Letter: In defense of hunting with dogs by Jeff Everson
This letter is in response to Mrs. Moore’s Viewpoint from Jan. 27, 2013. Although Mrs. Moore may have encountered a sow bear and cubs one time, this does not dictate what a bear or wolf will do every time she happens to see on while on horseback. She stated, “They always stop in their tracks; the horses also stop.”
Ask an outfitter from out West what a horse’s response to an encounter with a bear is and you’ll get a much different answer. I’ve hunted the Bighorn Mountains nearly every year for 18 years. I talk to guides that have this happen often. It’s a natural response for a horse to fear a bear and yes, these are black bear they are referring to in the Bighorns, not grizzly.
Her outrageous accusation about her horse getting charged and attacked by a collared hound dog is pure fiction. I’ve hunted with hounds my whole life in this area and am in contact with the other local hunters almost daily. Never has such an attack happened. If it had, it would have been widely known.
As for her attitude about the wolf season with hounds, I couldn’t quite follow her mindset in reference to gambling, hounds “trapping” bears and baiting wolves. Hounds do not trap bears and are not to be used to “bait” wolves.
When a wolf kills a dog, whether it is a house dog that roamed out of the yard, a bird dog that is working on flushing a grouse or a hound dog that is trailing game, the result is the same. We lose a hunting companion and it is no different than you losing a horse that is dear to you. We spend countless hours with our dogs, just as you do with your pet horses.
I am a hunter and God willing, will be for my remaining days. You are a horse owner and no doubt will be for life. I am no more proud of my hounds’ accomplishments than you are of your horse’s achievements. We do not attack your hobby, so please do everyone a favor and respect our right to have a hobby also. If you fear our hounds, then try petting one sometime. You will no doubt see a tail wagging as fast as it can and a tongue anxious to lick you if given a chance.
Jeff Everson, Rhinelander