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#200566 - 03/27/18 09:21 PM Does anyone carry a side arm in wolf country?
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
Im going to be living this summer in the Sawtooth / Frank Church wilderness / Boise national forest area this summer. I will be mostly backpacking. I know this area is a hot spot for the Canadian gray wolf. I have read that they dont mess with people but they may attack a pet dog. I talked to 3 sherrif dept around Boise today and they said you dont need a permit to open carry even if you are a non resident like me. I was going to take a 9mm just in case. I wanted to see what others opinion was on backpacking in wolf country expecially with a dog


Edited by toddfw2003 (03/27/18 11:17 PM)

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#200569 - 03/27/18 11:18 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6518
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Killing a wolf might be an offense that would get you arrested, depending on the regulations in that particular area.

On the other hand, I'd keep the dog on a leash so he doesn't run off and get into confrontations with wolves or bears or cougars, any of which might enjoy a dog meat dinner. Having the firearm will do no good if the dog is out of sight and/or range.

You might also want to consult with your USFS supervisors to be sure it's OK to have your dog and your firearm with you while on the job. They may have a liability issue with either or both.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#200573 - 03/28/18 11:10 AM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: OregonMouse]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
Cant have the gun while working. Its open season on wolves in idaho. There are so many that they are killing peoples live stock. Will be carrying the gun while backpacking

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#200576 - 03/28/18 03:12 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1772
Loc: Napa, CA
Don't carry one. Can't imagine needing one.
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check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#200601 - 03/29/18 12:03 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: balzaccom]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
Yeh, you live in CA. Guns are illegal there. I live in Texas. Everyone carrys here and the same for Idaho where i will be

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#200607 - 03/30/18 10:04 AM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
balzaccom Offline
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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1772
Loc: Napa, CA
I'm not sure your comment was meant seriously, but guns are not illegal in California--not sure why you would say that. But it is illegal to discharge any weapon in a National Park, anywhere.
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check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#200611 - 03/30/18 09:56 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: balzaccom]
wandering_daisy Offline
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Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
Sawtooths are not national parks, but USFS. When I backpack in wolf country, I carry bear spray. Happens this is also grizzly country. I doubt I could hit a wolf or bear with a gun, but think it may be possible with bear spray. A lot of professional wildlife field guys, game wardens, carry bear spray, in addition to their side arm.

I think you will get a better idea of what locals do in this case, once you have started working. Ranchers protecting their herds is a different case than you out backpacking with your dog. I suspect there are some locals who would not approve of you shooting a wolf. Idaho is not all "redneck" country. I doubt you will have to get permits to backpack, but you may inquire as to what the best practices are in the area. I would think there are plenty of folks you will be working with who could give you good advise.

The best protection against both grizzlies and wolves is not to backpack solo, but find one or two others to go with you.

As for your dog, do you know of any dog training program in your Texas area that train dogs to deal with predators? A ranch dog, raised with wolves, is going to know what to do, I doubt your dog does. We have some rattlesnakes locally and we have taken our dog to specific rattlesnake avoidance training, in addition to getting the vaccine. I suppose it may depend on if your dog is large or small. I would think smaller dogs would just be a meal for a wolf.


Edited by wandering_daisy (03/30/18 10:02 PM)

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#200612 - 03/30/18 10:48 PM Re: Does anyone carry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
Has your dog been around a lot of wildlife, close-up? We have a border collie and she gets contact with wildlife about daily, even though we live in a suburb. She has been trained NOT to chase animals. She is also naturally a cautious dog. She would defend herself, but never make the first move on a wild animal. It took nearly 2 years to get her well trained this way. So, I guess it depends on your dog. Having a dog that provokes wild animals will only create trouble.

Also, we ALWAYS make the dog sleep inside the tent. Even if she has to get up to pee, we get up with her. Since we are her "flock" she NEVER lets us get out of sight. If your dog is the type that runs off, I would not take him on trips in wolf country.

Perhaps a good thing to do is to do some intense training with the dog before you both go up there. If you take a dog backpacking, they should unconditionally obey your commands. Most wild animals will not attack a dog unless the dog provokes them. A bear walked within 20 feet of our camp, and our dog sat there still as a statue. At that time we put the leash on her, and we stood at her side, bear spray in hand.

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#200615 - 03/31/18 11:00 AM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: wandering_daisy]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
There are no grizzlies in sawtooth.

