Wild-eyed coon hounds pierce through the moonlit terrain of central Texas, their masters trampling behind through a maze of briar and brush in search of their elusive nocturnal prey, the raccoon. A masked varmint with no natural predator - whose pelt that once brought a supplemental income to southern farmers two centuries ago - now serves as a creature only sought for game.
This obscure sport can be found in rural pockets across the US and brings together a diverse group of participants. A man’s race and creed are irrelevant amongst this crowd of pipe welders, preachers, ranch hands, and lawyers. For some it’s a source of a modest income, for most it’s a means of escapism and rapture, to all, it’s a testament to a man’s ability to understand and develop his hound.
To explore this Faulkner-like setting of southern forests, mist-filled pastures, and small town community halls, is to venture into a world of boyhood wonder, where magic and myth collide with every new discovery. Impassable creeks become Grand Canyons. Thick brush battles against the sheer force of a thrusting, determined body. Claw-like branches nip and tear at the face, grappling to steal a man’s torch helmet and leave him blind in the night. While the wails and moans of frothing beasts on a trail overwhelm the ear and guide his senses toward the night’s prize.