The late Jerry Clower may be the only person that coon hunting ever made famous, or vice versa. The “Mouth of Mississippi” won a bushel of country comedy awards and never recorded an album or put on a performance without telling a good coon hunting story.

Today in Louisiana, we definitely have more glamorous outdoor opportunities than Clower did in his youth. But there are still some people who would just as soon be in the winter woods, tromping through hardwood bottoms with a flashlight and waiting for the dogs to bay at a treed raccoon. That, in a nutshell, is what coon hunting is.

One of those people is Chris Jones of West Monroe. Jones is a former coach, a school administrator and family man who stays busy day and night going from one activity to another. And that is one reason he likes to coon hunt. It’s his “pause button.”

“There’s no pressure in coon hunting,” Jones said. “It’s a chance to get away from everything and it’s at night, so all your senses are in play out there. And it’s a sport where you can enjoy the people you are with, and even more importantly, a sport where you can take your kids or other kids and have a good time.”

The thrill of the hunt

Jones described a typical hunt with coon-hunting friends Blaine Armstrong and Phil Flurry.

“We meet up right at dark, have our Ranger ATVs ready if we are going to cover a lot of ground, put on our tall boots and head for the woods,” Jones said. “I’m blessed to know a bunch of people who have land where we can coon hunt. There are public areas like the D’Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge and Tenses National