Wolf Shot in Self Defense: Department Recommends Warning Shots

By Dean Weingarten

Wolf Shot in Self Defense: Department Recommends Warning Shots

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- On 27 October, 2017, an Oregon elk hunter found himself being stalked by three wolves.

One of the wolves charged directly at him, in spite of his yelling in an attempt to scare it off.  The hunter fired at the charging wolf, believing his life was in danger.

The wolf was killed, and the other two wolves ran into cover at the shot.  The hunter initially thought the animal might have been a coyote, but examination by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) revealed it was an 83 lb female wolf.

From bluemanountaineagle.com:

Further investigation at the site of the shooting indicated the hunter was 27 yards from where he shot and where the wolf died. The wolf was seized and later released to ODFW for examination. The Union County District Attorney’s Office was consulted regarding the investigation, and based upon the available evidence, the case will not be prosecuted as this is believed to be an incidence of self-defense.

It is unlawful to kill a wolf in Oregon, except in defense of human life — and in certain instances involving wolf depredation of livestock.

According to ODFW, this incident marks the first time that a wolf has been reported shot in self-defense in Oregon since they began returning to the state in the late 1990s.

The myth of the “harmless” wolf was created by the intense hunting and trapping pressure applied by hunters and trappers equipped with 19th century technology, extending into the mid 20th century. Wolves are opportunistic top level predators in direct competition with man for the top level spot.  It was relentless hunting with modern rifles, trapping with steel traps and snares, and poisoned baits that reduced wolf populations and made them shy of humans.

When these pressures were removed in the late 20th century, wolf populations zoomed. Without intense hunting or trapping, wolf populations grew and their prey species populations dropped. Wolf contact with people increased. Documented attacks were sure to follow.

Professor emeritus Valerious Geist of the University of Calgary, Canada wrote a heavily documented paper(pdf) on the process, as he tried to understand where the model of the “harmless” wolf, that he had believe all his life, had failed. If you wish a shortened version, I have put together an excerpt.

Recipe for “harmless & romantic” wolves (based on Alberta data): License trappers so as to have one trapper per 25 square miles. Give him leg-hold traps, snares, poison and an accurate gun, insist that he live off the land, give him a monetary reward for killing wolves, hire predator control officers to kill all wolves entering agricultural lands, let game wardens poison wolves after the big game season, remove all legal protection from wolves so that hunters, ranchers, farmers etc can shoot them all year long, drop by the ton frozen horse meat injected with strychnine or 1080 from aircraft on frozen lakes all winter long, (note killings of wolves by native people as ongoing).

It is interesting that the ODFW recommends that a warning shot be fired as part of a means to scare off threatening wolves.

“Dangerous encounters between wolves and people are rare, as are such encounters between people and cougars, bears and coyotes,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW acting wolf coordinator. “They will usually avoid humans and leave the area when they see, hear, or smell people close by. If you see a wolf or any other animal and are concerned about your safety, make sure it knows you are nearby by talking or yelling to alert it to your presence. If you are carrying a firearm, you can fire a warning shot into the ground.”

Dangerous encounters with wolves are still rare. Wolf populations are growing in populated areas. As wolf populations grow, wolves will become more habituated to humans, and wolf attacks on humans will increase.

The way to minimize these attacks is to keep wolf population at acceptable levels. Wolves are very difficult animals to hunt on foot with rifles. More efficient methods, such as steel traps, or hunting from aircraft, may need to be employed.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 33 thoughts on “Wolf Shot in Self Defense: Department Recommends Warning Shots

