Cougar hunter says wolves attacked, killed dogs near Avery (Idaho) . . . dog owners whine

Wolves have nailed some cougar-tracking hounds again.

Somehow it is hard to cry for these cry-baby hunters. Where is their sense of adventure and that a hunt should be a risk to hunters too?

Story in the Jackson Hole Star Tribune

Related. This was in Ed Bang’s report that came in this evening.

It seems the high elevation Lake Como Pack from inside the Selway-Bitterroot wilderness got into a fight with some lion tracking hounds.

“On Feb. 5th, a lion hunter reported that his hounds had gotten in a fight with wolves near the Tin Cup drainage near Darby, MT. He reported that his dogs were injured but would be OK and he thought 2 wolves were involved. Bradley [MFWP] was incidentally in this same area on the 4th and had cut tracks of several wolves presumably from the Lake Como pack.”



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  1. Alan S Avatar
    Alan S

    Sorry about the dogs, but to the wolves these were simply three interlopers from another pack right in the middle of breeding season.
    When you enter a wilderness area part of the experience is in an element of danger, small though it usually is. Never do I feel more alive and aware than when hiking and camping in grizzly country. Otherwise you may as well hike in a city park (actually statistically much MORE dangerous), and hunt in one of those elk farms.
    Gotta wonder what the hunter’s wife thinks about his statement that the only thing that could be worse than losing his dogs would be losing his kids!

  2. Heard Enough Avatar
    Heard Enough

    There’s a more extensive story in the St. Maries Gazette Record from a day or two ago.

  3. jordan Avatar

    So the hounds chasing the lion got hunted instead. What goes around comes around?

    If the hounds had treed the lion, the houndsman would have tormented it by taking photos and gloated in BS’ing with fellow great white hunters about what a great experience this was (NOW I’M A REAL MAN).

    Using dogs to chase, torment and kill wildlife belongs in the past along with shooting bison from trains.

    The media ought to do a story on the training of hounds – letting them rip apart whatever animal they find like raccon, fox, feral housecat whatever so the hounds can “enjoy” the blood.

  4. kt Avatar

    Yeah, and my observations of the life of the hound hunter’s hounds is that they are treated like little machines, in no way akin to the family pet. There are always several of them. Crammed into crates in the back of pickups. When “home”, in kennels 99% of the time.

    The hound hunter is quoted as saying:

    “I don’t know how to describe it,” Parker said. “It tore my heart out. Wouldn’t compare it to losing a child, but it’s got to be closest thing to it.”

    Crocodile tears …

  5. jordan Avatar

    Hounds or herd dogs that are supposed to be destined for hunting, breeding, or guarding livestock, but falls short and gets in the crosshairs of its “owner” as not cutting it, will be shot, or abandoned.

    Many of these dogs end up starving along rural roads (several of my friends have taken them in and saved them) or in shelters, unless the cast off canine dies of lead poisoning or worse, first.

    Ever notice how many cow or sheep dogs are available for adoption, at least here in Idaho? Neutering is rarely an option with the livestock or houndsman crowd. Too big a bother, too much money or something a “liberal” or animal rights person might do. Breeders of hounds will select a few pups of a litter for sale and kill the rest.Then cry crocodile tears when their hounds met a superior canine – the wolf.

  6. Brooke Avatar

    If he’s taking them out cougar hunting he should expect injured dogs anyway shouldn’t he?

  7. red Avatar

    So, how many wolves were involved in the attack on the dogs from the news story?

  8. Layton Avatar

    I’ve GOT to assume that none of you learned folk on here have dogs.

    No dogs as pets, no stock dogs, no guard dogs?? I guess no dogs in general — because you seem to take great delight in other folks having their’s torn to bits!!

    Alan S. comments that he likes the “element of danger” and then talks about grizzly bears —- jordan says “what goes around comes around” — would jordan feel the same way if the pack got shot up for killing someone’s dogs??

    But we can’t do that, can we, cuz the wolves are uncle sugar’s (and jordan’s) protected pets.

