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Old 09-11-2012, 15:31   #1
Kingtubby
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An Unsettling Evening

Howdy fellas. Thought youd be interested to hear of my saturday night in the mtns. I joined the forums not to long ago after buying a glock 20 for bc defense. Had my first opportunity to use it this wknd, but didnt quite have to, here is my story.

I was in the beartooth mtns, camped here:

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

And caught lots of these:

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

A truly beautiful late afternoon/evening with truly awesome high mtn fishing. As darkness fell, I settled in for a long night as it got dark at 9ish and wouldnt get light til 7ish and it would be seriously cold at that hour. Didnt take long before my lights were out.

I did this hike solo with my two pups. My old dog sleeps right at my side in the tent and the young dog, which Ive only had out on the trail a couple times so far, likes to be outside the tent, running a security detail of sorts, till she finally gets tired and comes in to pass out.

An interesting detail worth noting about this evening was the absolute, dead, silence of it. Those who have spent alot of times in the mtns know this is rare. There's almost always some wind or moving water or something to provide white noise in the hills. On this night, however, absolute silence dominated. So quiet I could hear my young pup outside the tent breathing quite clearly. It was weird, and, as it turned out, eery.

Around the midnight hour, the fracas began with my young dog letting out a loud bark. I woke up at this point, not to sleep again till daylight more or less. So began a three hour stint of ever encroaching wolves. I was able to distinguish at least four different voices as they talked to one another.

The closest conversation was within a quarter mile by my reckoning. At some point around 230ish, the young dog, who had been walking circles around the tent, stopping to watch and listen, and periodically woofing quietly, suddenly let out a loud bark, charged a short distance, and then came flying into the tent with her hackles raised after I called her.

Now, the first gun I got to protect myself was the glock 20, but not long after, I also picked up a .40cal carbine for a "camp gun". The hike into this lake wasnt long, like three miles, so I also humped in this gun.

At this point, I stepped out of the tent wielding a led headlight, a led lantern, and the carbine, loaded with ten rounds of .40s&w 200gr hardcast doubletap lead. I placed the lantern on a high rock near the tent and began a headlight sweep of the surrounding darkness, planning to throw a couple rounds in the direction of the first pair of lit up eyes I saw. I didnt take long before I saw them and I let a couple rounds fly in that direction.

Fortunately, I brought earplugs just in case, so after the shots I could still hear. I didnt hear any screaming or yelping, and I couldnt see any more eyes in the dark, so I just let the adrenaline rush flow for a bit and maintained a vigilant watch, looking for more of those dam eyes.

Also fortunately, my old dog stayed in the tent the whole time, scared ****less, and my young dog is mostly unfazed by gunfire, so neither one of them ran for the hills, which would have greatly complicated things.

This brought my encounter with the wolves to an abrupt end as we never heard nor saw them again. Daylight showed up a few hours later and I looked for signs that Id hit one of them but found nothing. I ate some breakfast and cancelled my plans to explore further up the drainage as we were all pretty exhausted from the night and just wanted to go home.

The end.

Last edited by Kingtubby; 09-11-2012 at 15:58..
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Old 09-11-2012, 16:07   #2
Zombie Steve
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Had a few sleepless nights backpacking myself, albeit not from wolves...

Glad it turned out with just a loss of sleep.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:56   #3
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Wolves are always watching and they saw you a long time before you saw them. Looks like you had a nice trip.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:32   #4
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Good story. Some good fishing -- man's best buddies -- a night you'll never forget -- what could be better?

Well, maybe add a supermodel.

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Old 09-12-2012, 14:27   #5
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So...you shot at a protected species in the middle of the night aiming at nothing more than the glow of their eyes. I am usually on the people's side, but I think you did wrong on this one. Yes, wolves are scary and all, but I don't think you would come out on the top end if a game warden saw what you did. It isn't a defensive shooting if they are just in the area. If you felt the need to scare them away, how about a couple of shots in the ground?