    1. This pile of steaming horse hockey is pretty much what today’s loser Americans want: some know-nothing to tell us what we want to believe.
      I don’t know how the hell we got to be so weak, I really don’t. When you’re not weak, you don’t just let people tell you what to think. For example, when you’re not weak, you don’t say, “Yeah, you sure told them!” you say,
      “Hey, Dean Weingarten: Why the hell would anyone care what you think about wolves? These guys you quote sure sound a lot like this new breed of cops we have these days who keep shooting people’s completely unthreatening dogs, saying they were in fear for of grave bodily harm and under attack, and then getting busted as idiots or liars by video recordings.
      .None of your work, none of your studies made you one bit smarter about wolves than anyone else. You should have done what you were qualified to do: Interview a bunch of people who ARE smart about wolves.”
      Dear Reader, please don’t just sit there and stare at your screen and wait for some effing guy…including me or Dean Weingarten…to tell you what The Truth About Wolves..or most things, really… supposedly is. You should already know.
      You should have been reading just a little bit about wolves, just every once every few years, just little stories that gave you the views of people who are smart about wolves..
      We should all read about new ideas and new subjects for a few minutes every day. For just a few minutes a day, read pubications that have some people share your opinion and some don’t. After a while, when a gasbag like Dean Weingarten tries to get you to swallow a pile of his fear-based opinions, you’ll tell him you know already know better.
      Well folks, since you insisted, I’ll repeat these words from people who are smarter than me or Dean Weingarten. I first read most of them many years ago, and no one has proven them wrong to me so far:
      (1) In the forest, the most dangerous animal is always man.
      (2) There isn’t even one record that one human being has ever been killed by a wolf in the wild, even once, anywhere in The Western Hemisphere, ever*. How many humans have been killed by other humans in that time?
      (3) Sometimes, in-captivity wolves do kill people: their keepers. Why? Can you promise that you would never,ever kill a human being who kept YOU captive your whole life long?
      (4) I like dogs a lot more than I like people, so it breaks my heart to say this, but if you bring your dog canine into wolfpack canine territory and wolf canines see your dog, they may think it’s an outsider wolf and try to chase it off or even kill it. I hate to admit that truth, but I don’t have the right to deny it.
      (5) In the forest, the most dangerous animal is always man.
      (6). The White Man came to America and killed all the wolves,and that’s the reason why so many of our livestock are now killed by coyotes, mechanical injuries, and bad water*.
      (9) In the forest, the most dangerous animal is always man.

      * My comment is too long as it is, so I’ll keep more details out of it. I have them all written out, so if you want them, ask, and I will add them to the COMMENTS section of this article.

    2. On November 11th someone named Danny asked “can anyone tell me how many people have been killed by wolves in the last 100 years?” I do not know that number nor do I care. I live in wolf country plus the feds use our area as a dumping ground for “bad grizzly’s” deported from Yellowstone. I do not know how many people have been killed by the grizz in the last 100 years and do not give a damn. What I do know is that these animals can pose a threat to our safety. We should not go after them just to destroy them BUT if one comes calling we should not hesitate to protect ourselves and our families. As an outdoors person I have come across many grizz and have been as close as 10 feet from a free roaming grizz in the brush. Once my wife and I met 6 grizz in the woods within a two hour period. That has a habit of tightening your sphincter muscle but if one uses common sense you can usually avoid a serious encounter.

      The decision made by the Oregon government regarding warning shots reminds me of a poster in Denali Park, Alaska. The poster warns visitors that grizz or “Mr Brown Coat” as we call them roam the trails in the park looking for a moose dinner. The officials advise visitors to carry a bell which is available at the park store. They advise visitors to carry the bell which has a wooden handle and ring it continuously while walking the trails and observing the wildlife. The poster also states that visitors may see droppings from various animals during their walks. The droppings will in fact warn the visitor of the presence of specific animals in the area. The visitor can easily identify bear droppings because it will be the large pile of scat containing parts of a bell.

      If any Oregon official thinks after being surprised or attacked by a grizz one should take the time to fire a warning shot that official must plan on locating bear scat containing a bell on their trails. There are many things a person can do to prevent a bear attack BUT as soon as a bear charges you time is not your friend but accuracy is your best chance.

    3. JR Bailey: I’m trying really hard NOT to take a side here because I admit I DON’T know nearly enough. My ignorance on this topic is huge. I’m reading as much as I can and trying to find credible reports but clearly you, being out there, have a far better grasp on this than I do and I’d be really stupid not to admit that. I’m just putting forth what appear to be credible reports. You’ve added “stuff” I never even thought of and if you’ve read my past posts on various topics you know I can be extremely critical of EPA, BLM and especially, NPS and all that are associated with them. Don’t shoot me just yet. 🙂

    4. Most people who would like to see all wolves destroyed are not aware of the numbers of wolves that existed with the other animals prior to the settlement of this country by the white man. The white man killed off so many animals in this country that seasons for hunting had to be adopted to protect the animals that were left so that they may increase their numbers. Thank Teddy Roosevelt for that. Wolves won’t hunt their prey into extension.They never have and they never will. If you want proof of that just check out what’s been happening on Isle Royal. They limit their own numbers when prey becomes scarce. it’s a proven fact! Also wolves help man by keeping the deer moving. Deer like to feed at night. The wolves make the deer move during the day. That means you get a better chance at bagging a buck.

