There are a couple other popular coonhounds to think about. Black and tans, redbones and english coonhounds are all pretty popular for raccoon hunting. I can not speak to price but those are some examples of some other breeds.
I don't here much about coon hunting anymore - is it still popular or has the sport waned a bit? What are the differences in the breeds? Why is one better than the other? I don't know much about hunting dogs. I have a yellow lab, but he is not a hunting dog. The only dog that I know that would rather be inside on a nice day instead of outside.
The only guys still coon hunting now are the ones that love the sport. There is no money in it anymore so most people have stopped doing it. Any dog that can trail and tree game can be a coon dog but the hound breeds are best at it. Some cur dogs are good too.
If you want to properly preserve velvet antlers, you will have to inject & brush them with formaldehyde or some of the new less toxic chemicals (4 in 1 solution works great as does Knobloch's antler in velvet tan) as its easier to use however, both will work.
First, using rubber gloves take a razor blade and make small incisions at the tips of all points about 1/8". Next hang the antlers upside down, allowing the blood to drain. Starting at the bases inject the solution into the...