Digital Heritage Moment: Mountain Feist

Digital Heritage Moment: Mountain Feist

Photo courtesy of Becky Moran Photography

The mountain feist is a type of small hunting dog. Like the many other varieties of feists, it is not a specific breed. The ancestral homeland of the mountain feist is the southern Appalachian and Ozark mountains. These dogs—like their larger relatives, the treeing hounds— played a vital role in the lives of early pioneers.

Abraham Lincoln included the fiest in his poem “The Bear Hunt” and George Washington mentioned them in his diary. The mountain feist is often mistaken for a Jack Russell terrier, but has a softer, smoother coat and is quieter and calmer. They excel in hunting squirrels, rabbits, raccoons and vermin. Mountain families have taken pride in their feist dogs for generations.

Digital Heritage Moments are produced at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. To learn more, visit digitalheritage.org. You may also hear Digital Heritage Moments each weekday on radio stations WKSF-FM, WWCU-FM, WMXF-AM, WPEK-AM and WWNC-AM.

Leave a Comment