    The scale is not in the middle!! Eight or ten 100 lb. wolves jump two or three 40 lb. hounds and you folks jump with glee — never mind that it isn’t “fair” for a person to protect his or her property — after all, doesn’t the world as we know it BELONG to these “endangered” critters??

    Just FYI, be assured the the wolves involved WOULD be IMMEDIATLY endangered if it were my dog they were after.

    Some folks here seem to think that the wolf is the top of the food chain and the superior animal in the woods. Others of us would remind them that they are NOT!


  9. be Avatar

    i can empathize with the loss of a dog – the experience is real. i can also appreciate the fact that those dogs were quite possibly closer to their real nature at those moments than any poodle put down at the wrong end of a needle…

  10. Wolfy Avatar

    Yes, its a traumatic event to lose a dog, especially when an another animal is to blame. I have dogs and live right smack dab in the middle of wolf country. And we have bears, moose, mountain lions, deer hunters, bear hunters, automobiles,and a whole host of other things that might hurt or kill dogs. I don’t want my dogs to get hurt. That’s why I take precautions. Sending a dog out in the middle of nowhere for hours on end is not a way to keep a dog safe. Its like putting a 3 year old kid in the middle of an interstate. All the things above could kill or injure a dog. If a hunter hunts with his dog in this way, he has no business “crying wolf” when his dog gets killed or turns up missing.
    And what about the dogs that can’t hunt anymore; most bear/cat dog hunters that I know just put the dog down if its lame or they just dump it somewhere. The “useful” life of a bear or cat dog is about 2 years. You may get 3 years out of one if you don’t run it too hard, or it doesn’t get killed by one of the ways above. That’s all just business as usual for the hound hunters.
    The whole concept is barbaric and doesn’t belong in a civilized society.

  11. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I like Wolfy’s post.

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    When I was a kid, and my first dog was put down by the vet due to illness, I would have felt better if a cougar or a wolf (or something like that) had jumped the fence, rather than the artificial way we dealt with it.

  13. Chris L. Avatar
    Chris L.

    I think wildlife is a calculated risk. If you let 2 40lb dogs loose in wolf country, you have to be willing to accept the consequences. I love my dog, she is my best friend. Which is exactly why I don’t expect her to chase down lions while fending off wolves. I understand that some people consider this a sport, and to that I will say that sports involve risks and injuries. I don’t see anything wrong with what happened. With that said, I do feel sorry for the hunter and the dogs.

  14. Brooke Avatar

    I’ve had 5 dogs. And I’ve had 2 die on me.

  15. Brooke Avatar

    I feel bad for the dogs. Not the hunter.

  16. jordan Avatar

    For Layton. I have always had a dog. My mutt has chased wolves, coyotes and even lions and lived to tell about it. But, if said dog had been attacked and killed by a wolf, I would consider that the price to be paid for living in the outback of Idaho.

    How many wolves do we have in Idaho? How many dogs?There are PLENTY of incidences where domestic dogs have killed wintering elk, domestic shee, and come spring, fawns, elk calves and mt goat kids.

    Why are you so against wolves? Because they are intelligent, loyal to family, and so beautiful and majestic? That bothers you? Is that somethin’ lackin’ in your world?

    Recall that you are a bow hunter. Something some people call “legalized poaching” because archery hunters stalk “THEIR” prey in late August and September before rilfe season. Anything is legal – from spotted fawn or elk, to baby black bear. Whatever you poke, you can take and put the photo up on the local archery den.

    Layton, you and I will never agree that wolves have a place …. so go out and put your arrow into whatever critter that happens across your sight … and if killing something with your hightech bow makes you feel like a man … then that’s the man you are.
    If you need help finding an elk let me know. Obviously, wolves would benefit from every Idaho “great white hunter” downing an elk and getting bragging rights at the local pub or with the little woman, fixing your elk stew or rubbing your feet.

