Gunfire Becomes A Dinner Bell

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 11 months ago

The Outdoor Wire:

Ethologist Dr.Valerius Geist in British Columbia is the former program director of Environmental Sciences at U. Calgary, and he is known world-wide for his studies and writings about large game animals. Val recently sent me an e-mail about something that hunters should be aware of.

What prompted Val’s e-mail is that he had just received a newspaper article from Germany http://wolfeducationinternational.com/wolfe-am-hochstand-auf-der-lauer-wolfe-at-the-high-stand-in-wait/ reporting that German researchers, analyzing photographs of traps, animal feces, tracks, and other traces, found 60 wolf packs are now living across the country,13 more packs than a year ago. Overall, there are now between 150-160 adult wolves in Germany.

In Val’s research on wolves and their relationship with people, which I described in an earlier article, http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/features/230658 he found that in countries where most people don’t hunt with guns or own them – Siberia, India, Kazakhstan, etc.– wolves are more likely to attack people. Whereas in North America, where firearms ownership is greater, when people fire shots toward wolves, typically they keep their distance.

The German article, however, reports something different.

German hunters are reporting that when they’re out in the woods, and they shoot a red deer, fallow deer, roe deer or wild boar, wolves immediately show up. It’s common knowledge that predators like wolves, coyotes, and bears will feed on the remains of game animals. However, in Germany the wolves don’t seem to want to wait until the downed animals have been dressed, they aggressively approach the carcass and the hunters.

[ … ]

According to Val, “This is the first report I have ever heard about wolves being drawn to hunter’s gunshots. However, that bears can and do attack hunters is definitely known in North America.” A number of those we contacted agree.

These are some of the responses.

Jim Low, a retired Alaskan game warden, says, “A gunshot on Kodiak Island attracts bears.  Many deer hunters have killed deer on Kodiak Island only to have a Kodiak brown bear show up and want to dine on venison.”

Joe Hosmer, former Pres. of the SCI Foundation, agrees. Joe says: “I have seen this black tail hunting on Kodiak Island. When a deer is shot the bears come running!  The hunter needs to give up the deer and move on,” unless you also have a bear license.

And then there’s this.

Hunters approaching a kill or a blood-trail with their single tracking dog are in danger of losing their dog to a wolf pack. In 2016 in Wisconsin, wolves killed 41 hunting dogs. https://www.wpr.org/record-number-hunting-dogs-killed-wolves-2016

Be careful out there.  A good dog will give his or her life for you.  And I’ll give mine for my dog.  After all, a man can’t live forever, and it matters how he dies.

Around these parts, a Coywolf doesn’t howl.  When I’ve been out with my dog at times, I just see their eyes.  They don’t announce their presence.  That’s why I carry a gun with me wherever I go.  I intend to make sure neither of us has to give our lives for the other.  I think General Patton had something or other to say about that.


Comments

  1. On July 24, 2018 at 9:01 am, Frank Clarke said:

    “…a man can’t live forever, and it matters how he dies.”

    Okay, Cap’n, I think –you– get QOTW this time.

    I am sooo stealing this.

  2. On July 24, 2018 at 9:16 am, Old Bill said:

    Herschel, you’ve seen coywolfs in your neck of the woods? I live not far to the west (E. TN) and have family in Charlotte. E-mail or PM me if you don’t mind having a short comparison of notes/locations about this. Thanks.

  3. On July 24, 2018 at 9:25 am, H said:

    US wolves well developed fear of humans is thought to be the reason there are all those folk tales, maxims like “Don’t cry wolf”, etc. from Europe, that don’t particularly resonate with Americans. Colonists started out well armed and this necessarily continued as we expanded into the countryside. Wolves were at worst sort of equals, not so much predators who would regularly pick off the convenient human.

    That’s of course changing now as so many humans take the side of wolves.

  4. On July 24, 2018 at 9:53 am, bob sykes said:

    I think the biologists are calling them Eastern Coyotes. When I was a boy in MA, we called them coydogs. They are on average 5/8 western coyote, 2/8 Canadian wolf and 1/8 large dog.

    Anyway, we have a pack near us here in north central rural Ohio. They do occasionally at night give us a few yip-yips, but nothing like the western coyote howl.

    We don’t go out into our yard late at night, and we no longer walk through our local nature preserve at any time.

  5. On July 24, 2018 at 9:53 am, Fred said:

    Old Bill and Herschel, I’m in E. TN myself and several sightings come to my mind. The last one was a month ago. It was a very large animal I saw at dawn in field across from a cow farm. He, I presume it was a male, was eyeballing the cows and other livestock. Sadly, 200 yards down the road was a missing dog sign on another property. I’ve been out west the ones around here aren’t those scrawny little things they have in the Rockies.

    So anyway, how does one tell the difference? I would be happy to give you, Old Bill, the locations of my sightings if interested or was it mostly a concern about NC?

  6. On July 24, 2018 at 11:27 am, Gryphon said:

    My Grandfather who was in the Navy (Pacific Fleet, WWII) said that Explosions, particularly Depth Charges, would Draw Sharks by the Hundreds. It became more Pronounced as the War went on, until Dropping a Grenade over the Side (He was on an LST, Assault Transport) would bring Sharks up in less than a Minute, as if they were Following the Convoy.

  7. On July 24, 2018 at 2:19 pm, Chris Mallory said:

    OT
    Fox News is reporting that the store manager killed last week during a hostage situation was killed by a LAPD bullet.

  8. On July 24, 2018 at 5:32 pm, scott s. said:

    Sorry for the OT, but couldn’t believe the 9th US Circuit released its opinion in Young v State of Hawaii that “Young’s claim therefore picks up where Peruta’s left off and presents an issue of first impression for this circuit: whether the Second Amendment encompasses a right to carry firearms openly in public for self-defense.”

    “Of course, we remain ever mindful not to treat the Second Amendment any differently from other individual constitutional rights. It is not “a second-class right,””

    “Indeed, the fact that the Second Amendment protects bearing as well as keeping arms implies some level of public carry in case of confrontation”

    ” Accordingly, even though our court has read these cases to exclude concealed carry from the Second Amendment’s protections, see Peruta II, 824 F.3d at 933–36, the same cases command that the Second Amendment must encompass a right to open carry.”

    “Because [HRS] section 134-9 restricts Young in exercising such right to carry a firearm openly, it burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment.”

    A lot of other good stuff in there as well.

    scott s.
    .

  9. On July 25, 2018 at 4:31 am, Differ said:

    Failing to defend your deer kill because you lack a bear license seems to me to be encouraging the bears’ behavior. If they lose a healthy fear of humans both they and humans with whom they come into contact will lose in the end; injured or dead human and subsequently dead bear.

  10. On July 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm, LiberTarHeel said:

    “After all, a man can’t live forever, and it matters how he dies.”

    This wins the internet for the day!

  11. On July 26, 2018 at 1:45 pm, TheAlaskan said:

    I used to hunt black tails (introduced in 1925) on Kodiak and Afognak .Jim Lowe’s observation is correct. I lost deer to bears regularly. I learned to not take the long shots. The shot would alert a nearby Kodiak, his nose would do the rest. If you dropped your deer at distance, good chance you won’t reach your deer before a bear does. Also learned to dress out my deer fast, leave the gut pile for the bear, so he won’t follow you back to the beach. I always assumed a bear was ‘on the way.’ Deer limit was seven at the time. Beach hunting was the best way to take deer…shoot from the boat. Deer down near beach. In and out fast.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Dogs,Firearms,Guns and was published July 23rd, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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