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#200616 - 03/31/18 11:08 AM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: wandering_daisy]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
I have a pitbull but she is no match for a wolves. She wont chase an animal. She normally sticks by my side. My primary protection will be is bear spray. But if killing a wolf to save my dog is required i will do. The wolf population is so high there you can hunt them all year. They are encoyraging people to kill them. The state is spending money to get rid of them. I dont hunt and i dont kill animals but if push comes to shove i will. I will be backpacking alone unless i meet people there. But i will stick with the more popular trails. Toxiway/alice lake loop, sawtooth lake and so on

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#200617 - 03/31/18 11:11 AM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
Sorry I was not clear. When I said grizzlies in "this" area I meant northern Wyoming, where there are both wolf and grizzlies.

I have backpacked in the Sawtooth way back in the 1960's. It is a beautiful area. Not sure if this still is the case, but there used to be ticks that carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Be sure your dog has a good flea and tick collar. Lots of ticks where there are sagebrush. They are thick in the early summer.

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#200618 - 03/31/18 07:40 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: wandering_daisy]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
really. ticks? Jeez!! thought I was getting away from ticks. Where I live i have to treat all my clothes with permetherin the are so bad including my ground coth for my tarp. Im more worried about Lyme disease. Yes, my dog is on nextguard.

Sawtooth is still pretty. I think it looks like Banff minuus the creamy blue lakes and streams

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#200619 - 03/31/18 08:26 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6518
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Treat your clothing etc. with permethrin just before you go. For your dog, it takes a while for his medication to kill the ticks--usually about half an hour after they actually bite. In the meantime, the ticks will crawl around on the dog looking for a place to bite, depending on how long his hair is. So take a comb and go over him just before you put him in the car or tent. And you may have to treat him oftener. Some medications say every 3 months; in high tick season, once a month is more like it.

Fortunately, as it gets drier during the summer, the ticks get less frequent.

There will be lots of mosquitoes in early summer, too. They'll be worst about 2-3 weeks after the snow melts, so as you go higher, the bug season will be later. The permethrin treated clothing will help with them, too. I strongly recommend a head net.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#200620 - 03/31/18 10:38 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: OregonMouse]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2951
Loc: Portland, OR
When the mosquitos make a head net necessary, nothing but a head net will do the job. eek

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#200621 - 03/31/18 11:08 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: aimless]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
last sumer when I was in Sawtooth I used 100 deet and a hair net. They only came out in the evenings. Might be different in early summer. Again, I will be living in an alaknak tent fulltime as my base so coming inside in the evening will probably be what happens

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#200624 - 04/01/18 09:37 AM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
tramp Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 79
Loc: WV
And the Government has done such a great job managing wildlife we must respect their expertise. Why even Elk have returned to West Virginia...........after hitching a ride in trucks from Kentucky and Arizona.

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#200627 - 04/01/18 12:22 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
Pardon me if this is a stupid question, but, once a wolf attacks your dog, how are you going to prevent accidently shooting your dog instead of, or in addition to, the wolf? "last resort" to me implies that wolf and dog are already fighting. I would think a better tactic would be to use the gun to scare off the wolf. Wolves also tend to hunt in packs, so you may be dealing with more than one.

I also would think you have to be a pretty good shot with a sidearm to be effective. Hopefully you are. I know I am not! I have hunted, and am a fair shot when I sit in wait for game, but not practiced at self defense with a weapon.

I have no experience in this, but I would think there are plenty of locals who have alread dealt with this, who can give you more useful information then we backpackers. Your employer should be helping you with this.

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#200628 - 04/01/18 04:30 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: wandering_daisy]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 877
Loc: Michigan
My question would be: How often do wolves attack humans? A quick search seems to indicate that it is pretty rare for a non rabid wolf to attack a human. It looks like attacks by raccoons and skunks are as much of a problem. Most animals will not attack humans unless they feel threatened. I have no personal experience but truly wonder if it is a problem which would be helped with a side arm.

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#200629 - 04/01/18 09:28 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: GrumpyGord]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By GrumpyGord
My question would be: How often do wolves attack humans? A quick search seems to indicate that it is pretty rare for a non rabid wolf to attack a human. It looks like attacks by raccoons and skunks are as much of a problem. Most animals will not attack humans unless they feel threatened. I have no personal experience but truly wonder if it is a problem which would be helped with a side arm.