Last edited by K1500; 09-12-2012 at 14:28.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-12-2012, 17:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1500 View Post
So...you shot at a protected species in the middle of the night aiming at nothing more than the glow of their eyes. I am usually on the people's side, but I think you did wrong on this one. Yes, wolves are scary and all, but I don't think you would come out on the top end if a game warden saw what you did. It isn't a defensive shooting if they are just in the area. If you felt the need to scare them away, how about a couple of shots in the ground?
My thoughts also .....
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Old 09-13-2012, 14:27   #7
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I doubt if anyone would be swinging on by at 0200 in the Beartooth Mtns, I was there a few years ago. I saw a wolf just last week in the U.P. of MI. In wolf country I'd keep your dogs very near, & inside with you at night. Wolves do not put up with domestic dogs at all.
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Old 09-13-2012, 18:30   #8
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I was wondering about packing in a 40 cal camp gun and a handgun, and the ammo, and a fishing rod...
WTH????

And I always thought anything ove a 3" sharpfinger Old Timer knife was too much. His guns, ammo and fishing equipment weigh more than my loaded pack.

Last edited by Jonesee; 09-13-2012 at 19:25..
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:35   #9
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So...you shot at a protected species in the middle of the night aiming at nothing more than the glow of their eyes. I am usually on the people's side, but I think you did wrong on this one. Yes, wolves are scary and all, but I don't think you would come out on the top end if a game warden saw what you did. It isn't a defensive shooting if they are just in the area. If you felt the need to scare them away, how about a couple of shots in the ground?
They are no more "protected" than a black bear. They arent endangered or threatened or listed by the feds in any way, so I dont know what you are getting at. An unknown amount of wolves at or around 100yds, in the middle of the night, w/domestic dogs that likely brought them in...I cant think of a warden who would have had any issues with my actions, and I know more than a few personally.

As far as shooting into the ground or air, I thought about that, but I am also well aware that alot of these wolves know the difference btw being shot at and shots fired. Shots fired can mean food. Bullets whizzing by, with the ground and/or trees blowing up around them, means something else. I had no intention of hitting anything, didnt even aim carefully. It was a 100yds out and I dont have night sights. Just seemed like blowing up some dirt in their vicinity rather than mine was the thing to do to make my point.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:38   #10
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I was wondering about packing in a 40 cal camp gun and a handgun, and the ammo, and a fishing rod...WTH????
Actually, two fishing rods, a fly rod and a spin rod, and a fishing vest with a bunch of gear. Although I shoulda left the spin rod on reflection. The fish were hitting the dryflies like they were going out of style.

I also had three sleeping pads(a thermarest for sleeping and two ridgerests for sitting around camp and the dogs in the tent), a 2man/3season tent, a tarp, a sleeping bag, pocket rocket stove, two gas cans, cook set, percolator, food, dog food, and water.

Although, some of that I dumped off on my pups. They both carry saddlebags and they always carry water, the cook set, and anything else that is hard to destroy and can get wet. While I chest holstered the pistol, the camp gun and ammo did add significantly to the load. Id say it pushed 60lbs, but it was only three miles, as I said, so I didnt need to stop at all to get there.
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Old 09-14-2012, 20:56   #11
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Being out alone in the mountains like that is something most people will never experience. Good story. I could almost feel the cool clean air. I'm not going to be critical of you shooting at the wolves. I wasn't there. I might have done the same thing. Most ranchers would kill them on sight.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:15   #12
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They are no more "protected" than a black bear. They arent endangered or threatened or listed by the feds in any way, so I dont know what you are getting at. An unknown amount of wolves at or around 100yds, in the middle of the night, w/domestic dogs that likely brought them in
Not true. They are on the endangered species list.

http://www.backpacker.com/wolves_rel...ain/blogs/1881
http://www.yellowstoneinsider.com/20...endangered.php
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:23   #13
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... planning to throw a couple rounds in the direction of the first pair of lit up eyes I saw. I didnt take long before I saw them and I let a couple rounds fly in that direction.
Just throw a couple of rounds in a general direction in the night. That kind of speaks for itself.

The scary thing is you don't see anything wrong with any of this.
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Old 09-15-2012, 15:27   #14
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Just throw a couple of rounds in a general direction in the night. That kind of speaks for itself.