      1. John I, says, “Most people … are not aware of the numbers of wolves that existed with the other animals prior to the settlement of this country by the white man.” I don’t think that John is aware of the numbers that existed prior to settlement of this country either. Unless he is a really old dude.
        The rest, residue, and remainder is just another race based polemic. He must belong to the Dia tribe! Ha get it diatribe!

        1. Oh, come on that is funny! Are there no lexophiles out there? What a tough crowd. What did you expect for a nickel?

      2. I have to wonder about your statements. Here in Wyoming, as well as in parts of Idaho, and Montana the Elk herds have been decimated by wolves. Deer as well as Moose have also been severely impacted. Not to even mention their effects on Cattle, and domestic Sheep herds.

          1. @Vanns,
            I see you’re letting your emotions run away with you again!

            I didn’t see where Patrick Sperry said ‘all’ losses of elk deer moose we’re done by wolves!

            Further, I did not say that all losses of wild large herbivores where due to Wolf predations.

            I’ve noted that between grizzly bear attacks, and wolf pack attacks, our ranchers on the western side of the state are between a rock and a hard place!

            Further, I noted a wide, a vast, disparity between ranchers that raise cattle for beef, and those ranchers who raise for reproduction purposes, that is to say, high-cost lines of quality breeds; breeding studs.

            When a beef Rancher raising cattle for steak loses several head to grizzlies and wolves, it’s a huge out-of-pocket loss, but the state will at least compensate some of that loss.

            However, when a grizzly bear or a wolf pack attack and Slaughter a prize bull, worth about $30,000, the state does not recognize that as anything other than a meat animal.

            On the West Side they raise several different breeds of high-quality cattle, and after you lose two three four, Bulls, that $60,000 to $120,000 out of your pocket does more than just kind of tingle!

            Even at standard beef meat compensations prices, the beef Market cattle ranchers still lose their butts, when the markets are good they lose thousands of dollars, because the market price per head is so Superior to compensation.

            Sperry is also correct that wolves and grizzly have decimated the elk, deer, moose, herds on the western side.

            The jack-booted federal thugs that run around like SA Brown Shirts are more than happy to arrest ranchers, or Ranch hands, confiscate their firearms, confiscate their trucks, and throw their butts in jail!

            We are tired of out-of-staters who don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground, telling us what we here in the state see firsthand, and I’ve learned first-hand from people that we trust and know.

            The time has come for out-of-staters to butt out of our business, and to stay out of our business!

            I don’t run cattle, I don’t run sheep, I’m not an Outfitter, and I haven’t physically been able to hunt in the last 8 years.

            The dog I have in this hunt, so to speak, is that I want real world tools to put the overpopulation of wolves and grizzly bears in check in my state, and to not have to worry about the men and women who are trying to make a living, losing everything that they worked for by trying to protect their herds and flocks!

            You can have any opinion you want, I’m not trying to stop that nor stop you from speaking your opinion. I’m just simply tired of out-of-state people who do not have their boots on the ground here, and have not seen what we who live in the state see, and have not heard the Tales of Horror from those who had to live it.

            Opinions are like bodily orifices, everyone has them and they are of the same value, worthless. Yes, including mine.

            Facts are what matter to me, and I’ve seen the facts up close and personal, and seen people who have had to sell their ranches on the west side, because they could no longer make a living there, due to the predations on their stock of Grizzlies and wolves!

            Cheers from Wyoming

    5. Danny,
      Considering wolves eat their victims, I doubt there was much evidence left for any possible reporting! You must remember not to judge methodologies of decades past with those we have today, when it comes to statistics!

    6. I don’t know about killing them all, but the wolf and coyote populations are way to big. A wolf needs the equivalent on one deer per week to eat. That is 52 deer (or equivalent) per year times the number of wolves in the pack. That is devastating to the various ungulate populations. Nor do wolves and coyotes limit their diet. Wolves eat everything from your cattle to your pet dog, and I think that they would you and your kids, if the opportunity presented itself.
      One thing is for certain, Wolves and coyotes are not the big fuzzy lovable dog that liberals and judges think that they are.

