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See Electrical treeing for branching channels within electrical engineering
A dog treeing.

Treeing is a method of hunting where dogs are used to force animals that naturally climb up into trees, where they can be shot by hunters. Particularly used with coonhunting, treeing dogs are selected for the instinct to not cease barking at an animal after it has escaped into a tree.[1] The idiomatic phrase "Barking up the wrong tree" comes from this practice.[2]

This method of hunting is also used for cougar and black bear. The dogs are trained to bay, not directly attack the quarry; however, it is not unheard of for the quarry to kill some of the dogs or for the dogs to kill the quarry. Usually the quarry will climb a tree to escape the dogs after a period of chase and harassment. Blackmouth Cur use this method. Traditionally the dogs were followed on foot by hunters listening to their barks, although some hunters now use radio direction finding equipment to follow the pack.

Treeing allows to see the quarry and decide if the prey should be killed, and if so with a cleaner kill, or spared.[3] For example, females with youths may be left untouched.[3]

Treeing is also sometimes performed without the intention of killing the quarry for scientific purposes (such as radio-tagging) or recreational purposes. It is especially useful for cougars, which are notoriously stealthy and difficult to capture without the aid of dogs.


Treeing is considered an undignified hunting practice and illegal in many places. Treeing is illegal at least in:

  • Oregon[4]
  • Washington State[4]
  • New Mexico[5]
  • Montana[5]
  • California, since January 1st 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill banning hunting of bears, bobcats with hound.[6]

Natural spaces law enforcement officers urged hunters or outdoor enthusiasts to call police and report any suspicious activity they witness.[4]


  1. ^ Sutton, Keith B. (1 January 2002). Hunting Arkansas: The Sportsman's Guide to Natural State Game. University of Arkansas Press. pp. 107–111. ISBN 1557287198.
  2. ^ Walsh, William Shepard (1909). Handy-book of literary curiosities. J.B. Lippincott Company. p. 80.
  3. ^ a b Bear hunting in California: the end of an era
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^