The scary thing is you don't see anything wrong with any of this.
You'd probably really get scared if you knew how many of us don't agree with you. I have always made a mental note of the terrain around my camp so I know about any issues with firing at night. I would have no hesitation under the right circumstances.
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Old 09-15-2012, 16:41   #15
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You'd probably really get scared if you knew how many of us don't agree with you. I have always made a mental note of the terrain around my camp so I know about any issues with firing at night. I would have no hesitation under the right circumstances.
Spent a good portion of my life outside.
I've hunted, fished and backpacked over a lot of the plains states, western US and Canada.

If you consider what he did the "right circumstances", then we will just have to disagree.

I've been alone in the backcountry over the course of 50 years. What he did sounds like something a teenager who is new to the woods.

He made a one night camp and took in 2 dogs, 2 guns, 3 sleeping pads, 2 fishing poles,and who knows what else. I assure you he is not an experienced packer or outdoorsman.

Many times I've heard wolves or coyotes at night. At no time did I feel the need to let lose with blind shots in the dark. It is irresponsible and dangerous.

Best of luck you two. I hope I never pack or hunt anywhere near you.
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Old 09-15-2012, 16:46   #16
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Spent a good portion of my life outside.
I've hunted, fished and backpacked over a lot of the plains states, western US and Canada.

If you consider what he did the "right circumstances", then we will just have to disagree.

I've been alone in the backcountry over the course of 50 years. What he did sounds like something a teenager who is new to the woods.

He made a one night camp and took in 2 dogs, 2 guns, 3 sleeping pads, 2 fishing poles,and who knows what else. I assure you he is not an experienced packer or outdoorsman.

Many times I've heard wolves or coyotes at night. At no time did I feel the need to let lose with blind shots in the dark. It is irresponsible and dangerous.

Best of luck you two. I hope I never pack or hunt anywhere near you.
It appears a though he got his gear in and out OK so I would say it was his choice. But then I am the type to let people make their own decisions. I take a lot less gear than some and more than others so I don't figure I have room to judge.
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Old 09-15-2012, 20:58   #17
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Catch up with the times Jonesee:

"Montana is making it easier to hunt wolves. The wolf population has been growing even though wolf hunting is already legal. So wildlife officials are doing away with the statewide kill limit. They are nearly doubling the length of the season and the state will also allow trapping, which many conservationists call inhumane."

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/16/156829...to-hunt-wolves

This is the state of affairs in MT as of 2012. WY was just ok'd to shoot on sight outside of certain distance from jellystone park. ID has been hunting and trapping since 2011.

And I didnt just take shots in the dark cause I heard wolves in the distance. I took shots at a wolf I saw in my headlight at a distance of approx 100yds. The whole reason I got a gun was for this exact situation. Their numbers have exploded, theyve close to doubled in size with the introduction of the canadian bloodlines, and they hate domestic dogs with a passion.

There was no way I was going to wait and see if they were going to make a move before I let them know that I meant business. Id do the exact same thing next time.
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Old 09-15-2012, 21:05   #18
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I've been alone in the backcountry over the course of 50 years. What he did sounds like something a teenager who is new to the woods.

He made a one night camp and took in 2 dogs, 2 guns, 3 sleeping pads, 2 fishing poles,and who knows what else. I assure you he is not an experienced packer or outdoorsman.
Boy arent you the expert. Im sure you go in to the high country with nothing more than a swizz army knife and a pack of gum and survive for weeks.

I hiked in three miles. And yet, I was a stones throw from the wilderness, straddling the north/south divide of a huge mtn range. I was, and wasnt, "out there" which is exactly why I picked the spot for a short two day outing, which is all I had time for.

And FTR, Ive packed hundreds of miles, gone both ways, spartan and comfort, light and heavy. Hell, I use to alpine climb and barely had anything to survive the elements save what I was wearing.

Why go without when all you have to contend with is an easy three mile hike? Are you that out of shape that you cant hump 60lbs three miles?
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Old 09-18-2012, 15:15   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesee View Post
Spent a good portion of my life outside.
I've hunted, fished and backpacked over a lot of the plains states, western US and Canada.

If you consider what he did the "right circumstances", then we will just have to disagree.

