Lion hunt gone bad


Well-Known Member
Jun 1, 2004
Worland, Wyoming
First thing, I am repeating a story that I heard second hand from a reliable source, so the details I am printing is all that I know.

A guide was guiding a client on a lion hunt recently in Western Wyoming. He released his pack of five lion dogs onto a track as he and his client followed on horse back. Some time later he heard yips and squeals coming from his dogs on the next ridge. They rode over to check out the situation and found all five of the prized lion dogs dead! Examining the scene pointed to 16 different wolf tracks. They then spotted the huge pack of wolves on the next ridge.
To begin with I was at ground zero when the wolf was reintroduced-Salmon Idaho 1995. Within 2 years of that time a good friend of mine had his entire pack of dogs killed by wolves while training them on bobcats and within less than 1 mile of the city limits of Salmon Idaho. My dad has had wolf tracks in the alley behind his house. I'm not surprised by your account of what happened. Wolves will kill anything canid, feline or bear that they see as competition. In the Salmon region coyotes are a lot quieter than they used to be, lions have been found killed by wolves as have bears. SSS-know what I mean?
fj40mojo, sounds like the wolves live in and around people. If so has there been any human fatalities or attacks on humans?
This is becoming more normal, you have to stay right with you dogs and try to not run with a pack around. It's gut wrenching when you have your dog out and you come across a wolf track. I feel for those guys.
Has anyone thought of a way to set several wolf traps maybe lay out some gut piles or hamburger meat to draw them in? Make it to were the bears can't get messed up just the wolves. If I had them in my neck of the woods I would figure out a way to manage them.
This year while deer hunting in western Wyoming I heard wolves howling in the middle of the night as well as right before dark. We saw no big bucks like we normally do. We only saw two moose during our week long trip in the wilderness. Normally we would see twenty moose and 20 plus bucks over 24 inches. The wolves are having a big impact and not for the better. In the area where I elk hunt, last year I found a dead grizzly. It was a sow that charged a hunter and he killed her. She had two cubs with her that were both found dead later in the year, killed by wolves. This year a friend was scouting for elk near Dubois, Wy and came upon 3 wolves that were trying to take a cub away from a sow grizzly, they probably succeeded. I have a friend that is a government trapper and he has spent countless hours in a plane trying to track down wolves that were killing sheep in the Big Horn Mtns. he told me that he was following tracks that went over 40 miles in a single evening. Hunting doesn't have a chance at controlling wolves, arial gunning on winter range is the only thing that will put the hurt on them.
fj40mojo, sounds like the wolves live in and around people. If so has there been any human fatalities or attacks on humans?

No fatalities yet or attacks on humans that I've heard of. Lots of stock lost, pets, and opportunities to hunt big game. At the very least the recent delisting and hunting should educate them that people are not safe to be in close proximity too. I bet that next years hunt will be less successful as wolves become accustomed to man and his hunting techniques. Sooner or later the powers that be are going to have to face the music and allow hunting from the air or baiting. Hunters just stumbling into adolescent wolves is not an effective way to control the population.
One guy employed a personal poisoning program but made the mistake of telling people about it .This guy used poisoned hot-dogs on game trails after the bears had bedded down for the year.He was very successful at killing some wolves but his big mouth got him in trouble with the feds.

I heard about a guy who dragged road killed critters into wolf areas that had been "treated" he too was successful at bringing their numbers down in his area .

I saw two dead calves dumped right off of hwy.55 the main road heading north out of boise ,there were huge canine tracks around the carcass's that had been fed on.

A good friend -no BS type of guy- told of a guy who killed two wolves in the same area just north of Eagle ,ID by a rancher who caught them chasing a very pregnant mare of his.Came up to check on the horse looked out in the field and she was running full speed -he thought OMG what is that horse doing? Then saw a wolf come into sight -jumped out with 30-06 killed the wolf -then another wolf took off out of the sage brush -killed it too.Called the game warden they picked up the two wolves -wardens said very little and went on.

I was in sportsman warehouse and overheard a teen girl telling a boy that they saw a wolf in the foothills -boise bench area.I asked her how she knew it was a wolf and not a coyote ? she said her dad watched it with binoculars and was a coyote hunter..

