Raccoons: Living out a great American novel
(Reprinted from above link)
If you are a fan of a book set in Oklahoma and authored by a native son, you would have had a good time recently at several elementary schools in Muskogee.
Dwayne Daugherty heard that several classes were reading, Where the Red Fern Grows, and offered to demonstrate how dogs track a raccoon, which is described in the book.
Travis Rhodes came with two blue tick coonhounds and Drew Darden of Fort Gibson brought two redbone coonhounds.
Daugherty brought a raccoon skin and drug it across the school playground and up into a tree with a rope.
Then, they let the dogs loose.
The students really enjoyed watching the dogs track the raccoon skin around the playground and to the tree where they bayed at the raccoon skin.
“So many of the students thought that raccoon hunting was just a thing of the past,” said Daugherty. “They didn’t realize that people still hunt, that there is a Oklahoma Furbearers Alliance and that they have two sales per year of furs of different animals.”
“Of course, in the book, the characters used a lantern to go after the dogs. Today, we have much brighter lights and have a GPS collar on the dogs so they are easier to track,” added Daugherty.
For further information on the Oklahoma Furbearers Alliance, go to www.oktrapper.com. The sales are usually held in February and March.
The Oklahoma Furbearers Alliance on their website states that “trapping is one of the most misunderstood of all of our outdoor activities, even among other outdoor enthusiasts. But it is well documented how trapping plays a vital role in modern conservation efforts. Trapping is sometimes the only tool that wildlife agencies have to keep certain species populations in check. We have modernized and undergone many advancements to ensure the humane and effective impact we have on our natural resources.
The Oklahoma Fur Bearers Alliance is dedicated to teach and pass on the best, most ethical practices when it comes to utilizing Oklahoma’s wildlife.
On April 25, bring the family to Tahlequah and enjoy the Red Fern Festival, an old-fashioned fun event featuring hound dog field trials, 1930’s era children's games, a car show, chili-cookoff and more.
Starting in 2007, the Red Fern Festival was inspired by the renowned novel, Where the Red Fern Grows, by native author Wilson Rawls.
The original movie, based on the1961 book, was released in 1974 and was filmed on location in eastern Oklahoma.
We appreciate Daugherty, Rhodes and Darden for bringing this novel to life for the students.