Four bear-hunting hounds were killed by a pack of wolves while hunting near Moody Bench, Idaho.
Idaho Fish and Game official Gregg Losinksi pointed out that the wolves were just being wolves when they killed the bear-hunting hounds when he said,
Wolves don’t see hound dogs as dogs but as other wolves. In their world, they kill the other pack that’s there. It’s not about emotions. It’s about survival. They’re programmed to do that.
The bear hunting hounds had been released by their owner in an attempt to find and tree a black bear before they ran into the wolves, who are a part of what Idaho Fish and Game officials call the White Owl Pack. Although the loss is upsetting to the dogs’ owner, there is little that can be done to prevent clashes between wolves and bear hunting hounds released in close proximity.
Losinski said, “When you go out there, things happen. Hopefully you’re in control. If you know there’s wolves in the area, we encourage hunters not to release their dogs in the area.”
Idaho residents that want to cut down on the wolf population can do so through hunting and trapping. Losinski said that “depending on where you’re at, you can harvest five wolves through hunting and five through trapping.”
Aside from wolf troubles, hunters using bear-hunting hounds to pursue black bears in Idaho must also worry about encountering a grizzly, which could kill or chase a pack of dogs as well. Losinski said, “All we can do is alert people that Idaho is a wild place.” Hunters are on their own when it comes to deciding where to release their hounds.
Losinski compared hound hunting black bears in areas known to hold wolves to fishing for minnows in shark infested waters and went on to say that “it’s all part of the sport and knowing what you’re getting into.”