This story made some news in Montana. It was discussed briefly in this forum (no post, however). No doubt it will enter anti-wolf legends library.
Here is the standard story by the outdoors editor of the Billings Gazette. Truly a blast from the wolf past
By Mark Henckel. Billings Gazette.
Brian Peck, however, did some investigating of his own.
Over the last several days, I’ve spoken to Kent Laudon (FWP Wolf Specialist) and Lee Anderson (FWP Chief Warden) regarding the wolf killed last week near Olney in “self-defense.” Here’s the latest info.:
The hunter was walking along a USFS road when the 2 wolves emerged from the brush about 15-20 yards away. The larger wolf continued across the road and up a hill. The smaller wolf – a 1-2 year old female – made a 90 degree turn toward the hunter and trotted toward him on the same side of the road he was on, until she was about 10 feet away. The hunter felt afraid for his safety and shot the wolf from the hip at that distance. The deliberate movement in his direction, rather than any other clear aggressive posture or sound from the wolf, was the only reason given by the hunter for feeling threatened.
FWP’s Anderson suggested that the wolf probably would have run off if the hunter had yelled, but state law doesn’t require that, nor does it require an attack, or more aggressive behavior by the wolf before a person can respond in self-defense. Anderson said they grilled the guy pretty good for 2 hours and checked out the scene before they decided that he acted appropriately. He also said that if the guy’s story hadn’t held up, he would have had no problem issuing a citation.
Laudon told me the female wolf was not a breeder, that no den was known to be near, and the location was between the Murphy Lake and Lazy Creek territories. They’ll be checking to see if another pack has set up shop there.
I suspect that if the hunter knew anything about wolves and how unlikely an attack was, both he and the wolf would have lived to hunt another day. I wonder if we can get 45 minutes on “Hunting in Wolf Country” inserted into the Hunter Education courses to head off similar incidents in the future. Endless Education – Endlessly Applied.