Repeating a story here again ,i'm 90% sure i called in a wolf in the owyhee region of sw id. .
I set up the caller on a large rock infested hillside then backed up 50yds. it was still dark but dawn was breaking.
There was a small ridge running down to my right 150-175 yds away as it got light enough to see and shoot i turned the caller on.It mildly spooked 5-6 wild mustang horses that were standing down in the bottom and they made some horse sounds and looked towards the caller -nothing more.
All the sudden the stallion freaked out and let out a sound that i've never heard a horse make -like a screaming squall.He started running through and over the sage brush making those sounds and shaking his head -he would run out zig-zagging and back to the mares acting crazy looking intently towards the back side of the ridge i spoke of earlier.
There was one colt in the herd and it was standing facing backwards between the mares then one of the big mares came out and joined the stallion looking at the foot of the ridge -sceaming running and crashing through the sage brush.
I scanned the area that they were staring at the whole time watching the horses out of the side of my eye hoping they would point out what had them in such a frenzy.This went on for a few minutes then the horses slowly settled down.
I kept my seat for another 30min slowly glassing all the areas visible but never saw anything.Then i hiked over to the ridge looked and glassed some more -nothing in sight.
I stayed on my side of the ridge so i wouldn't school whatever it might have been ,and proceeded to the bottom to try to figure out what freaked the horses out like that -the horses just calmly stared at me and kept their distance.
In the bottom i found fresh canine tracks and knew immediately it was a wolf or there was a giant dog out there.
I placed a 25-06 round on the dog track and it was about 2/3 the length of the track .
NO coyote has a footprint that big -i have personally seen a 48lb coyote hanging on a scale and looked at its feet -maybe half as big from memory.
I'll say it again there are probably wolves in ne california by now.
As someone stated earlier hunting especially with all the stipilations put on it will NEVER stop the prolific wolf.
Keep in mind that there are so many city dwellers living the "western life" that basically provide a safe haven on their ranches for wolves.

ps sss
I have never thought of it that way (your last sentence), but it makes sense. I agree, hunting won't slow them down very much but it's a lot better than nothing. I wonder how much aerial hunting the government is doing and keeping it quiet?
I disagree that anything but hunting from the air is the only thing going to stop them. Normal hunting 100yrs ago worked and with out fancy calls. I think all it takes is determination on our parts. If I hunted wolves as hard as everything else I would own a lot of wolf pelts. I think we all just need to get involved and put the hurt on them. Just my 2 cents
I disagree that anything but hunting from the air is the only thing going to stop them. Normal hunting 100yrs ago worked and with out fancy calls. I think all it takes is determination on our parts. If I hunted wolves as hard as everything else I would own a lot of wolf pelts. I think we all just need to get involved and put the hurt on them. Just my 2 cents

Kind of what I was thinking. It has been done before so why not again? If the Feds would ever get out of the way and the gloves get to come off hunters should be able to put a serious hurt on their numbers.

I guess it it would be too much to hope that some state would claim for themselves the right to manage their wildlife and force the Fed to stay the H out of it.

But I am a long long ways from MT, so there is probably lots I don't know about the current situation. If I was out that way though I would sure be doing a lot of coyote hunting thoughgun)
I know of a fatality, not in the lower 48 but fairly fresh in a lot of peoples minds.

Wolf hunting in the southwest pen has gone down for a lot of reasons I won't elaborate on but the numbers are also way up. Havent been able to even get a subsutance permit for carbou the numbers are so bad.

summer of 09 I was driving down to check on the boat during a blow and there was one on the airstrip, I tried to run it down but the ol d50 pickup didn't have enough oomph. First wolf I had seen in the village in the summer for as long as I have been alive.

Spring of 10 a teacher from the village 10 miles inland was out for a run and was killed bye wolves. Was a bit disturbing, but just goes to show that they have the capacity for killing people. Just because it hasnt happened in id wash, nw oregon, etc doesnt mean they lack the capacity for it.

Traditional hunting may not beat back the tide, but it cant hurt. Oregon farmers and hunters have been loosing the battle against cougars for the last 5 years, I can only imagine it would be worse if nothing had been hunted.
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