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Out on a Limb
by Mike DiSalvo

  During the same trip I went down the mountain, this incident occurred. I had finished checking my coon sets and headed back to the truck. I got to the truck and Arnold wasn't there yet. I wondered where he was, as he usually beat me to the truck. Then down the creek heard a muffled report of his pistol. Oh good, I thought he got a coon. Then bang, bang, bang, bangbangbang bang bang. I was thinking, what the heck is going on? I yelled down stream to Arnold, and he yelled back, "GIT DOWN HERE". I rushed downstream as fast as I could through thickets and over logs. Finally I found Arnold standing under a very large pine tree.

  "What the heck is going on!?!?!?" I asked as I wheezed for breath and pulled some briars from my hands. "Look up", he said. I looked, and there about 30 feet off the ground was a big coon out on this limb. I asked him, "What happened?". He explained that he had come downstream and saw the coon in the trap. He yelled, "Hello ole brer!!", at which the coon took off for home and mother. Arnold had gotten the coon up the tree by imitating a dog barking. Now Arnold isn't exactly what you would call little. So I volunteered to go get the coon. I thought it would be an interesting picture of the coon in the tree. (Boy what a bad idea). I climbed up even with the coon,(it was about 10 feet out on the branch). I took the camera out of my pocket and yelled down to Arnold, "I hope this teaches you to stop using light drags (on his traps). "Drags,??? Whatdya mean? He isn't even in a trap anymore", he yelled up to me. "WHAT THE HECK DO YOU MEAN HE'S NOT IN A TRAP ANYMORE!!!" I calmly asked him. "When I said hello to him he pulled out of the trap and took off, the trap is still about 50 yards upstream", he replied.

  I suddenly decided that pictures were not such a good idea. I quickly put the camera away and grabbed my pistol. Well by this time the coon had enough, and bailed out of the tree. "GIT 'EMMMMMMMMM", I yelled from my perch. When the coon reached the ground. Arnold came in a delivered the coup de grace. I climbed down out of the tree and asked, "Now why didn't you tell me the coon wasn't in a trap???". "You didn't ask me", he replied. Didn't ask he says, yeah right, I know why he didn't tell me, because I wouldn't have went!, and he darn well knew it!