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mateusbrown

Might Stick Around
Apr 24, 2022
84
260
Georgia, USA
know a few guys that still coon hunt. They're the youngest 70-80 year old men you'll ever meet.
One of my students in 12th grade traps and sells raccoons, especially around Christmas, as lots of folks around here (super-rural south-central Georgia) include them in their Christmas dinners and festivities. He offers the option of shooting it before delivery, or he will deliver it live. I think he said he gets $20 a piece. He offered to bring me one but I declined. Really nice kid, very mature for a 17-18 year old.
This anecdote might seem like a parody or something for a laugh, but lots of the young guys are really into hunting all sorts of creatures and have enviable outdoor skills: they trap wild hogs, know where to find the ducks, talk about the occasional bear someone got on a trail cam, have all the big bucks in their sights, and bring deer jerky to school to share. They show up everyday in camouflage jackets. They love it. Of course some have no hesitation when it comes to shooting a deer illegally from the road on someone else's land, like the kid who shot seven deer in one morning, but most of them are decent. We actually have a wild hog festival every year (Abbeville, GA)--arts and crafts, hog-baying contest, etc. Pretty sure none of them are smoking pipes, though. They seem to be into the vaping, or probably stole a pack of their dad's cigarettes or something.
 

makhorkasmoker

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 17, 2021
575
1,375
Central Florida
When I was very young, my dad was trying to cash in on the high price for coon skins. It was either the late seventies or the early eighties. He trapped them (in South Georgia) and took me with him to set and check the traps, but by the time we actually got any, the prices had dropped, and he made next to nothing.

I kept asking him why we didn't use dogs, like in Where the Red Fern Grows. That seemed to me so much more exciting than traps. He said: There's no way I'm running through the dark woods after dogs.

He did not smoke a pipe, but chewed plug tobaccos. One brand I believe was "Applejack." Another was "Bull of the Woods."
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
When I was very young, my dad was trying to cash in on the high price for coon skins. It was either the late seventies or the early eighties. He trapped them (in South Georgia) and took me with him to set and check the traps, but by the time we actually got any, the prices had dropped, and he made next to nothing.

I kept asking him why we didn't use dogs, like in Where the Red Fern Grows. That seemed to me so much more exciting than traps. He said: There's no way I'm running through the dark woods after dogs.

He did not smoke a pipe, but chewed plug tobaccos. One brand I believe was "Applejack." Another was "Bull of the Woods."

The recession of 73-4 was utterly brutal.

Times were a bit better in 75-6.

But there was a glorious little period of prosperity from about the middle of 1977 that came to a crashing halt when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to about 20% to fight inflation.

I’ve heard it called Jimmy Carter’s Indian Summer.

In the late seventies, some good, heavy, northern coonskins touched $100, and $50 or $60 was common.

Coons shot with a rifle, even in the head, are docked by the fur buyers.

I’ve tried to shoot them in the eye, and even then those fur buyers knew.

A trapped $75 coon in 1979 would be about $300 today.

The fur market has never gotten close again to the late seventies.
 
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hasser

Lurker
Jul 28, 2023
14
23
I’d not yet got my license but Johnny Rummel had his, which means it was the winter of 73-4.

Johnny had his father’s truck and Jack Baker’s dogs and we set them loose out by the old bridge across Turkey Creek and they treed four big coons on the top of the hill just minutes after we started.

Four big coons in late 73 or early 74 meant $60 if we were lucky, from the fur buyer.

On that hill that night I opened a new plastic package of Apple Pipe Tobacco by RJ Reynold’s and it smelled just like ripe apples.

When I lit up it tasted like ripe apples.

Johnny and Jack’s son Wayne smelled it and asked if I’d put apples in my tobacco.

About then the dogs hit another track with a long bawl and three boys went after them. By daylight we’d skinned 15 and I was sure that coon hunting was about the most profitable thing a kid could do.

At the auction later on the early spring of 74 the market had crashed and I think we averaged $5 each.

But I discovered apple flavored pipe tobacco that evening.

In the fifty years since I’ve smoked cherry, peach, plum, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, blackberry, raspberry, maple, and probably others I’ve forgotten.

But tonight I found a package of Apple Pipe Tobacco and it tastes just like apples, as it did that night I smoked an entire package on an all night coon hunt.

My tongue was sore for days then, today it wouldn’t hurt me.

How, do they get those flavors to be so good?

Do they use an extract from real apples, cherries, blackberries and such or all of them worked up in a laboratory somewhere and sold by the gallon to the tobacco makers?
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They get it flavored like the package says, somehow.
I have been smoking Apple Pipe Tobacco for a few years now and I love it. It has a smooth and mild flavor that is not too sweet or artificial. It tastes just like apples, as it did that night I smoked an entire package on an all night coon hunt. It was a memorable experience, sitting around the campfire with my buddies, sharing stories and jokes, and enjoying the aroma of this tobacco. It burned well and did not bite or leave any moisture in the bowl. I highly recommend this tobacco to anyone who likes a fruity and refreshing smoke.
 
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