Even after more than seven hours tracking a bear through snowy, dense, mountainous terrain, Roy Stiles knew his Plotts John Henry and Missy wouldn’t give up. Plotts are tenacious trackers and they have a strong hunting instinct, he says. They will literally track until they drop.
In this case, the dogs did drop — right over the edge of an overhang, along with the bear. Missy and the bear bounced down the nearly 60-foot hill into a ditch. John Henry landed a few feet below the overhang on a ledge. That the dogs would pursue the bear so far did not surprise Stiles, American Plott Association president and 40-year breeder in Robbinsville, N.C. Plotts are bred to have grit and stamina, he says, and theres no quit to them.
Thankfully, both John Henry and Missy survived. Missys fall was broken by a bush. Stiles put her in the truck still rarin to go, then climbed up the hill with two friends to get John Henry. The bear, incidentally, jumped out of the ditch, went over the guard rail, and ran off into the woods.
*Pick up this month’s issue of Dog Fancy for the full story.