You’ve heard of dogged determination? Well, a coon hound in the Tennessee wilderness gave new meaning to this expression when he apparently went after a squirrel and became stuck 35-40 feet up a tree.
Sport, an overly enthusiastic coon hound, found himself nearly 40 feet up a tree and in need of a rescue Monday morning. Below image shows Matt Stuart with the rescued pooch Credit: Jason Kinsler / Morristown Citizen Tribune
Dogs are not known for their climbing expertise and, to be sure, this hound, who had become separated from his owner, astonished his squirrel-hunting rescuers when they followed the type of high-pitched yelping that generally implies that a hound has treed a critter.
Matt Stuart, a Morristown police officer, and hunting partner David Hall, arrived and were astonished to discover the frightened eyes gazing down from 35-40 feet above, in a Bean Station poplar tree.
The Morristown Citizen Tribune reported that the hound probably got into the poplar tree via the slightly tilted trunk of a dead oak tree, which leaned into the poplar.
The rescue effort began after Stuart called a friend, Chad Mullins. Stuart and Mullins co-own a tree service business, so they used their own climbing spurs and belts to reach the pooch.
“When I grabbed his collar, it was like he was glued to the limb,” Stuart told Citizen Tribune’s Robert Moore. “He didn’t want to come with me. I gave a good tug and pulled him off the limb. You could not imagine the power in that dog’s legs. You could tell he was scared. He was just holding on for dear life.”
Stuart said he had been hunting with dogs all his life and had never seen or heard of one climbing so high.
Fortunately, the dog, named Sport, was wearing a collar and was reunited with his owner, Randy Berryhill, who explained that Sport went missing during a coon hunt late Saturday night, into Sunday morning. Berryhill had a tracking unit on the collar, but the battery had died.
The story caught the eye of J.R. Absher who runs the Outdoor Pressroom website. Absher wrote:
“Sport, a 13-month-old Bluetick coon hound, has no shortage of enthusiasm, which is what you want in a cooner. But when he was found by two squirrel hunters near Bean Station, Tennessee, Monday morning, he was definitely in bushytail territory, some 40-feet above the ground and one scared hound.”