  17. jordan Avatar

    In the previous post, a letter was left off the word “shee” – the word should have been “sheep”. Anyway, archery hunter is another word for “we stick ’em, and some die and we get ’em, and the rest limp off to experience a slow death. Thumbs up (or down) for these “sportsmen”.

  18. Layton Avatar


    Methinks you are full of the same substance as a baby robin. You know NOTHING about that which you speak.

    1. “spotted fawn” — in case you don’t know it, there ARE no spotted fawns in the legal hunting season – same with the “baby bears” that you mention. It is illegal to kill even an adult female with cubs – pull your head out, look at the regs. I do before I hunt each year.

    2.”Layton, you and I will never agree that wolves have a place ” Again, you are full of male bovine feces — Never have I said that wolves didn’t have a place. I simply believe that – a different wolf, introduced by uninformed, misguided pseudo environmentalists, without any controls, to prey on game animals that actually ARE desireable in the ecosystem is something that never should have been done.

    3. What does your blanket condemnation of hunting have to do with your support of the wolf that you seem to worship? Are you a vegetarian? If you are, I guess you have a legitimate viewpoint – not one that I agree with, but a legitimate one. If you are NOT a vegetarian and you condemn me for killing my own meat, then you are just a flaming hypocrite without the nerve to kill your own meat. Do you really think that meat grows on bushes, nicely wrapped in styrofoam? Like the man says, “I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to eat carrots”.

    4.”archery hunter is another word for “we stick ‘em, and some die and we get ‘em, and the rest limp off to experience a slow death.”

    Again, full of crap. How about you get a rifle (your choice, just not a rimfire) I’ll shoot my bow, we’ll go shot for shot at twenty yards at a two inch bullseye and the first person that misses loses $100?? You game??

    Jordan I don’t even know if you are a man or a woman, I know what I suspect — but I can assure you that I have no problems with my manhood.

    Unwarrented personal attacks are the stock and trade of those of your ilk — stay happy, stay uninformed and, oh yes, have another carrot while you watch the latest “feel good about a sentient wolf family” movie.

    By the way the statement “I have always had a dog. My mutt has chased wolves, coyotes and even lions and lived to tell about it” has GOT to be the result of a mushroom induced dream – you really should watch what you consume from the forest. Chased wolves?????? Really!!

    ta ta,


  19. John Avatar

    What I can’t understand is the mean spirited crucifixtion of a stanger to all of you. You don’t know this Lion Hunter or his Dogs. Yet you issue personal attacks on Him and His relationship with his Dogs. Don’t stop there paint a picture of hound hunters as Evil trolls that choose one or two pups from a litter and kill the rest? You have got to be kidding, This is America a guy selling the pups wants to sell every last one and would never allow anyone to lay a hand on the other pups. While I agree taking hounds into the forest where Wolves has an element of danger to the dogs, the risk is probably still relatively Low. For you who take great Glee in the hounds demise or fate, mabey should reflect on your own Darkness. Others who Brought up Bowhunting as part of this discussion, your Hate spills easily. Your lack of Real Knowledge as it relates to Hunting reveals itself quickly. American Indians have hunted for eons with bows and arrow and great skill is required to harvest an animal in such a manner. Flinging arrows is simply not how it’s done. The wilderness and Animals that call it home have a tough existance and If you think a quick death at the hands of a human hunter are the tough part you are again mistaken. Imagine Deer,Elk or Moose taken Down By a pack of Wolves. They are bitten repeatedly and have their entrails ripped out, flesh starting to be consumed all before Death has visited them. I think that a quick death by a Human Hunter is almost preferable. Many of you have the need to dehumanize Hunters, make them out to be uneducated toothless Hillbillies That grunt around the woods and Drink Beer until they can unleash their Heartless fury on some poor Helpless animal. Maybe those exist somewhere, but they are the vast minority at best. In fact many hunters are the ER physician that saves your life or the college professor that Illuminates your Childs mind or the Guy that comes to fix your Furnace when it Kicks out. Hunters are people, many good people That happen to feel ethically Okay about Harvesting some of the earths best untainted protein.
    For the record I happen to be in Awe of Wolves, They are an Incredible Animal that are Hunters too. They are efficent, agile and thriving in Idaho. I look forward to seeing them in the Wild and sharing the woods and Game animals with them. A few years ago I was Elk Hunting The Backcounty 5 miles from the nearest road. I was slowly closing in on a herd of Elk that was at the peak of the Rut. Bull Elk ( about 5 )were Bugling every two minutes and a real frenzy was transpiring. Suddenly Two different Wolves Howled Loudly sending chills up my spine, The forest fell silent, respecting their presence. I wasn’t the only Hunter persuing these elk. After a five minute interlude the silence was broken again By the Dominate Bull screaming His Authority, again followed by his challengers. Again the wolves Howled, but this Time the Elk continued as Darkness fell over the Landscape. That Night a short Distance away alone in My small one man tent I felt so alive listening all night to the sounds of Elk Bugling and wolves Howling. I awoke and slowly made my way into the herd patiently waiting for an oppurtunity to Harvest that Bull elk, Cow Elk feeding mere yards away. My chance came and I made good on the oppurtunity. I had claimed the mountains monarch. I was Glad to have that experience to Harvest one Elk for me and my Family. I knew somehow that the wolves would still have their chance since their oppurtunity has no season restrictions or limits. Interesting there are no documented packs in that area. When Quetioned The IDFG said there are several undocumented packs throughout the state since resources are limited and a pack must be collared to be counted.
    In any case even without them all being counted, Wolves are by all accounts recovered in Idaho and I look forward to their Delisting so that They can be managed in numbers that will allow for all of the users of the Forest. Respectfully, John

