Squirrel Dogs: Piper’s first hunt

“Piper on Tree” 30″ x 40″ acrylic on canvas (Piper’s 1st squirrel)

Lone Willow Piper
Original Mountain Cur Breeders Association
OMCBA # J-229

Piper came for the best of breeding and was a natural from the start. His father, Twin Pines Banjo, owned and bred by Carl Smith of Crossville, Tennessee, was OMCBA Dog of the Year for 2004. His grandfather on both sides of his pedigree, Twin Pines Jam, is a Hall of Fame dog is his great grandfather, the immortal Smith’s Streak. And Piper is the spitting image of his grandfather, Twin Pines Jam. He is a true Mountain cur in every sense of the word.

His high level of intelligence was evident from the very beginning when I got him as a 10 week old pup. Everything was easy for him, from negotiating gates and fences on the farm to crossing icy creeks and deep ravines. And the girls in the family liked to snuggle him because his golden yellow fur was so soft. By 6 months of age he was treeing well on turn-out coon and squirrel. At 15 months old he evolved into an intense, focused, accurate tree dog who was a split-tree artist but would honor another dog (i.e. Faulkie ) if the fur was there. I’d looked for a male cur like him for 10 years! And, oh my, was I ever rewarded for my wait!

Pipers’ style is perfect for me. He hunts hard but checks back every 15 minutes. He handles well and is not at all mean toward other dogs whether on the tree or with downed game. He lives to hunt, and is an absolute pleasure to work with. He makes a man want to go to the woods just to see him work. Piper is quality entertainment to a woodsman. His sharp, ringing chop can be heard from a long way off. He is the kind of dog that every man should own and follow.

I’ll never forget his first solo squirrel in the big timber. After casting him at the edge of the hickory woods on the High Hill, he shot from the lead like a cannonball, then stopped abruptly on top of the ridge to survey the wooded hollow below him and the ridge opposite him for movement, simultaneously cocking his head to listen for leaves rustling or a squirrel barking. Suddenly, he was off again like a streak and treed 400 yards from me on a dead snag over in No Wind Hollow just below Kramer’s gas well.

It took me 10 minutes to get to him, but he stayed treed the entire time, chopping 50-60 times per minute with that intense, sharp, steady bark. I just knew he had the fur. When I arrived I saw him with his feet up on a 30 foot snag with grape vines all over it and a hole near the top. I shook the snag and squalled, just the way old George Toot used to, and out baled a feisty fox squirrel who ran frantically to the nearest tree with Piper hot in pursuit.

The squirrel swirled up that first tree, shimmied a tightrope to the top, then timbered out through two more trees with Piper locked on like radar, treeing excitedly all the while, and making it all looks so very easy. He did one last highwire act and ended up hugging a limb 120 feet up in a tall Ash tree. Luckily, I had my scoped rifle, and, after several shots, was able to get him down to Piper who really enjoyed his furry reward. I don’t know who derived more pleasure from that first solo squirrel in the Big Woods…me or Pipe…Pipe…Piper. A Mountain Cur like him is what gives a man Timber Dreams. Oh my, what a show! He makes me feel like a frontiersman. The Piper dog can really pipe it up.

J.D. Graham

This entry was posted in J.D. Graham Poetry, Leah Graham Paintings, Mountain Cur and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Squirrel Dogs: Piper’s first hunt



  2. Know for sure says:

    Car smith did not own banjo. It was Harold Smith.

  3. I am in fact thankful to the owner of this web site who has shared this great piece of writing at here.

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