubber pad on the stock.  I only took one shot with it all night, but from what I could tell, it performed as designed.  I also really enjoyed the pistol grip as I was able to easily one hand the gun while driving the ATV a short distance through the cattle gates.  (I ride on the back while my friend drives, works the spotlight and does the gates).


Keith said...

Bad luck with the meat, better luck next time.

Sudeepta said...

Its difficult to hunt in real but you have done it but sorry for the meat, Next time...
Welcome to Centex HuntClub Hog Hunting

Bitmap said...

I wonder if not cleaning them until the next morning had anything to do with the taste? On something as big as a deer it is best to open it up ASAP to let it start cooling down. With quail we carried them in our game bags without ice and usually cleaned them within an hour or two. I don't know if the ice could cool down the inside quickly enough, especially with the fur still on them insulating them. Next time you might try gutting them sooner.

Another thought: This is a good reason to keep plenty of spices on hand. Curry, cumin, garlic, onions, jalapenos, etc., can all make something inedible into something you can at least gag down if you have no other food.

Jimmy (pen name) said...

I agree with everything that's been said. And Bitmap, I completely agree. One of the main reasons for me doing this now, as opposed to AFTER the SHTF, is that I can learn from my mistakes. I can afford to throw away bad-tasting meat now, but after the fecal matter hits the oscillator, I might not.