  20. chris Avatar

    Layton alludes to a point that has been posted on this site before about the reintroduced wolves in ID and WY not being the native subspecies.

    Do those with this view contend there is a behavioral difference between the “Canadian” and “native” subspecies?
    That is, would game mammals be impacted any less or wolves by welcomed any more?

    If the answer is no, than the difference is irrelevant and the point not worth making.

  21. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Also, as Layton well knows that the wolves are here as the result of the ESA that was signed into law by President Nixon in 1973 and amended by President Reagan in 1988 by which we now have the privilege of having the closest thing to an intact ecosystem in the Intermountain west. As Layton also knows, It is not a different wolf as has been pointed out numerous times in this blog and reference to the genetic studies that show it to be fact. Denying the facts don’t change them Layton.

  22. Layton Avatar


    Denying the “facts”?? Kinda depends on which “expert biologist” is in current favor with the Canis crowd.

    If you want to subscribe to Hall’s theory(s), you would believe that there are 24 different subspecies, then, in 1996 along come a couple of guys named Nowak and Federoff — they say “wait a minute, there’s only five”, interesting.

    BUT, even more interesting is that IN EITHER CASE that you subscribe to, BOTH camps say that the original wolf in the Northwest was either Nubilus or Irremotus and the one that was INTRODUCED in 1995 was Occidentalus.

    Here are some references, since “anecdotal data” isn’t usually accepted around here.

    Hall, E. Raymond. 1981. The Mammals of North America. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

    Mech, L. David. 1970. The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

    Nowak, Ronald M. 1995. Another look at wolf taxonomy. In Carbyn, L. N., S. H. Fritts, and D. R. Seip. Ecology and Conservation of Wolves in a Changing World. Canadian Circumpolar Institute Occasional Publication no. 35, pp. 409-416.

    Nowak, Ronald M., and N. E. Federoff. 1996. Systematics of wolves in eastern North America. Defenders of Wildlife, Wolves of America Conference Proceedings, Albany, NY, pp. 187-203.

    Steinhart, Peter. 1995. The Company of Wolves . Random House, Inc., New York.

    Which studies are you referring to Jeff??


    The main “behavioral differences” that would seem to come into play are, first the size of the critter, these would seem to be much bigger than the wolves that were native to the area — by the way, we still had some of them, until the new ones were intro’d — and the number of animals in a pack. Both of these characteristics have an obvious impact on prey species.

