RIP Brody and Top

Posted by: HCS

RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 06:32 PM

I have not posted anything about lion hunting for awhile. I just finished my first semester of college at the University of Montana where I am studying wildlife biology. I got home for winter break and have been able to get out quite a bit lately. My friends and I have treed several lions and we have taken two.

Yesterday my friend and mentor Mel invited me to go with him and another fellow named Jay who has two young dogs and a tag for our area. At about 6am we headed up into the Yaak area of northwest Montana. At about 2pm Jay found a track so he turned out his two dogs (Top & Lilly) and I also turned out my two (Elvis & Earl). They took off through the woods but they lost the track where the cat had crossed the Yaak River and had then doubled back across again. Mel and Jay walked downstream to gather dogs and look for the track while I was searching the far bank. We eventually lined out the track and put the dogs back on it. It was tough going so Mel put in his two good dogs (Brody & Fancy). The cat had made a third river crossing and the dogs were now on a fairly fresh trail. Since part of our plan was to get Jays dogs Top and Lilly some experience we grabbed Earl and Fancy and put them back in the rig.
At this point we had four dogs heading up over the mountain. We drove about 2 miles up a nearby road to try and close some of the distance. We finally got bogged down in very heavy snow and the Garmin Astro collars were saying that the dogs were still about a mile above us and that they were treeing. We headed up on snowshoes but the going was VERY difficult due to deep snow and thick alder brush. It took about 90 minutes to hike to where the dogs were supposed to be.
As we were hiking we saw on the receiver that Jays dog Lilly was running. Since she is young he just thought that she was running a back trail. As we continued to get closer we could still not hear the dogs. At about 500 yards the astro showed that the dogs were still treeing but since we could not hear anything we became concerned that the system was not working right. As we got close we had to get out our lights as the sun had set and we could no longer see. We hiked on and soon the screen showed that the dogs should be right in front of us at about 50 yards. Eerily there was absolutely no sound in the woods. We found the tree surrounded by tracks where they had put up the lion. We immediately began calling out for the dogs. Jay saw some blood by the tree and we assumed that a dog must have cut a pad.
Jay started shining his light down the hill and saw two eyes shining about 30 yards away. He started that direction and seconds later we heard him start yelling. Mel and I ran down to where he was and saw something no houndsman ever wants to see. There in the snow surrounded by blood were two dead dogs.
I instantly thought that one of them was my good dog Elvis. My heart was pounding as I got closer. When we got to them we had to check the collar since part of his head was gone. We ultimately discovered that it was Mels dog Brody and Jays dog Top. I could not find Elvis anywhere. I could only imagine that the same thing had happened to him and that he was lying in the brush nearby.
As we tried to get over the shock of it all we slowly pieced together what had happened. It became very apparent that a pack of wolves had attacked our hounds as they were baying at the tree. Brody and Top had been killed instantly at the tree and then drug about 30 yards away where the wolves had started to feed on them. The eyes Jay had seen were those of a wolf eating our dogs.
Lilly had obviously run away when the attack occurred but there was still no sign of Elvis.
We were all sick about what had just happened but we needed to get down the mountain and try and find Lilly and hopefully Elvis. It was as tough going down as it had been climbing up, and when I broke a strap on my snowshoe I didnít think things could get any worse.
I have hunted these mountains many times but I have never experienced fear like I did on that hike. The thought of the wolves behind us, the dogs that had just been killed and of the two that we could not find were about all I could handle. With broken snowshoes I had to ďpostholeĒ most of the way back to the truck.
We finally got back to the trucks and our missing dogs were not there. Before we got out of that deep snow we had to winch ourselves out about five times. It was getting very late and I was both mentally and physically exhausted by the time we got back to the paved road.
We were due for some good luck and right then the collars for Lilly and Elvis lit up the screen and appeared to be about 1 mile ahead of us on the main road. As we got close I could see Lilly by the guardrail so I jumped out to grab her and began yelling for Elvis.
I immediately heard barking down below us by the river. I jumped the railing and began calling to him. With my flashlight I could see Elvis and he appeared to be lying in the ice on the bank. As I got closer I realized that he was actually in the water and was too exhausted to pull himself up on to the edge of the ice. I was able to reach out to him and pull him to safety. I donít know how long he had been there but he was shaking so bad I did not know if he would survive. We warmed him up in the truck as we headed for home which was still an hour away on icy roads.

