A New Age of Feist!
January 02, 2006
Dog hunting seems to be becoming more elitist. There are fewer game birds for the bird dogs and less room to trail for the hounds. In the end, getting access to game often costs a lot more than it did, say, in the 1970's before the family-farms died out (they tended to let people hunt/wander their lands quite freely). The way many folks find game today is to buy hunting land, pay for leases, or go to reserves---all that costs LOTS of $$$. (Of course there's still a lot of gov't land, but that tends to be farther from home and less game-rich.)
...But there are still many small accessible land-lots.
...And there are more varmints than ever.
This creates a growing popularity among those who hunt as a way of life (rather than status) for smaller dogs that work smaller acreage for still-plentiful game. That is, for squirrel hunting and the sight-treeing, short-range little dogs that get 'em---big among them being the FEIST.
I first heard about Feist through the multigeneration well-drilling family who lived just down the road, as we had a dog that looked like one. Feist are a small terrier-looking breed that come in a wide variety from the South.
I like the name. Feist! I like the concept---as I'm always looking for ways to hunt for food in the new reality. Lastly, I like the idea of breeds that aren't a part of the show-dog world. I don't think that Feist are part of AKC. There's too much variety. They're results-dogs, not show-dogs. Basically, I like the breeds that the dog-lovers love in contrast to the dog corporations. (Similar to the Eurostyle "Versatile" breeds that use the Open Stud book system: good for dogs, less popular among corporations.)
Here's more about Feist...
Squirrel Dog Central---the major website for this kind of hunting
The only Squirrel Dog book I could find---looks good.
Full Cry---the magazine of fur-huntin' tree-dawgs. (Another link to Full Cry info.)
Here's the kennel of the dog pictured.