Winter Classic coon hunters arrive - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Winter Classic coon hunters arrive

January 26, 2006

Albany -- Hunters will have a big economic impact on the Albany economy this weekend. Two big hunting events will bring thousands of visitors to Southwest Georgia, pouring millions of dollars into local businesses.

 The 19th Annual Winter Classic Coon Dog Hunt got underway Thursday morning. Thousands of coonhound hunters from across the United States and Canada are competing. Like Jack Coomer from Whitewater, Missouri.

Coomer has been a coon hunter for over 20 years, and he has seen it grow into a big money sport. Coomer said "But now these guys, they have made it a business. There is big money in it. I mean that world hunt pays 40-thousand dollars. 25 to 40 thousand dollars every year." "It's a money making thing for some people, for me it's a hobby."

These coon hunting dogs tree raccoons to score points on their hunting ability. There are no guns and no game killed in the Winter Classic. The dogs sell for thousands of dollars, depending on their bloodlines.

 The hunters will fill Southwest Georgia motels and restaurants for the weekend, pumping an estimated two million dollars into the economy.

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