ATHENS, Ala. (AP) _ Blood sport has a religious message in northern Alabama.

Union Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church raised about $2,500 by charging hunters fees to enter its Bigfoot Hollow Coon Hunt.

Youngsters who hadn't seen a raccoon before got to watch as one was released and treed.

``It's reaching the young people with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus,'' the Rev. Charles Hood said Tuesday. ``The coon hunt is a way to spread the word of God, to talk about Jesus Christ.''

Hood wouldn't guess how many raccoons were killed in the Feb. 18 hunt.

``There are many coons around,'' he said.