Wolves Kill Hunting Hounds

WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS!!!

This is not the first time this has happened nor will it be the last.  I recently hunted with a houndsman who told me that wolves respond to a hound’s baying like its the dinner bell.  Unfortunately, two good dogs were lost this time.  Hopefully the open season on wolves will lead to less of this sort of thing.  Read the harrowing story of loss and survival below the photos.

Here is the story of that I recieved:

I have not posted anything about lion hunting for awhile. I just finished my first semester of college at the University of Montana where I am studying wildlife biology. I got home for winter break and have been able to get out quite a bit lately. My friends and I have treed several lions and we have taken two. Yesterday my friend and mentor Mel invited me to go with him and another fellow named Jay who has two young dogs and a tag for our area. At about 6am we headed up into the Yaak area of northwest Montana. At about 2pm Jay found a track so he turned out his two dogs (Top & Lilly) and I also turned out my two (Elvis & Earl). They took off through the woods but they lost the track where the cat had crossed the Yaak River and had then doubled back across again. Mel and Jay walked downstream to gather dogs and look for the track while I was searching the far bank. We eventually lined out the track and put the dogs back on it. It was tough going so Mel put in his two good dogs (Brody & Fancy). The cat had made a third river crossing and the dogs were now on a fairly fresh trail. Since part of our plan was to get Jay’s dogs Top and Lilly some experience we grabbed Earl and Fancy and put them back in the rig. At this point we had four dogs heading up over the mountain. We drove about 2 miles up a nearby road to try and close some of the distance. We finally got bogged down in very heavy snow and the Garmin Astro collars were saying that the dogs were still about a mile above us and that they were treeing. We headed up on snowshoes but the going was VERY difficult due to deep snow and thick alder brush. It took about 90 minutes to hike to where the dogs were supposed to be. As we were hiking we saw on the receiver that Jays dog Lilly was running. Since she is young he just thought that she was running a back trail. As we continued to get closer we could still not hear the dogs. At about 500 yards the astro showed that the dogs were still treeing but since we could not hear anything we became concerned that the system was not working right. As we got close we had to get out our lights as the sun had set and we could no longer see. We hiked on and soon the screen showed that the dogs should be right in front of us at about 50 yards. Eerily there was absolutely no sound in the woods. We found the tree surrounded by tracks where they had put up the lion. We immediately began calling out for the dogs. Jay saw some blood by the tree and we assumed that a dog must have cut a pad. Jay started shining his light down the hill and saw two eyes shining about 30 yards away. He started that direction and seconds later we heard him start yelling. Mel and I ran down to where he was and saw something no houndsman ever wants to see. There in the snow surrounded by blood were two dead dogs. I instantly thought that one of them was my good dog Elvis. My heart was pounding as I got closer. When we got to them we had to check the collar since part of his head was gone. We ultimately discovered that it was Mel’s dog Brody and Jays dog Top. I could not find Elvis anywhere. I could only imagine that the same thing had happened to him and that he was lying in the brush nearby. As we tried to get over the shock of it all we slowly pieced together what had happened. It became very apparent that a pack of wolves had attacked our hounds as they were baying at the tree. Brody and Top had been killed instantly at the tree and then drug about 30 yards away where the wolves had started to feed on them. The eyes Jay had seen were those of a wolf eating our dogs. Lilly had obviously run away when the attack occurred but there was still no sign of Elvis. We were all sick about what had just happened but we needed to get down the mountain and try and find Lilly and hopefully Elvis. It was as tough going down as it had been climbing up, and when I broke a strap on my snowshoe I didn’t think things could get any worse. I have hunted these mountains many times but I have never experienced fear like I did on that hike. The thought of the wolves behind us, the dogs that had just been killed and of the two that we could not find were about all I could handle. With broken snowshoes I had to “posthole” most of the way back to the truck. We finally got back to the trucks and our missing dogs were not there. Before we got out of that deep snow we had to winch ourselves out about five times. It was getting very late and I was both mentally and physically exhausted by the time we got back to the paved road. We were due for some good luck and right then the collars for Lilly and Elvis lit up the screen and appeared to be about 1 mile ahead of us on the main road. As we got close I could see Lilly by the guardrail so I jumped out to grab her and began yelling for Elvis. I immediately heard barking down below us by the river. I jumped the railing and began calling to him. With my flashlight I could see Elvis and he appeared to be lying in the ice on the bank. As I got closer I realized that he was actually in the water and was too exhausted to pull himself up on to the edge of the ice. I was able to reach out to him and pull him to safety. I don’t know how long he had been there but he was shaking so bad I did not know if he would survive. We warmed him up in the truck as we headed for home which was still an hour away on icy roads. As I write this, Elvis is still so stiff and sore that he can hardly walk but since he is not yet 3 years old he is plenty strong and will be back on the trail soon. I have no idea how he was able to escape the wolf attack and near freezing to death in a river. All I know is that I am very fortunate to have gotten him back. I have not talked to Jay yet this morning but he had put so much time and energy into training Top I can only imagine how crushed he is. I talked to Mel and he is very frustrated, not just because he lost a great dog but also because he called a local game biologist who told him that our dogs were killed not 500 yards from a known denning site. According to the biologist they don’t publicize information like that because people might disrupt the wolves.

