Michael Johnson | Mossy Oak ProStaff
Two years ago, in 2016, my hunting partners and I had our best year of predator hunting and took 15 coyotes, 25-30 gray foxes, five red foxes, 18 bobcats and at least two to three dozen possums and the same number of raccoons. I have a fulltime job, so I’m not a predator hunter and trapper only. We just take predators as we can. Our numbers aren’t as impressive as some of the guys you see on TV who are predator hunters. But I work 50-60 hours a week plus run traps and predator hunt at night, while caring for my family.
I’m often asked what I do with the raccoons and possums after we skin them. I’m not going to eat a possum, but I did get a recipe from an older man in Chauncey, Georgia, who told me his family had been cooking raccoons for more than 100 years. I tried his recipe for raccoon and found it delicious.
I put a quartered raccoon that had been seasoned with salt, pepper, meat tenderizer, garlic salt, crushed red peppers and ground red pepper in a roasting pot along with onions, bell peppers, celery and carrots, 1 cup of apple juice and 1/2-cup Italian dressing. I basted the raccoon and put it in the oven for 2 hours on 350 degrees. I wrapped sweet potatoes, and baked in the oven for 2 hours. Then I de-boned the raccoon, pulled the ligaments, tendons and fat out of the meat, and thickened up the cooking juice with flour to make a gravy. Then I peeled the baked sweet potatoes, sliced them up, added them and more carrots and onions to the pot, baked the meat and vegetables for another two hours at 250 degrees and found that raccoon tasted delicious.
Some say racoon hunters are a dying breed, but fellow ProStaffer Cory Dukehart runs hounds to hunt them and understands the importance of reducing the coon population for better turkey, deer and waterfowl hunting.