Years ago The Log was a funny ole jigger, there was nothing from pitch and toss to manslaughter we didn't take up. We told you fish stories which were on the level (the Judge told most of 'em) and we recited tales of deer shooting on Long Island that were corkers; some of these stories we actually got money for, from editors of big sportsmens magazines (the kind of fellows that wear high hats).
Then i gave it to you straight about duck shooting.
"Hair breadth escapes by flood and field."
But we never told you anything about coon huntin' on Long island and the reason why you did not get treated to a coon hunt was, at that time we weren't in "the know;" we knew as much about coons and coon dogs at that time as an agronomist knows about a crap game.
Now we know.
"Doc" Chambers (his right name is Luther Chambers) everybody calls him "Doc"" because they like him.
If "Doc" had lived five or six hundred years ago in one o those countries where they have Lords and Dukes "Doc" would have been a Prince.
The best way we could do for him n the way of decoration in this Democratic country was "Doc."
I believe I am right when i say that Doc Chambers is without exception the most enthusiastic and scientific coon hunter on this side of Jordon.
The greatest part of the land where "Doc" hunt the raccoon is owned by himslef and is situated in the vicinty of Port Jefferson, Wading River, Coram, and Middle Island. This statement should give food for thought; it goes to demonstrate the marvelous unbounded everlasting resources of Long island.
Each member of "Doc's" hunting outfit carries a compass, to be lost in the trackless scrub oak or where the pines grow tall at some seasons of the year, might mean privation, hardship and disaster.
Here a river, there a lake and bare spots too.
Doc Chamber has made a study of this outfit and his extensive stables include ponies which are as wise to the game as the battle scarred dogs themselves.
It would be impossible to approximate the value of such an outfit.
There are dogs in the "DOC" outfit which are worth their weight in gold. Such offers have been made and courteously declined.
Each man carries a bicycle lamp or electric light, and a 38 revolver, an axe, a hoe and a pair of climbers completes the equipment.
I can't remember ever coming in contact with a hunter that didn't have owl blood.
When Doc gives the order "Boots and saddles!" and "let out the dogs."
The boys are ready in a jiffy and ye never saw a likelier lot. Dogs and horses take up the spirit of the sport as eagerly as the boys.
Weather conditions have been studied and a particular course decided upon.
Sun down! Before them a road which soon will be left behind for it's in the thicket the Raccoon abides. The black silhouettes of the pines, the merry laugh, the crash of the twigs as they leap into the underwood, then silence--the dogs are straining every nerve, hush--The horsmen sit like graven forms--The ears of the horses are faced toward the voice of the dogs-they are running in a circle--hush--
No~ Nothing doing-Yes! they have a trail. Here's where the skill and cunning of the hunter comes in, HE KNOWS WHAT THE DOGS ARE SAYING. One dog has told him that a fox has crossed the line.
And woe be to the dog that leaves the coon scent for that of the fox, even the others of the pack will resent such action to the extent of driving him back to the original "lift."
Back to the trail--Treed! the hunter knows the coon is now up a tree, the dogs have told him so. Now to tie the horses-- on foot to the tree-- now -- --!
The dogs play a part that is intensely interesting. Old Rattler puts one paw on the tree and appears to point upward with the other. Some of the dogs, knowing that the coon runs in pairs, break away to get another trail--others remain with Rattler. "The sun is down, the night is here."
Then "Wally" (that's one of the boys) climbs up the tree, and it's some treee that Wally can't climb-- The lights may be directed so as Wally will have a chance to locate his quarry.
There he is! Wally aims his revolver, bang! and the coon falls to the ground, usually claws up, and a more formidable armament could not be imagined. Doc says there is not a dog in the world can beat a coon single-handed. Here's where occurs a little unpleasantness between the dogs and the coon.
It would be useless to endeavor to describe the climax of the hunt, suffice is to say the coon gets killed.