I've been alone in the backcountry over the course of 50 years. What he did sounds like something a teenager who is new to the woods.

He made a one night camp and took in 2 dogs, 2 guns, 3 sleeping pads, 2 fishing poles,and who knows what else. I assure you he is not an experienced packer or outdoorsman.

Many times I've heard wolves or coyotes at night. At no time did I feel the need to let lose with blind shots in the dark. It is irresponsible and dangerous.

Best of luck you two. I hope I never pack or hunt anywhere near you.
All that gear and guns make me think the OP is one of those Nutnfancy fans. 80lb pack with long guns, batoning knives, so you can go deep into the wilderness...3 miles deep.

I have to agree. Shooting into the dark and letting a dog run loose at night is bad very mojo.

Were you 100% sure of your target and backstop. You could have hit another hiker or camper who was in the area. I have had black bears and coyotes walk up within 25 feet of my camp, and even though I have a handgun in my hand, I usually just yell, "Git!" and they split. If I'm going to shoot an animal, its going to be close and I'm in danger. In my case, a game warden/park ranger would be OK with my shooting.

The wolves are howling 100 yards away, just bring the other dog into the tent, and call it done. Sorry, but shooting blindly into the night at some wolves 100 yards away in the wilderness will not only get you in trouble, and can get some wolf or other animal wounded left to suffer and be PO'ed, it can also get a hiker/camper killed.

Last edited by Bilbo Bagins; 09-18-2012 at 15:21..
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Old 09-18-2012, 16:19   #20
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All that gear and guns make me think the OP is one of those Nutnfancy fans.
Que? What are you talking about?

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Were you 100% sure of your target and backstop.
Yes. It was on a sloping rock ledge, more or less near a small stand of trees on the shooter's left end, with high ground not far behind him leading up to the ridgetop pictured in the op. If my shots didnt go into the ground in front of the ledge, they surely struck the high ground approx another 100yds back. I had walked near or thru all that terrain before it got dark. Moreover, I was well off trail. There were no other campers anywhere in the vicinity. Of that I was sure.

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I have had black bears and coyotes walk up within 25 feet of my camp, and even though I have a handgun in my hand, I usually just yell, "Git!" and they split.
I did the same thing, except I let my carbine do the talkin for me. That way, i hoped, there wouldnt be any misunderstanding.

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The wolves are howling 100 yards away, just bring the other dog into the tent, and call it done. Sorry, but shooting blindly into the night at some wolves 100 yards away in the wilderness will not only get you in trouble, and can get some wolf or other animal wounded left to suffer and be PO'ed, it can also get a hiker/camper killed.
So youre telling me that I should have just assumed that if I brought the dog into the tent the wolves woulda just gone away? And, if that didnt work, I shoulda waited till they were at my tent snarling and growling before I took some blind shots thru the tent wall instead? Are you crazy?

Read this before you answer: http://timberwolfinformation.org/inf...ws.cfm?ID=7167
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:20   #21
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So...you shot at a protected species in the middle of the night aiming at nothing more than the glow of their eyes. I am usually on the people's side, but I think you did wrong on this one. Yes, wolves are scary and all, but I don't think you would come out on the top end if a game warden saw what you did. It isn't a defensive shooting if they are just in the area. If you felt the need to scare them away, how about a couple of shots in the ground?
Nope, not protected and no if you feel threatened by an animal it does not matter if it is. You also do not have to wait to be "attacked" or put yourself into that situation before you take action.

In this case protecting himself and his pups is all the justification he needed.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:38   #22
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earthquake

Living in the mountains I have to agree with the OP's actions...mostly. All he had do was fire one shot in the ground with the 10mm and the Earth would have shaked and quaked. The wolves would have ran off like he was the animal God.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:12   #23
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Not much on the story but those are some awesome pics there tubby...
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Old 09-25-2012, 16:00   #24
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Thanks sarge! Lol 10mm. For those who like pics of places like that, as I said in my first post here, ive mostly been in the low country, but a small photodump for those who appreciate beautiful places:

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping
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Old 09-25-2012, 16:01   #25
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Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping

Hunting, Fishing & Camping
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