National Plott Hound Ass’n
Hello Plott people from the snowy mountains of West Virginia. I have to apologize for my unprofessional absence last month. This fall has been unbelievably busy for the Butler household. We received our first snow of five inches on October 29. Of course we had to take our Plotts out for a little fun. I love chasing blackies in the snow.
We participated in our state’s week long early bear season this fall. It was a little too warm but we had a lot of fun anyway. My niece, Amie, has been bitten by the hunting bug. She has been joining us in our bear chasing adventures. I think she loves hearing the dogs run almost as much as me!
On the first day of season, we were rigging the Plotts and they struck at about 8 AM. We only had a few dogs with us. (Sophie, our top gyp, and some young dogs). We let Sophie down to find the track. When she located, we turned them all loose. The first hour or so was a great chase. The dogs sounded great talking to that bear, chasing him through the hollows and up over the mountainous terrain.
After a few hours, the two youngsters started to fall behind. The bear crossed a well traveled dirt road. Sophie crossed right behind the bear, then several trucks drove across the track, followed by a UTV that stopped in the road, right on the track.
When we arrived our young Plotts were milling around in the road, trying to find the track that the UTV was sitting on. They finally lined it out and continued on the track. But by then, Sophie had went out of hearing. About a half an hour later, Sophie set up treed.
Of course Sophie had the bruin in a tree on the peak. The GPS told us it was 9/10s of mile straight up. Oh, the joys of living in the West Virginia mountains. It’s never easy getting to a bear tree. We began our vertical challenge and it wasn’t long until I needed a break. When I looked at Chip and Amie, I was amazed at how perpendicular they were to the mountain. It looked like they were crawling while standing straight up. We were literally face to face with ground. I was hoping one of them would be the first to suggest a breather. Amie hadn’t said a word about being tired – what a trooper! At my suggestion, we took a break – the first of many. After a few minutes, we resumed our trek.
Listening to our little Sophie chopping nonstop, seemed to give us all incentive. I was so proud of her – keeping that bear in the air, all by herself! As we were making our way up the steep mountain, I glanced over at Amie. Even though it was 70 plus degrees, the bugs were biting and we were tired and sweating our behinds off – she was grinning ear to ear. I couldn’t help but think “this is what it’s all about!”
When we were about halfway up the mountain, our other two Plotts came through on the track. They continued up to give Sophie some help at the tree. We saw the bear when we were about 100 yards from the top. He was only 10 or 12 feet up in the tree. Not good – I knew he was going to bail as soon as he spotted us. We stopped behind a large oak for a pow-wow and to coach Amie on what was to come. Chip and I always tie our dogs back before harvesting a treed bear. I had a feeling that would not be an option with this one. We crawled up the remaining few yards, trying to stay behind the oak tree. When we were about 30 yards from the tree, the bear started to come down.
Amie threw the rifle up like an old pro and busted that bear! He hit the ground – game over! No danger to the dogs at all. Needless to say, I was impressed. I’m not sure I could make a shot like that. Bear coming down the tree and make a perfect shot, offhand. It was amazing. We are so proud of Amie. What a way to take your first black bear. If there was any doubt, there’s no question now – she is hooked. That was a perfect first day of season! It’s hard to top that.
Please send me some of your stories. I would love to print your hunting adventures. Its always fun to hear of everyone’s
hunts. Whether it’s bear, cat, coon or coyote your Plotts run – I wanna hear from ya.
I do have some sad news to report this month. We have lost a a true Plott legend, Lawrence Porterfield from Cleveland, TN passed away in October. Mr. Porterfield served the NPHA for years. He was a reputable breeder and produced many top-of-the-line Plott dogs.
Two other long time NPHA members have recently passed away as well. Frank Methven and James Polly passed away. They were instrumental in the advancement of the Plott breed. These men will be sadly missed, not only by family but also in the Plott world.
Please keep me updated on your news, hunts and wins. I look forward to hearing from you fellow Plotters. If you arent already a NPHA member, take the time to join. It’s worth the $20 membership ($25 for the family). Make sure you include a phone number with your dues.
Hope to hear from you fellow Plott hunters soon. Don’t forget to invite someone over to the Brindle side.