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August 16, 2006

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A Warning from the Wolves

Again, this deals only marginally with guns, but it’s a spooky story, so I’ll pass it along. It concerns a friend of mine named James who operates a hunting/fishing lodge on the southern coast of Alaska, and kept his two English setters there to do some bird hunting.

If the dogs were not getting worked regularly, James would send them out with one of the guides, who rode a 4-wheeler and followed the pair to keep an eye on them. Except one day he didn’t, and noticed after a while that one of the setters had gone exploring, which is not a good idea for a setter in wolf country.

He ran the other dog back to the lodge and then went looking, and what he found made his blood run cold. There, following the tracks of the setter, were the saucer-sized pawprints of a wolf. It was obvious that the dog was aware of its danger and running for its life, but against a wolf it had no chance. When the guide looked up he saw the wolf—a 140-pound dun-colored animal, which was the pack’s alpha male—with the dead setter in his jaws, like a terrier with a rat.

He gunned the 4-wheeler and chased the wolf to the edge of a bog, and in his rage tried to follow, but the 4-wheeler started to sink, and it looked like the wolf would escape—but then it made a mistake. It leaped from the bog and ran down the beach. The guide wrenched the 4-wheeler free and followed at top speed, firing with a .44 magnum revolver as he went.

One of the bullets hit the wolf, which stopped, and the guide rammed him with the 4-wheeler, killing him. The guide brought the dead wolf back to the lodge, and he and James went to bury the setter. They dug a deep hole, laid the dog in it, filled it, and left, heads bowed in sorrow.

The next day the local hermit showed up at the lodge.

“You ought to bury that poor dog of yours,” he said to James, “it isn’t right to leave him lying there.”

James and the guide went to the grave and found it was empty. The wolves had dug up the setter, dragged it to the spot where the alpha male had killed it, and left it. As a warning? Who knows? And so the alpha male’s hide decorates the lodge’s walls, and the setter--there is one left--is not let out of sight. And the wolves are still there, waiting.

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Comments

Dave

It does my heart good to know that the majestic wolf is being reintroduced in the lower 48 states. Now, so many more of us will get the chance to have similar encounters with this magnificent predator. Certainly that is worth losing one or two, or a dozen, common hunting dogs. Remember, wolves are more affraid of you than you are of them.

Is my sarcasm coming through OK?

JA Demko

I don't keep livestock or own dogs or cats. Re-introducing the wolf sounds okay to me, especially if they consume some of the neighbors' yappy rat-dogs and trashcan-rolling cats.

Mike

I do so love the majestic wolf. What an awesome beast. But the fact is, they are a VERY cunning and inteligent predator. When we get a stable breeding populations in certain areas. The endnagered species protection MUST be abolished(or reduced) in that area....a little fear of the apex predator WILL go a long way. Kill off a few of the pack and let the ones that survive tell the tale..so to speak. I personally cant wait for my next siteing of the noble beasts. Heres to hoping I have plenty of ammo for the encounter should things go awry!

OH and Dave.....your sarcasm was verily dripping from the fangs. But they ARE a natural animal to this region...let them come back and live in peace...raise plenty of pups......so we can hunt the bastids!!

Ralph the Rifleman

I have heard of similar tales with wolves doing some strange things when a pack member dies...elephants do this as well. Animals are much more complex then we understand. Sad to lose a good hunting dog, too, but it was fair game to the wolf.

Scott

With the number of wolves on the rise and no reason to fear man. How long will it be till a child is killed by one. Then there will be a wolf season, aproved or not. I have lost sheep and calves to them, but I can not prove it with out a body. I enjoy all wild life but there are plenty of wolves around, we should hunt them.

JA Demko

Yes. Let's do it for the children.

Jim Shilling

I love the wild and the wilderness. Wolves are as much a part of that as are mountains.

There should be areas where wolves are allowed to be wolves. Then areas where they are to be managed and finally, where they are not to be tolerated.

Managment has to be objective and based on the best science. I don;t see most states doing that.

Mike

LMAO Yes, do it for the children...ROTFL

Jim; Umm well there you have your answer in your own statement........the state cant run itself. Anything the govt touches invariably goes to excrement. I am GLAD to have wolves reintroduced........but when do we start to "manage" them......When they become a pestilence!?!? Lord knows the powers that be wont listen to us that spend our time in the woods......but will listen to some bloated "educated idiot" errr i mean scientist sitting 200 miles away in a major city.

Ralph the Rifleman

There was a recent attack done by a wolf in Northern Canada in which "transitional" animals are showing little fear of people. Apparently these wild wolves are getting accustomed to garbage, and thus becoming dependant on it for a food supply. Similar to bear behavior, these animals will need to be"educated" to fear people.Just as long as re-introduction groups understand this, we should not dismiss the wolf recovery projects.
What cha all think about that?

Mike

Ralph; What i think, i have found, really doesn't matter. But truth told, as human populations continue to explode, we are going to see more and more "animal attacks". I get a kick out of these yuppie fools moving out into the "outback" then cry, whine and complain that they have cougar/bear/wolves in thier back yard or even attacking pets/themselves or (God forbid) thier kids.

I for one, when I am out on my forays into the homes of wild critters I go with special awareness that I am trespassing. Therefore I have a good weapon close to hand.

Ironically, by in large, these afore mentioned yuppies are the anti-gun "pro wildlife" cult.....a.k.a "PETAphiles" that cry and complain about those of us that actually understand wilderness and "correct balance", and are all for wolves coming back, and THEN doing what it takes to keep the populations in check.

JA Demko

"What i think, i have found, really doesn't matter."

My opinion is just as irrelevant as yours, I'll have you know.

