bear hunting with plott hounds

Writer Jack Ruffing and photographer Frank Clodfelter joined the Hazel Creek Club on an outing to a private reserve in the Great Smoky Mountains.

It’s anything but the lazy man’s way to hunt, and would rival any of the hunting styles on the planet in terms of difficulty and skills needed to consistently take game.

Check out for more great bear hunting content. It’s a sport that requires a lot of patience and time. —Rob Neufeld,, @WNC_chronicler, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Mark Cathey, Ruffing’s guide, told stories of legendary hunts, including about Lt. George Plott, whose hounds treed a bear, but then the bear chased George up a tree after being pelted by him with snowballs. The hunters have to be tough, dedicated and have intricate knowledge of the area to be successful. There will be many hours of training that goes into training your pup and countless mistakes. My awareness of, fascination for, and infatuation with bears and bear conservation was also born that day. Check out their site to learn more about protecting the tradition! Conner Capurro recently brought down his first trophy bear with the help of some trusty hounds.

Hound hunting is one of the most misunderstood types of hunting, but I think you’ll see why it’s important that you support it, even if you don’t ever care to be a part of it.

Puppies and started Plott Hounds for sale. We Wait All Year to Go Nevada Mule Deer Hunting, Nevada Shed Hunting: Where to Go, the Rules, and What You’ll Find. The Sportsmen's Nation is proud to be a certified business member of 2% For Conservation. Most of the breeds we see today were bred to chase some sort of quarry. Hunting the Appalachian Mountains with hound for bears is an extremely traditional hunt. “The Plott hounds originated in Haywood County the latter part of the 18th century,” Ruffing wrote.

It’s a connection that runs deep, a connection that spans generations!

Many houndsmen go out with as few as three bear hounds to as many as 20, which is an experience in and of itself. Hound hunting is a sport that requires a lot of time, effort and most of all great hounds to pursue the animal of your choice. Bear hunting with hounds in the Appalachian mountains of Eastern Tennessee is a cultural experience. Hunting with the help of treeing dogs, Coonhounds, Plott Hounds, and Treeing Walkers, primarily, has a long and decorated history in North America. Training and practicing with any type of hunting dog is an amazing experience. The hounds will have the bear treed or cornered, which is when the hunters can decide the sex and age of the bear and whether it is worth bringing down.

Great bear hounds are few and far between even in good lines of hounds. There aren’t many things that get the blood rushing more than the cacophonous bays of hounds tracking a black bear through the woods. In some ways, bear hunting with hounds is more responsible than still hunting from a tree stand since mistakes are easily made when looking at a bear through a scope. Check out their site to learn more about protecting the tradition! During bear-hunting season in 1942, the Citizen-Times celebrated the Plott hound, now the state dog, being loaded up here. These hounds are cold-scent dogs, meaning they can get on an animal’s trail up to a day after they were there.

Many of the iconic American hunters of the past including Daniel Boone and Teddy Roosevelt were avid hound hunters. Longshore's Oak Ridge Plott Hounds ... Robert Longshore has been competition hunting for over sixty …

Hounding! Although most Plott Hounds are still kept as hunting dogs, there are more and more Plotts being kept as companion dogs and pets. Plus, any hound hunter will tell you their dogs do not, in the slightest, make for an easier hunt!

There is a great amount of time that is required to achieve a top dog and endless effort from the houndsmen. Hunting with the help of treeing dogs, Coonhounds, Plott Hounds, and Treeing Walkers, primarily, has a long and decorated history in North America. The love of the chase, the joy of watching coonhounds doing what they are born to do, and bear backstrap on the grill keep us bear hunting with hounds whenever we get a chance. For the next 200 years the dogs were bred by generations of Plott family members and were referred to as the Plott’s hounds.

There is usually a single lead hound that is the best at finding the track on a bear hunt.

I was without a doubt a houndsman – not for skill or any accomplishment – but rather because I had, in that moment, irreparably “gone to the dogs.” Hounding was in my blood. In a few words, it’s all about the dogs.

Hounds are most commonly used to hunt mountain lions, bobcats, raccoons, and bears, though hounds are great at tracking and treeing any quarry!

The Plott Hound was first registered with the United Kennel Club in 1946. Opponents of the sport say that using hounds gives hunters an unfair advantage and cause the bear unnecessary stress. Houndsmen call the lead dog the “trail dog” which determines where the bear is headed and how “hot” the trail is.

Once the houndsmen decide it’s a worthy chase, they will send more dogs after the first, a term called “packed.” Hunters will then follow their dogs, often for miles over rugged, rough terrain. The dogs love it and it keeps the bears wild, they’ll argue. Chukar Hunting in Nevada | Come and Get ‘Em! But most importantly, a good bear houndsman has to consistently produce dogs that will “catch” bear. The Plott Hound is a large scent hound, originally bred for hunting bears.In 1989, the North Carolina General Assembly designated the Plott Hound as the official State Dog.

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