R.I.P. Brody and Top, I hope the hunting is good up there in heaven.

23 Responses to “Wolves Kill Hunting Hounds”

  1. Incredible story, sorry to hear the loss of your friends dogs.

  2. I was just forwarded your accouint of the ordeal by a dear friend of mine in Bozemen. She is an avid hunter and I used to live their. My great grandparents were homesteaders around Virginia City and Three Forks, the original; Gateway, then eventually they settled in the New Gateway which is known as Galletin Gateway. We anyway, I am posting your article with a link to Freerepublic.com. It is a conservative political site of 1.7 million readers and 3700000 active posting members. You may experience some hits about this. When I get it posted I will comeback and give you a link to the post if interested. I feel for you and your friends, and may God grant us the will to change things back to how they should be soon.

    Chuck Ness (OneVike)

    • Chuck, Thanks for your interest and you post. Working together, we can keep these beautiful creatures around for a long time to come. In some circles, wolf control is not a popular subject. The harm that they pose uncontrolled is real. Thanks for your support of the great white hunter blog.

  3. Chairborne Ranger Says:

    Sorry for your loss. I just had my dogs come out of quarantine after being attacked by a rabid coon. It would have been a heart breaker to lose them.

    I have to wonder where the priorities are these days.

    I am all for biodiversity but big predators should be controlled yet the feds wont hear of it.

    People are killed by protected Mountain Lions, Grizzlys, and by gators here in Florida, and coyotes are spreading everywhere and killing livestock and household pets in urban areas.

    I had a prize horse killed by a big diamondback a while back. Never found the snake but he was a bigun as the fang marks were almost 2 inches apart. Leastways, I could have been legally able to kill the rattler if I found them. Donno how long that will last the way things are going.

    Been out west a couple of times. That is great county yall got out there! Winters are a bit rough though.

    Many thanks for posting this story.

  4. Silver Fox Says:

    This is absolutely unacceptable! I recommend the “3-Ss” to get things back in balance…

  5. I posted you article, but I did edit it to be formatted properly. I am going to also post it to the Chico Enterprise Record news paper in my home town of Chico California’s number one blog, “Post Scripts”, http://www.norcalblogs.com/post_scripts/. A lot of liberals visit that site, but good hunting conservatives do also. It will be more of an excerpted article with a link but it will still generate some hits for you. You may have figured that i get articles posted throughout the internet in a semi syndicated way. I have an inside track of posting what i deem relevant to the times on several prominent blogs across America, and your story of what happened is very relevant to the wild wolf problem we are now beginning to face in America, thank you liberals.

    Here is the link to FR, it seems someone else now has also posted a second hit for you at FR. This is both the URLS for the stories.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2439555/posts

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2439741/posts

    Take care and I will share the link to PS when it gets posted.

