World’s Largest Coon Hunt Underway in Decatur Co.
PARSONS, Tenn. – Hundreds of hunters from across the country are flocking to Decatur County this weekend for the world’s largest coon hunt, and it is all for a good cause. Kelly Deere said he has been participating in the event since he was just 10 years old, and he never gets tired of giving back. “It feels great,” Deere said. “It feels like you’re really accomplishing something. Something that you wouldn’t be able to do any other way.” And that is what the event is all about, which has been a tradition for nearly 40 years. So far hunters have raised more than $4 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, and they plan to add to that number this weekend. “If we can top that this year, that’s always what they’re shooting for,” Deere said. There are hunts scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, in addition to water races and treeing contests. However, participants told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News one of the best parts about the coon hunt is the people. “Over the years, you get used to seeing a lot of the same faces that you become lifelong friends with, and as well as new people each year,” Deere said. And dozens of awards may be up for grabs, but participants said there is only one true winner. “I can predict the winner of this hunt – the kids at St. Jude will be the winner, regardless of how it turns out, because they will benefit from the entries to the hunt, and the raffles and the money that’s raised here,” said Jimmy Phillips. If you want to participate in the hunts Friday or Saturday, it costs $30. Organizers said you will need to enter by 3 p.m. on either day.