four legged opportunity

I liked this story about an enterprising Detroit man who has been hunting and selling raccoons -- in urban Detroit:

Beasley, a 69-year-old retired truck driver who modestly refers to himself as the Coon Man, supplements his Social Security check with the sale of raccoon carcasses that go for as much $12 and can serve up to four. The pelts, too, are good for coats and hats and fetch up to $10 a hide.

While economic times are tough across Michigan as its people slog through a difficult and protracted deindustrialization, Beasley remains upbeat.

Where one man sees a vacant lot, Beasley sees a buffet.

"Starvation is cheap," he says as he prepares an afternoon lunch of barbecue coon and red pop at his west side home.

His little Cape Cod is an urban Appalachia of coon dogs and funny smells. The interior paint has the faded sepia tones of an old man's teeth; the wallpaper is as flaky and dry as an old woman's hand.

Beasley peers out his living room window. A sushi cooking show plays on the television. The neighborhood outside is a wreck of ruined houses and weedy lots.

"Today people got no skill and things is getting worse," he laments. "What people gonna do? They gonna eat each other up is what they gonna do."

A licensed hunter and furrier, Beasley says he hunts coons and rabbit and squirrel for a clientele who hail mainly from the South, where the wild critters are considered something of a delicacy.

Though the flesh is not USDA inspected, if it is thoroughly cooked, there is small chance of contracting rabies from the meat, and distemper and Parvo cannot be passed onto humans, experts say.

Doing for yourself, eating what's natural, that was Creation's intention, Beasley believes. He says he learned that growing up in Three Creeks, Ark.

"Coon or rabbit. God put them there to eat. When men get hold of animals he blows them up and then he blows up. Fill 'em so full of chemicals and steroids it ruins the people. It makes them sick. Like the pigs on the farm. They's 3 months old and weighing 400 pounds. They's all blowed up. And the chil'ren who eat it, they's all blowed up. Don't make no sense."

Hunting is prohibited within Detroit city limits and Beasley insists he does not do so. Still, he says that life in the city has gone so retrograde that he could easily feed himself with the wildlife in his backyard, which abuts an old cement factory.

He procures the coons with the help of the hound dogs who chase the animal up a tree, where Beasley harvests them with a .22 caliber rifle. A true outdoorsman, Beasley refuses to disclose his hunting grounds.

"This city is going back to the wild," he says. "That's bad for people but that's good for me. I can catch wild rabbit and pheasant and coon in my backyard."

Well, good for him. He's absolutely right about the city going back to the wild; check out the collection of pictures here.

Michigan also has a growing feral pig problem -- and one was reportedly roaming around in Detroit.

When economic times are tough, you can't expect people to ignore food running around in their backyard.

posted by Eric on 04.02.09 at 05:11 PM










Comments

I saw the pictures. It's an improvement. I'm glad to see a nanny government has failed to squeeze the self-reliance out of at least one citizen.

foutsc   ·  April 2, 2009 8:02 PM

I saw the pictures. It's an improvement. I'm glad to see a nanny government has failed to squeeze the self-reliance out of at least one citizen.

foutsc   ·  April 2, 2009 8:03 PM

The Ruins of Detroit is a great site.

I had a few thoughts about it:

http://classicalvalues.com/archives/2008/12/the_ruins_of_de.html

M. Simon   ·  April 3, 2009 3:16 AM

Seems like Detroit may be a good place for game and provide food for the poor that are left. Time to get rid of hunting regs that prevent harvesting in the city.

RAH   ·  April 3, 2009 9:11 AM

Seems like Detroit may be a good place for game and provide food for the poor that are left. Time to get rid of hunting regs that prevent harvesting in the city.

RAH   ·  April 3, 2009 9:11 AM

detroitblog had a post about Glemie back on January 21st:

http://www.detroitblog.org/?p=562

It's a site worth bookmarking.

Eating wild game is nothing new in Detroit: I remember seeing a hand-painted sign at a Wayne county store offering 'Possum Coon Goat' for sale back in the early '70s.

ScottH   ·  April 3, 2009 12:18 PM

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