As I write this, Elvis is still so stiff and sore that he can hardly walk but since he is not yet 3 years old he is plenty strong and will be back on the trail soon. I have no idea how he was able to escape the wolf attack and near freezing to death in a river. All I know is that I am very fortunate to have gotten him back.
I have not talked to Jay yet this morning but he had put so much time and energy into training Top I can only imagine how crushed he is. I talked to Mel and he is very frustrated, not just because he lost a great dog but also because he called a local game biologist who told him that our dogs were killed not 500 yards from a known denning site. According to the biologist they donít publicize information like that because people might disrupt the wolves.

R.I.P. Brody and Top, I hope the hunting is good up there in heaven.

Posted by: gamedog

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 06:41 PM

Very sorry story!
Thats the second wolf/hound dog killing in Montana I've heard about lately.
If ranchers can kill a wolf harrassing their livestock, do hound handlers have the same option with dead dogs on hand?
Posted by: kal52

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 06:45 PM

Sorry to hear about the dogs being killed and hope yours is up and running soon.

Dave
Posted by: marlin4570

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 06:45 PM

After first scrolling down and seeing the picture this was very tough for me to read. I'm sorry to hear about your friends dogs and I also hope the huntings good for them up in heaven.
Posted by: vargy49

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 06:58 PM

Dam man!! I am really sorry!! I am a Hounds man just like you and would eat my heart out.
It would be very hard to not go wolf hunting after that!!
The DNR should compensate you folks for your hounds.
Also the denning site sure needs to be made public just for safty reasons.
I also scrolled down before I read it expecting to see a pic of a nice cat. and had a hard time reading it.
My heart goes out to you guys with the wolfs!!

Vargy
Posted by: Gimmieabeer

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 07:38 PM

sorry to hear about the hounds!! that sux! hope u guys get even with the wolves!
Posted by: A Dana

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 07:41 PM

That is Gut Wrenching.....sorry for your loss.
Posted by: Rickh

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 07:55 PM

First and foremost, glad you guys got in and out ok! Sounds like you must be in good shape and it paid off for you.
Second, very sorry to hear about the hounds, I am sure the loss will be felt for many years to come.
Stay safe and always have plan (B)ravo.
Rick H...
Posted by: Duane@ssu

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 08:51 PM

Sorry for your losses. We expect lots of things, but wolves ??? This is out of hand. When can we start to defend our dogs (legally)?.
I cannot tell you guys what to do, or condone "illegal" activity. But things need to change.
Best wishes and your dog will be in our prayers.
Posted by: trapper2

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 10:37 PM

sorry to hear about the loss, what pic?
Posted by: getemclose

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 10:51 PM

I think mods took it out.
Posted by: getemclose

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 10:51 PM

Sorry for your loss I feel your pain. I lost a hunting dog 3 years ago. It sucked to say the least.. frown
Posted by: gonzaga

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 11:03 PM

Sorry for your party's loss. Good hunting indeed for those departed. We need to get some kind of handle on the wolf problem. It is an increasing problem.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

gonzaga
Posted by: rockinmyshoe

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 11:13 PM

Sorry about your hounds,tell your biologist it might not have happened if they would disclose the den, but God forbid we would.

DISRUPT THEIR WOLVES !!!!!!
Posted by: mtbadger

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/06/10 11:18 PM

That was a tough read HCS thanks for sharing with us. I know it won't help now but I will be out hunting the wolves next fall when season opens....
Posted by: MOFarmBoy

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 12:06 AM

This makes me sick. I feel for you northern guys. It is getting rediculous. Folks have spent years and countless dollars getting rid of these killers only to have the feds rub your noses in it these days. I'm so thankful we don't have them here.

Where in the Constitution does it say wolves are protected? If this isn't an issue for your northwestern states to use the 10th admendment on, I don't know what is. It's a friggin wolf for Pete's sake! What do they do for the betterment of the country? We'll protect wolves to the detriment of any other living being but we won't protect an unborn baby?

Whatever happened to private property rights? A governor with some salt needs to tell these feds where to go. This should be one of many issues where state's rights should supercede what the bunny huggers in California want.