Not as concern for me as I am my dog. My dog will be leashed but wolves see other dogs as a threat and will attack them. Now to answer the other question. Where I will be living, near Benard lake in Boise National forest a hiker was attacked by a wolf last year. She shot it in the head with her side arm. If she didnt have a gun she would be dead. Now those type of things are far and few between but I would rather be safe than sorry. I ultralight so an 11 oz 9mm on my hip isnt going to add much weight

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#200630 - 04/01/18 09:34 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: wandering_daisy]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
Pardon me if this is a stupid question, but, once a wolf attacks your dog, how are you going to prevent accidently shooting your dog instead of, or in addition to, the wolf? "last resort" to me implies that wolf and dog are already fighting. I would think a better tactic would be to use the gun to scare off the wolf. Wolves also tend to hunt in packs, so you may be dealing with more than one.

I also would think you have to be a pretty good shot with a sidearm to be effective. Hopefully you are. I know I am not! I have hunted, and am a fair shot when I sit in wait for game, but not practiced at self defense with a weapon.

I have no experience in this, but I would think there are plenty of locals who have alread dealt with this, who can give you more useful information then we backpackers. Your employer should be helping you with this.


You are correct. they do hunt in packs but wolves dont sneak up on you like a mountain lion. Once I see them approaching me I will give them a warning shot. If that doesnt work I will shoot them way before they reach my dog. I have been firing pistols, rifles and shotguns all my life. I go to the pistol range 3 or 4 times a month. I also have a military background

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#200631 - 04/02/18 12:46 AM Re: Does anyone carry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2951
Loc: Portland, OR
It would appear you have come to your own conclusion, so that further discussion of your original question will not be helpful to you. It won't matter much under the circumstances what others choose to carry or not carry or why. You know what you want to do.

Have a great time in the Sawtooth Forest this summer and I hope all wolves stay far, far away from your vicinity. smile

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#200643 - 04/02/18 03:39 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 901
Loc: Torrance, CA
Originally Posted By toddfw2003
... Where I will be living, near Benard lake in Boise National forest a hiker was attacked by a wolf last year. She shot it in the head with her side arm. If she didnt have a gun she would be dead. ...


I haven't been able to find this story. Do you have a link?

As reference the Wikipedia list of Wolf Attacks lists 9 in the US. There was only one in Idaho (in 2010): a lady was frightened by some wolves in her rural driveway. She called he neighbor on her cell phone for help and the wolves dispersed before her neighbor got there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wolf_attacks


Edited by BZH (04/02/18 03:58 PM)

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#200652 - 04/02/18 10:09 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: BZH]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
It may have not been reported, or if reported only to the immediate FS management. This stuff is often kept pretty quiet.

My last piece of advise is simply to make sure your immediate supervisor agrees with your plans and will support you should anything happen.

Occasionally post some photos so we also can see some of that great country. Have a good summer.

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#200656 - 04/02/18 11:57 PM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: BZH]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 353
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By BZH
Originally Posted By toddfw2003
... Where I will be living, near Benard lake in Boise National forest a hiker was attacked by a wolf last year. She shot it in the head with her side arm. If she didnt have a gun she would be dead. ...


I haven't been able to find this story. Do you have a link?

As reference the Wikipedia list of Wolf Attacks lists 9 in the US. There was only one in Idaho (in 2010): a lady was frightened by some wolves in her rural driveway. She called he neighbor on her cell phone for help and the wolves dispersed before her neighbor got there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wolf_attacks


Here ya go https://gothunts.com/wolf-attacks/

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#200667 - 04/03/18 10:57 AM Re: Does anyone warry a side arm in wolf country? [Re: toddfw2003]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 901
Loc: Torrance, CA
Originally Posted By toddfw2003
Originally Posted By BZH
Originally Posted By toddfw2003
... Where I will be living, near Benard lake in Boise National forest a hiker was attacked by a wolf last year. She shot it in the head with her side arm. If she didnt have a gun she would be dead. ...


I haven't been able to find this story. Do you have a link?

As reference the Wikipedia list of Wolf Attacks lists 9 in the US. There was only one in Idaho (in 2010): a lady was frightened by some wolves in her rural driveway. She called he neighbor on her cell phone for help and the wolves dispersed before her neighbor got there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wolf_attacks


Here ya go https://gothunts.com/wolf-attacks/


Thanks! I found a news story about the incident here: https://www.kxly.com/news/hunter-becomes-the-hunted-in-idaho-wolf-attack/177190298

She wasn't a hiker, she was a hunter blowing an elk cow horn. She was trying to call in a male elk, but called in a wolf instead.

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