HOWL Colorado

Hunters shoot wolf citing “fear for their lives”

[large thumbnail url=”hunters-shoot-wolf-citing-fear-for-their-lives” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”11″ day=”10″] [thumbnail icon url=”hunters-shoot-wolf-citing-fear-for-their-lives” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”11″ day=”10″] A tall story of terror and elk-stealing has been spun around a situation which led to a wolf being shot by a pair of Montana hunters.

The story, which appears in great depth with the dubiously prejudicial headline “Hunters kill wolf out of fear for their lives,” on the Great Falls Tribune web site.

The U.S. Federal Wildlife Service is investigating the shooting, and the initial indications appear to confirm that the shooting wasn’t a planned event. However,… after heading out to pick up an elk carcass shot the day before (??? – call me crazy, but does it seem foolish to anyone else to leave your “hard earned elk meat” in the wild overnight where there are bears and wolves?) from a drainage ditch, the pair described a hair-raising, Hollywood-worthy escape from the Firefighter Pack.

“… The horses were totally out of control, damn near dragging us away,” Appleby said in a statement. “For an hour and a half back to the truck it was a rodeo with the horses as they were scared to death, spinning around and trying to look behind them for wolves.”

The pair brand the wolf pack as “killers…” though the wolves caused no physical harm, and short of freaking out horses, seemed to behave as is pretty typical for a pack of wolves.

The Tribune, while using a pretty loaded headline, didn’t shy away from talking to a wolf expert – Kent Laudon – however, who quickly identified with the behavior and shared experiences of his own which involved walking in to the midst of a wolf pack (unarmed) to count wolf pups.

Laudon noted that wolves will bark. I feel this requires a little clarification beyond what Laudon describes. 

Wolves bark in stressful or fearful situations. They will bark when startled, or afraid, or stressed (pups being endangered). It’s not a bark as you might imagine it would sound. Some describe the sound of “boffing.”

It is my theory that wolves kill dogs for two reasons. The first is territorial conflict. Much as a wolf will kill another wolf if it enters a protected territory and doesn’t leave when challenged. The second reason is that dogs and wolves, while fractions of a percentage different at a genetic level, are worlds apart in terms of body language and verbalization – barking being one particular area of confusion.

Anyway, read the entire article on greatfallstribune.com: Hunters kill wolf out of fear for their lives

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