    Chuck, (OneVike)

  6. RobRocket Says:

    Have you ever thought about raising Irish Wolfhounds to protect your ‘coon hounds will tracking game? This breed of wolfhound is actually bred not only to keep a wolf at bay but to actually go in for the kill. Even thought they have a killer disposition when it comes to dealing with wolves they are gentle enough to be around children. The downside is that they don’t live that long compared to most dogs and they tend to get bone cancer.

    • even a wolf hound would have been killed bud good point use dogs that can put up a fight and ward the wolves off ware use spiked collers it addes as a defence of the vitalsrember wolves look at dogs not as food but as snother pack resspassing

  7. ATTIQ KHAN Says:

    .,………………………I like it

  8. silver fox Says:

    I should have quit reading your response after the very first sentence, as everything following proved it false! Waste of time and bandwidth….

  9. Silver Fox Says:

    Well JN, regarding your initial assertion that: “Let me make something clear from the outset – I am not a member of a bleeding heart animal activist group.”, I’ll concede that you may not be an actual, registered member of such a “group”, but you sure sound like one with all your rambling goings-on interspersed with various factoids. It’s gibberish, including that little gratuitous closing comment about global warming that has already been shown to be fake! Perhaps you could sign up with PETA, etc. and get paid by the word for your published essays.

    • Silver Fox,
      Sorry to disappoint, but had to drop JN latest post. First of all the three page comments simply don’t work. Second, while I don’t mind that people disagree with various points of view, it is important that comments here have some basis in reality. The ted bundy comment I think makes clear that there was no place on this blog for that type of comment. It was gibberish and I gave it the boot.
      JN,
      If you want to post, keep it concise and based in reason.
      The Great White Hunter

  10. Silver Fox Says:

    RN, a single pack containing 24 wolves?? Not anywhere that I’m aware of, not even in a zoo! Pack sizes usually range form three to eight, with 12 being unusually large. Isle Royale typically has three to four packs, but neither moose nor wolf populations are stable as some believe. In 2006, a Duluth newspaper report stated: “When initially studied, many researchers believed the two species would eventually reach a population equilibrium (which is believed to be about twenty-five wolves, and 1,500 moose). They have not yet shown any sign of settling into one, instead tending to fluctuate unpredictably.”

    • JN,
      You are suggesting that Idaho wildlife managers have simply lost 18,000 rocky mountain elk? Junk science and false notions of wolves are what has led to wolf overpopulation. This is exactly why wildlife management belongs to the states. Sportsmen rebuilt the game herds through 100 years of investment. Anti sportsmen have been pushing their model for 20 years and haven’t produced anything but a bunch of litigation. Sportsmen are not going to stand by and watch what we have built be destroyed by special interest groups who are driven more by their disdain for our model of conservation than their interest in helping wildlife.

      Wolves are overpopulated and we are going to fix it.

      -The Great White Hunter

  11. Silver Fox Says:

    JN, unfortunately when one overly zealous individual is locked into a position that defies all reason and logic, no amount of evidence or persuasion is sufficient to alter his position. You have made it abundantly clear that you despise ALL trappers, hunters, wildlife managers and others of our “ilk” who support sustained development of our wildlife resources, while championing the “noble wolf” notion.
    I don’t buy any of it, and it reminds me of the old caution: Never wrestle with a pig, you just get muddy and the pig enjoys it! As I said on Mar 19th – “waste of time and bandwidth”! Bye, bye…

  12. i am very sorry to hear the loss of ur hounds since i am a fellow houndsman i am concernd about the bioligists not making it public so other houndsman would not turn thier dogs loose near the den.

  13. Reuben Sutherland Says:

    Sorry for your loss and that is a sad story. Tho even a pack of wolf hounds would still not be any good against the kind of wolves that they got in Montana and out west. They are far more powerful than the Eurasian wolves that wolf hounds were effective against.

  14. killing wolves will not solve the problem but let’s start giving out tags. Something like one wolf for hunters for every dead dog. I have black and tans my girl’s named liiy also my boy is jake. It touched me too see the pictures. Sorry dude but that’s hunting never know what’s going to happen. Me? I would have killed all the wolves.

  15. dang man i just read your story and its pretty sad its a waste when u get a good hound and they end up like that i had a hound once that was the best and i lost him the same way and tell your buddies i said sorry for ther lose…

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