In the meantime, I'm not promoting the breaking of any laws. I'm just venting.
Posted by: KevinJ

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 12:58 AM

It wasn't Jay Ritchie was it?
Posted by: youngdon

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 01:52 AM

Sorry to hear of the loss. I too had a hard time reading that story. I am glad that you wrote it just to inform us.
I think I'll go hug my dogs now, and be thankful for the time I have with them.
Posted by: marlin4570

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 10:09 AM

Originally Posted By: youngdon

I think I'll go hug my dogs now, and be thankful for the time I have with them.


After reading the story I took my dogs out for a nice long walk and cooked up some steak for all three of us. It certainly made me appreciate them even more.
Posted by: climber

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 12:55 PM

The tragedy to all of this is there are wolves everywhere up here now. I am HCS's neighbor, and hunted cats with his friend Mel the day before. In the last 2 years, the amount of wolf sign we have seen is incredible. I literally have not been out without seeing fresh sign. I hunt, hike, fish all year long, and cover literally this whole area. I seriously doubt that FWP really even know how many wolves are here.

We hope the wolf hunting will continue, and maybe even up the quota enough to knock wolf numbers down to a more manageable level.
Posted by: MTurbo

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 01:46 PM

Originally Posted By: getemclose
I think mods took it out.


Now why in the heck would the mods take out a photo so important and relevant to a story like this one!!!!!!!!!!! cursing
Posted by: HCS

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 05:35 PM

Maybe I shouldn't have posted the pic I did but unfortunately its impossible to take suitable photos of dogs after they have been killed and partially eaten by wolves.

Thanks for all of your support, but life goes on and we will be back out hunting this weekend.

HCS
Posted by: cfishman

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 07:37 PM

From a fellow houndsman, sorry for your loss. I would be raging a war against wolves about ringt now if it would have happened to me.
Posted by: emeraldterriers1

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 08:17 PM

Originally Posted By: cfishman
From a fellow houndsman, sorry for your loss. I would be raging a war against wolves about ringt now if it would have happened to me.


guys that really sucks. i feel for your loss, i read a good saying on here a while back...shoot, shovel, shut up. i personally would be a very opportunistic hunter.
Posted by: mikegranger

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 08:24 PM

Guys,

I took the picture out as it was very graphic and against our TOS. HCS can email them to you if he wishes but we have to draw the line somewhere and the picture was just too much.
Posted by: trailhound

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 08:31 PM

Mike how much is to much? Maybe everyone should see these pics. After all this is a part of nature and not a man made event. It is a predator doing whats it does. Maybe we should not try to cover up what nature really looks like. If you shoot a picture and create gore, to me that different. We can clean up our act. But a wolf is just want it is and should be seen just for that. Just and opinion and maybe not correct but its my 2 cents.
Posted by: trapper2

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 08:51 PM

i'm with trailhound on this, i didnt get to see the pics but figured that might be the deal, if no one see's what they do then its like "out of sight, out of mind" for most people, ryan
Posted by: BOBTAILS

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 09:12 PM

My sorrow go out for you guys, I and just getting into hounds and decoy dogs. This is unimaginable to me. Rob.
Posted by: mikegranger

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 09:22 PM

PM does not allow graphic photos be it coyotes with their guts hanging out or dogs partially eaten by wolves. Like I said, if HCS wants to email them to you in a personal message that's fine by me but they can't be out on the open board.

All of us in here know how cruel nature can be, I've seen some shocking things as a biologist, but I don't post the pictures.

I knew by pulling the photo a firestorm would ensue but my responsibility as moderator is to keep things clean.

Sorry if that's got some of you riled.
Posted by: trapper2

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 09:32 PM

mike nothing against you, i understand its the rules, just dont understand why they are like that sometimes, i know you mods have to make the call on what to pull and what to let stay, glad its your job and not mine, and like i said nothing against you or any of the mods, ryan
Posted by: vargy49

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/07/10 09:50 PM

Mike I agree with tapper. Nothing against you. I know you are doing your job. and a fine job at that!!I think the public needs to see!! Just my 2 cents!!