Greg Russell

JA Demko-You are a cad-as I knew when I found you to be a demon-crat. I have two cats that are excellent mousers, and they roam free around my house. I once told a supposed friend who bragged about his killing of a house cat, that if he pulled that stunt in front of me, that I`d bitch-slap him into next week.
I`d just as soon have YOU fed to the wolves and keep my cats for intelligent company.

Greg Russell

JA Demko-You are a cad-as I knew when I found you to be a demon-crat. I have two cats that are excellent mousers, and they roam free around my house. I once told a supposed friend who bragged about his killing of a house cat, that if he pulled that stunt in front of me, that I`d bitch-slap him into next week.
I`d just as soon have YOU fed to the wolves and keep my cats for intelligent company.

Ralph the Rifleman

Yes, it does matter what you think..unless all of you have stopped voting and paying taxes? Oh-PETA, to me, stands for
People who Eat Tasty Animals-Amen!

JA Demko

Greg Russell,
I just love when you go into Donald Duck-throwing-a-tantrum mode like that. Promise me you'll never change.

Joshua

"I`d bitch-slap him into next week." Thats one of the funiest comments I've ever read Greg!
I agree with you Mike. Yes, its somewhat our fault, but if a wolf kills one of my cats you will find it piled up with a .30 cal. hole through its skull.

JA Demko

BTW, Greg, congratulations! You are the first person posting to this blog to to wish harm on another or imply threats of violence. Way to persaude people what a deep-thinking guy you are!

KJ

Wolves are a part of the ecosystem, as much as bear, deer, alley cats, and petunias. I don't like the idea of erradicating them, but I really don't want them roaming in my backyard, either. Where I live coyotes are a problem. There have been a few cats and small dogs disappear due to the presence of these predators. There is nothing sinister about it. Around here the population has grown due to a lack of hunting - there is no market for their pelts. I think a regulated hunting season on coyotes - and wolves - could be an answer to controlling populations and allowing multiple predators to co-exist. (Yes, I am aware of the irrelevance of my opinion. I have a 13 year old who reminds me on occassion.)

You know what we call a dog that kills cats? "Good dog!"

KB Faulk

Wolves are just like any other wild critter out there...trying to find enough food to live on. Everyone should remember that WE are the ones responsible for loss of their habitat. It's not the other way around. Ever wonder why it is that we tend to fear that which we do not understand?

Mike

"JA Demko-You are a cad-as I knew when I found you to be a demon-crat."

Pathetic, attacking a man simply for his political views...shows ALOT of intelligence or lack thereof.....for one to attack simply due to party affiliation or to vote simply because of same, pure insanity! NOW MR. Russell......may we PLEASE somewhat stick to the topic at hand and NOT turn Mr. Petzals fine forum into a urination contest?!

Yep, i DO pay taxes and i DO vote...but the sad truth is, the more i vote for change in the "Business as usual" crowd. The more it stays the same! I am also a supporting memeber of P.E.T.A. (People EATING TASTY Animals) As my Daddy said, "Theres a place for ALL Gods creatures.......right next to the mashed potatoes"

Far as killing house(feral) cats...it is something I do quite often. As where I live here in the city(also out in the woods and fields where i hunt)feral cats are quite a problem. Feral cats are more than a nuisance, they are destructive to wildlife habitat as well as being carriers of disease.(when populations go unchecked)

Now, this is NOT to say i just shoot every cat that comes along. Some neighbors cats do tend to escape the house. I know these animals as they have collars and escape my sites. Feral cats are destructive to song bird populations as well as other wild populations. I for one was HIGHLY in support (Even though i am not in that state nor do I hunt there)of WI feral cat hunting program. (which barely failed in legislature, kinda like its CCW law)Now, to be fair, these thoughts also bleed over to feral dog populations. I have hunted and taken MANY a feral dog in my day as well.Feral dogs are a MAJOR problem for hunters and other lovers of wildlife as they tend to show many of the same characteristics of Wolves(run in packs and are VERY cunning), but are MORE dangerous to humans as they have had the natural tendency to avoid humans bred out of them.

Now, had we more of a balanced populace of correct wild critters living in this area mayhaps I wouldnt be forced to take feral cats and dogs as the Wolves and Coyotes would do it for me.

In closing, if you dont want your cats and dogs to become fodder for hunters sites or killed by wild predators may I suggest you lock up said animals....or train them to stay to home!

Just my 2 cents...thanks for your time.

Mike

KJ

About the only sensible thing to come out of the collective brain cells of the minds at PETA? "Have your pets spayed or neutered."

JA Demko

"Pathetic, attacking a man simply for his political views...shows ALOT of intelligence or lack thereof.....for one to attack simply due to party affiliation or to vote simply because of same, pure insanity!"

The really pitiful part about this is that I am not a Democrat. I am, in fact, a libertarian. I have voted in every elections since Reagan defeated Carter and I have never, in all that time, voted for a Democrat. I've puked up in the back of my throat several times when I voted for a Republican_because s/he was microscopically better than the opposing Democrat_but I choked it back down and voted for that Republican. The best I can say for the GOP is that they are usually the least odious choice from a list of bad choices. Democrats and Republicans alike are statist control freaks; the only difference is which aspects of your life they want to control for starters. In the ling run, they're just flip sides of the same counterfeit coin.

Matt

Should wolves be reintroduced to where they were historically present? Yes, if the habitat can support them. Should ranchers, property owners, and everyone else have the right to make a rug out of one if it so much as looks at their dog or livestock? Absolutely.

A. S. Moeggs

Come on Dave, my comment weeks ago about sticking to the subject of guns wasn't meant to cause hard feelings. I was just sticking up for some of the good cops out there! Type away sir, I enjoy the blog!

Brian

Maybe people should get tougher dogs if they want to live in wolf country. I would love to see a wolf try that with my dog lol that would be a site to behold




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