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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if this is the place to post this, but I'm wondering if anyone else has concerns about hiking/walking with their dog and how to deal with wolves as a problem. I live in Northern Minnesota just outside of Duluth. We have numerous wolves that habitat in our area - in the last few months I've seen a very large male numerous times and my neighbor has had the male and his mate in her back yard stalking her dog's kennel on two occasions. Being that wolves are an endangered species, we're told that unless they are attacking a human, there is nothing we can do about them attacking our animals - including our dogs. It makes me very cautious about hiking with my dog. I have a GSD and hiking is our thing, but the wolf thing has totally changed what I am comfortable doing. We had an incident this year where a man was walking in town in a wooded area and his lab was attacked by a wolf and his mate right in front of him! Do any of you have to deal with this type of thing and if so, what are you doing to protect yourselves? I always carry my gun when we're walking, but apparently I'll be in big trouble if I use it to protect my dog if he's attacked. Any ideas?
 

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Thank you!!! When I contacted the DNR they specifically told me I could not shoot a wolf to protect my dog - I could only shoot to protect myself or another person. I should have researched it further. Thank you so much for sending me the statute.
 

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You're welcome.Be careful out there!We have a few wolves way up in the north of our state and the only trouble they caused was when they were deliberately baited with dead livestock.
 

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i personally would shoot one and deal with the repercussions later. Who is to say they weren't going for you instead of your dog? OR who's to say once they are done with your dog, they wont come for you?

Not to mention i walk with my two littles (4 soon to be 5 yr old and 2 year old girls)..
 

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There are probably legal alternatives -- like hazing -- that your state wildlife service could share to ensure the wolves maintain a healthy fear of people.
 

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I'm a state wildlife biologist in Montana. The main issue we have here with wolves attacking dogs have been lion hounds being attacked and killed by wolves while out lion hunting. Wolves rarely bother humans, but they are extremely territorial against what they perceive as intruders---e.g. dogs. Lion hunters around here are particularly wary toward the end of the lion season--February/March---because that's when wolves breed, and that's when they're most on the defense against intruders.

So maybe be more cautious around that time period. Keep your dog in sight. Carry bear spray. Yeah, it'll bother your dog if he/she gets hit with it, but it'll most likely deter the wolf too. If you start seeing wolf sign, get out of there. And I would have no hesitation to defend myself or my dog with a lethal weapon if it came to it--but that's why I like bear spray, for bears, lions, wolves, even moose....pretty effective, and the animal doesn't have to die.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry for not replying earlier. I appreciate the advice from all of you. In checking further with the DNR, although MN statues allow protecting domestic animals/pets from wolf attack, federal law does not and federal law trumps state law. However, as one of the posters above suggested, if a wolf attacks, you can’t wait to see who it is attacking before protecting yourself. I do like the bear spray suggestion and am going to get some - and not only in case of 4 legged aggressors! Vic has kept more than one person I wasn’t comfortable around away from me on the trails. ?
 
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