A year after he went raccoon hunting for the first time, a 13-year-old Dawson County boy is winning state awards for his new hobby.
Colton Chester, an eighth-grader at Dawson County Middle School, recently took first place in the Georgia State Youth Coon Hunting Championship.
“(Coon) hunting is something that I really like to do, and it felt good to come home with a win and $257,” Chester said. “I have won a few other hunts before, but this one was the one that paid the most.”
The hunt was held Aug.1 in the northeast Georgia town of Comer. Chester placed first out of 13 competitors in the event, which was open to hunters age 18 and younger.
Chester is the son of Boy and Karen Chester. His mother said she is proud of her son and glad to see him do well in activities he enjoys.
“He has worked hard and enjoys coon hunting,” she said. “He really enjoys it and I am proud to support him in anything that will hopefully keep him out of trouble.”
Chester said coon hunting is about both the dog and hunter tracking raccoons and accumulating points over the course of the season.
“You can win money, trucks, college scholarships and many other things through the points you earn throughout the year,” he said.
Although the owner of a registered coon-hunting Treeing Walker hound named Bull, he won his most recent championship with another dog named “She’s So Crazy.”
According to Chester, coon hunters can hunt with the dog of their choice as long as it is registered with the Professional Kennel Club.
“You can hunt with a dog who has a different owner, which gives those dogs a chance to earn money for their owners for their performance in a hunt,” he said. “I have won hunts with my dog Bull, but this particular hunt I chose to hunt with Crazy.”
Coon hunting is not the only activity in which the teenager takes part. He also plays football and baseball for his school. But what he really enjoys most about hunting is “being outside.”
“I enjoy the outdoors and I also like spending time with the dogs,” he said.