Glemie Dean Beasley, 69, hunts raccoons in Detroit and sells their pelts and meat. My old journalism school pal Charlie LeDuff profiles Beasley in today's Detroit News. All of Charlie's work is fantastic. From the feature (click image for full photo by Max Ortiz):
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…
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."