WORLAND, Wyo. — Worland fifth-grade students reading "Where the Red Fern Grows" got a local glimpse into the life of coon hunting with a field trip to the Carrell Farm south of Worland.
The popular book by Wilson Rawls is about a boy and his two coon hounds, Old Dan and Little Ann. Fifth-graders visited the Dean Carrell Farm and listened as Carrell told them about the changes over the years to coon hunting, what he looks for in a coon dog including certain characteristics like how loud they are when they are on the hunt or have located a coon.
He talked to the students about how he trains the hounds to hunt coons and that dogs do not automatically know. He said they have to be trained to only follow the scent of a coon and not chase other game like deer.
Several students also got to experience low voltage shocks from the dog shock collars that Carrell uses to train the hounds. He said he also uses sounds to help train them.
The collars, in addition to helping with training, also provide a tracking mechanism so that Carrell can find them via GPS if the hounds get too far ahead of him.
Carrell also showed them how lights have changed as coon hunting is in the dark of the night.
The field trip included checking out the many different skulls, horns and antlers the Carrells have collected over the years.
They also went on a tree identification path and a scavenger hunt.