      1. @WildBill: Two years ago there was a story that reported that there may not be enough wolves in Montana to keep the Elk population down to manageable levels. It’s a complicated formula and hunters alone cannot be the sole factor in controlling the right numbers.

    7. Wolves did not just “start to reappear” back in Oregon They were brought in by the United Nations agreement from the earth summit agenda 21, signed by GHW Bush. This is a take over of the sovereign govt. of the united states among many. Wake up folks!

    8. Probably the biggest frustration w/ the wolf fiasco is all of the lies and cover-ups by the gov’t. The wolf lovers and gov’t were allowed to print articles (lies/propaganda) non-stop and yet the same newspaper told me I could not print one article on them. The truth is finally coming out in small pieces now. The best book/article that I’ve seen concerning wolves is the book THE REAL WOLF by Ted B. Lyons & Will N. Graves. Wolves have decimated the elk & deer herds out West.

    9. Do NOT fire a warning shot. If your in danger shoot to stop the threat. Their “feelings” for animals do not outweigh your life or health.
      I’ve no opinion on wolves in itself but the warning shot is stupid especially at that distance with dangerous animals.

      1. I have strong positive opinions of wolves. They are majestic creatures that fit at the top of the food chain. They are efficient hunters and killers as they should be. They are a natural part of the environment and should be respected as such. As to your comment going against the “recommended” warning shot… Well… With my strongly positive view of wolves and their place… Along with my knowledge of wolves, which is no where near the level of the “experts” who made the warning shot recommendation…. I would tend to say you are absolutely correct. Attempting to fire a warning shot would be ignorant. If the common teaching is the average human with a knife can close the 7 yard distance before you can prepare to fire, do they not think a wolf can close 27 yards even faster after your warning shot while you try to manipulate the bolt under extreme stress to chamber a new round then raise your weapon and attempt to aim to fire again at the charging creature? If your life is NOT in danger shooting the wolf is stupid. If your life is in danger NOT shooting the wolf but firing a warning shot instead is stupid.

    10. I have seen 4 wolves mostly in central WI. they seam to be a stand offish animal. 2 were close up. The wolf dog mix I think would be the most dangerous to man because of the domestic dog in them would have less fear of man.They need to be delisted and there population controlled. Especially in WI. I believe there is a lot more of them than what the DNR says there is.

        1. Watch my Back ! FK You Pu*sy. Been in one War, shot, stabbed SURVIVED. Not worried about your perverted Liberal azzzzz. City wimp trying to save the world one skunk at a time Shi* for brains!

      1. When there is far too much depredation of canine species in the wild, notably coyotes and wolves, the rodent population goes through the roof!

        This is true of the mouse population, which can be utterly devastating to Human abodes!

        The rodents also cause severe agricultural damage when they are not controlled, and there simply Aren’t Enough Raptors around to take care of the rodent population!

        I’ll be hunting yotes later this month and through the winter, so I’m not one Yote hugger by any means.

        1. perhaps a larger rodent population might lead to a larger raptor population? WHen one predator gets out of proper proportion, everything goes wacky.

          1. I’m all for a greater Raptor population, the problem is is that the commercial wind turbine Farms are killing tens of thousands of them across the country every year!

            If you get a chance, do some research on the number and breeds of birds killed by those wind turbines!

            If you and I were to shoot them with a shotgun rifle or handgun, we would be committing felonies and end up in prison!

            The wind turbine Farm owners get a pass!

            1. I agree. POSSESSION of an eagle feather has a federal crime attached. But allowing multiple deaths of eagles by wind turbines is excused.

      2. Obvious you have seen dying elk or deer because of lack of food .These animals help us with the over population of both .witch cause car wrecks ,and many other problem…people that think like you cause more problems… Educate your self before open your mouth…

        1. Hey Todd, and everyone else who feels strongly on this issue, how about dialing it back a few notches? A lot of us HAVE done a lot of research and you can find as much on one side as the other. As I stated at least twice, it’s complicated and difficult to sort out.

          As for the one person who threatened others, what you said constitutes a crime in more than a few States. Sites like Ammoland can be compelled to provide your IP address and you can be prosecuted. See what a tough guy you think you are then. (In case you’re wondering the law is “threat of violence” and it may be “express or implied”.)

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