Vargy
Posted by: trailhound

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/08/10 07:47 PM

Mike, no hard feelings to you at all,think you do a great job here. Just sometimes with the whole truth could be shown for what it is. I know your hands are somewhat tied, thats ok. Sorry if I rufferd your feather, no harm intended
Posted by: mikegranger

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/08/10 11:27 PM

No problems at all here guys. It's all good. thumbup
Posted by: cfishman

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/09/10 06:23 PM

Originally Posted By: emeraldterriers1
Originally Posted By: cfishman
From a fellow houndsman, sorry for your loss. I would be raging a war against wolves about ringt now if it would have happened to me.


guys that really sucks. i feel for your loss, i read a good saying on here a while back...shoot, shovel, shut up. i personally would be a very opportunistic hunter.



A secret war, of course.
Posted by: HCS

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/09/10 10:58 PM

I don't want this post to turn into what should and shouldn't be posted on here. I just wanted this to get out and show people that there is starting to get a serious problem with wolves in our area and get this story out.

Sorry Mike.

HCS
Posted by: elks

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/10/10 12:30 AM

Man extremely sorry to hear this unfortunately the world today sucks.
Posted by: trailhound

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/10/10 06:57 AM

It can be hard enough to get you dogs in shape and then this happens. Well we lost two dogs this fall that just up and lost weight and died. Vet can't fugure it out. Really hurts when we loose one of our own.....
Posted by: Juanjo

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/15/10 01:00 PM

HCS,

Sorry to hear about Brody and Top, I can't even imagine what a mauled up pups look like, its a bone chilling story without a doubt, Wolves are stategic hunters, they have killed man, mans best friend, game, pets.. when is society going to open their eyes... I agree with emeraldterriers1.. just my .02

again sorry for your loss
Posted by: killcoyotes

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/15/10 05:57 PM

that really sucks. they should have never re-introduce the wolves back, i`m so glad we don`t have them around here.
Posted by: Duane@ssu

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/15/10 08:11 PM

I've dealt with them other places, and thought here I wouldn't have to worry about them, but now there are breedin pairs in OR.
Kc, I hope they don't get into your country, but it seems like its just a matter of time before they will be everywhere.
Posted by: pkhunter

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/17/10 09:26 PM

i too am sorry about your dogs.What would happen legally if a dog or dogs killed a wolf ?would you as the owner be charged? PK
Posted by: mikegranger

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/18/10 06:48 PM

That's a good question Pk. I haven't looked into it since wolves can be hunted now. Before the state took over management, they were an experimental endangered species. The laws weren't in favor of the hound hunter then.

I know if a lion gets into your farm animals, they can be shot, immediately followed by a call to the game warden. He'll come and take the lion but that's it. I see no difference between a farm animal and a hunting dog.
Posted by: idratherbehunting

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/18/10 07:03 PM

farm animals are livestock and dogs are companion animals and are for the most part not provided the same protection as livestock.

also if you cast your dogs even on private property and the wolves attack and kill your dogs your SOL at least thats what i was told by a game warden.

p.s.
I'm sure you knew the difference between livestock and dogs.


Orson
living the dream on unemployment
Posted by: mikegranger

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/18/10 10:49 PM

Noun 1. farm animal - any animals kept for use or profit
Posted by: idratherbehunting

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/18/10 11:51 PM

According to Michigan law, if you see a gray wolf attacking a pet, livestock, etc., you can kill it. But there's a Federal law in place that trumps that. The gray wolf is an endangered species. You can't touch them, except in the defense of human life, but not of a pet or another animal.

I can not find any information on minnesota laws regarding wolf attacks on livestock or dogs.

Orson
living the dream on unemployment
Posted by: Blitz636

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/19/10 10:54 AM

At least in MI we understand the need for a law to protect our pets, sucks the feds trump us.

Such a "protection" law is justifiable, but given time people would abuse it.
Posted by: Urimaginaryfrnd

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 01/25/10 08:38 PM

Crazy Huh.
Posted by: Western Rifleman

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 12/13/19 01:56 AM



Your home animals are your Family.

Shoot .... do not approach .... shut up.
Posted by: GC

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 12/13/19 09:29 AM

Original story from 2010...
Posted by: jcs271

Re: RIP Brody and Top - 02/01/20 05:42 PM

This is a serious flashback. Since writing this post the author has served a full tour in the military including two trips to the sandbox. He has gotten married and graduates with an advanced degree (thank you GI bill) in about 90 days. Bottom line, turned into a fine young man! smile