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Coon hunting forms unbreakable bond

When Adam Borden, of Tharptown, first began coon hunting at the age of 8, a passion for the family sport developed. Since then, coon hunting has reigned supreme in his eyes for the bond it creates with man’s best friend.

Borden is currently in Salem, Ill., competing in the PKC Fall Super Stakes Championships. The competition is not Borden’s first.

“I’ve met a lot of great guys from all over the nation that I’ve met in the competition coon hunting side,” Borden said.

He said he began competition coon hunting around age 12 and even paid his way through welding school from a scholarship he won coon hunting.

Borden said training for coon hunting takes a lot of long nights and work to keep the dogs in prestige condition.

“It’s a team sport,” Borden said. “The dog has to perform to his best ability, and the handler has to perform to his best ability.”

This week Borden is competing with his newest dog, PKC Champion Habit’s Bad Whiskey, in the sophomore division meant for 1-year-old dogs to give them a chance to progress in the sport.

“It gives a chance for the younger dogs to compete amongst themselves rather than competing against older, well-trained dogs,” Borden explained – as a dog improves as a coon hunter the older he or she gets.

Borden said most coon dogs are spoiled and treated like kings because of how valuable they are. He said coon dogs often have full names, like Borden’s Stylish Hammer and Habit’s Stylish Josie.

Despite Whiskey’s young age, Borden said he has and the dog have already developed a bond. He said this bond is what separates coon hunting from any other type of hunting.

“Once the hunter and the hound build that bond, that’s hard to break,” Borden said.