Wolves in the Canyon

To:  [our neighbors in the canyon]
Subject:   Fish, Wildlife and Parks - Wolves in the Bridgers
Date:   Mon, 25 Feb 2008 19:17:21 -0500
From:  [a neighbor north of us]

Neighbors,

I called and talked to the Fish, Parks and Wildlife Service on 19th. I told him of our concern seeing wolves so close to our homes, especially homes with small children. He indicated that the main worry would be our pets, mainly dogs who the wolves consider competition for territory. They are in heat and are very territorial during this period. They will attempt to lure dogs for the purpose of killing them. He advised we keep pets in at night and when away, but also to check their whereabouts frequently, especially with any excessive or unusual barking, when outdoors. He felt that small children would not be at risk, but, personally I'd take strong precautions regarding little ones.

The authorities don't provide any solutions, other than they will "provide some type of buckshot for a 12 gauge shotgun". My solution, and his suggestion, is to make any territorial threat feel uncomfortable in the area by firing a firearm, obviously in the air or toward the ground, depending on the type, making a lot of noise. The law in Montana is that you can only harm or kill a wolf only if you or your pet is under attack. But, with a concerted effort in harassing and making it unpleasant, we may drive them to another area.

The agent, Mike Ross, 994-4042, would try to make arrangements, possibly tomorrow, to visit the area as soon as possible, but I doubt much can be accomplished, other than maybe checking for footprints, and getting a visual of the area.