    Hey, I don’t claim to be a biologist, I’m not even a political scientist 8^) — but I CAN read.


  23. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    The genetic fingerprint does not rely on the interpretation of a biologist. This is the same science that is used in courts of law worldwide to establish guilt or innocence and is being used extensively in the biological field. Essentially, Layton, all the text you cite are out of date.

  24. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    The study I am referring to is published in the book WOLVES BEHAVIOR ECOLOGY and CONSERVATION. The chapter is MOLECULAR GENETIC STUDIES OF WOLVES. Read it. Tell me what you think it is saying. Maybe I’m wrong.

  25. John Avatar

    Regardless of what used to be here, the current species that does infact exist here, is recovered. There is no debate over that fact.
    It does no good to argue over what was here, it matters not.
    The point is we have a blossoming population that we would like to get State control of so that their numbers can be controlled at a levels that meets the standards The USFW has set, and that the people of this state feel best benefits it’s citizens. As it relates to the various uses of public lands. We should all look forward not back.
    The Wolf recovery has been Wildly successful of that there is no doubt.They have brought a new Balance to the ecosystem and the Wolves future is assured here in Idaho.
    There needs to be a realistic view of the circumstance, The wolf can no longer go unmanaged nor can they be irraticated. The polar oppostites need to be realistic. We will always have Wolves from here on out, But their numbers will likely be lower then current levels.

  26. Layton Avatar

    Careful John,

    You’re making sense AND advocating (I think) a reduction in the numbers of wolves — not a very popular stand around here.


  27. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    you do make sense and follow the same line of thinking of many who post here. there are, however, some who try to make it seem that, as they contend, it was a non-native species that has been introduced, then the ESA was not followed and there for the population of wolves should be eradicated. In an abstract way that would be a valid point, if it was true, so must be countered with the facts each time. I also have not read anyone who says wolves should not be managed and that it should eventually be the states that do that, but it needs to be done according to the law which to this point Wyoming has tried to circumvent and the recent actions by Idaho’s Governor seem to point to a less than fair management there. And you are absolutly right it should be the people of the state that should detrmine the management of wolves instead of the special intrest lobbys that are now setting policy.

  28. Layton Avatar

    Jeff E.’

    Do you have a UBC number for that book, I’ll give a try at reading it.

    “Essentially, Layton, all the text you cite are out of date.”

    When did that happen? About the time they wanted to introduce a bunch of wolves from Canada??



  29. Sally Roberts Avatar
    Sally Roberts

    wow, i wish people could just make comments and not use this blog to slam other people’s views. i used to enjoy reading this blog to see people’s opinions about different stories, but it appears to have become just a bunch of childish people slamming each other’s views. i understand differing opinions, but maybe we should try to get back to discussing these issues and not arguing like we are on a kindergarten playground…”i know you are but what am i?”

  30. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E


  31. Karen Byington Avatar
    Karen Byington

    The owner of the dogs obviously didn’t really care about the dogs to do that sort of thing with them. People who do that and call it sport are sick. Those poeple are sick. There is something amiss in their tiny stunted brains and it is the only way they can feel big and important.
    Hopefuly it will be made illegal sometime soon.

  32. Elizabeth Avatar

    I agree with Karen. Hunting any animal with dogs should not be allowed. Even a huge Tom mountain lion will run up a tree like its cousin the house cat when faced with a pack of much smaller dogs. Rarely will they put up a fight. I guess it takes a real hunter to walk up to the tree and shoot the big majestic cat and then take a photo with the bloody corpse.

    I have nothing against hunters that hunt to eat, but hunting mountain lions is not exactly hunting to put food on the table.

  33. chris Avatar

    Lion hunters, like any demographic, are more complex than their detractors would like to believe. Those willing to consider that may want to do a “google” search for Warner Glenn and Jack Childs. They are two lion hunters from Arizona who have a pivotal role in jaguar conservation.
    There’s a few photos on but you’ll need to google to find more info.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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