Jack Russell Terrier Trees Mountain Lion

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Jack, an aptly named 17 pound Jack Russell terrier more accustomed to chasing squirrels, treed a mountain lion near the family farm in Colman South Dakota. The Argus Leader has a write up about Jack, Virtus and Chad Strenge and a day they probably won't forget anytime soon.

[Jack] chases squirrels around their Colman farm every day, but he made such a fuss Tuesday morning that Virtus, Chad's father, had to step out of the shop to investigate. They could hardly believe what Jack had found. "He comes running back in saying, 'Get the gun, there's a mountain lion out there,' " Chad Strenge said. "I said, 'Yeah, right.'"

He grabbed the closest gun he could find - a 12-gauge shotgun - and took it outside. Sure enough, there he was: a full-grown, 150-pound mountain lion, up a tree and staring down at the barking terrier.


hawkeye270's picture

I definitely think animals

I definitely think animals understand size. That is why most cervid males only fight other males that are close to their own size. Antlers are a just another guage that they can size eachother up by and that is one of the commonly accepted ideas for the evolution of antlers. A small bear leaves a carcass as soon as a big bear shows up... cause he knows that he is going to get beat up if he doesn't scram. Canines evolved into a very successful niche living in large packs in which numbers helped them steal food from other critters. Canines and felids have a long history of competing for the same resources and therefore whenever they came across eachother, it was not going to be pretty. Wild animals have not lost the trait to fear canines... and it is pretty funny when that canine just so happens to be one that we have artificially selected to be small, yappy and cute. But as we move further and further into cat habitat, more and more lap dogs are going to get whacked. The way we have selected for the differenct breeds of domestic dog is interesting to think about in an evolutionary perspective. There is no way that a lap dog poodle would have ever evolved in the wild, yet they are here to stay... atleast for now.

CVC's picture

I asked the question about

I asked the question about size because the cat is definitely much larger than the dog and in my own household, our little four pound chihuahau rules the 80 pound lab.  He could swat her with one paw and be done with her, but he fears her.

As for your observation about lap dogs not evolving in nature, I find that interesting and insightful.  It is true, man has artifically affected evolution in an unnatural way.  Instead of survival of the fittest we created survival of the cutest.  Interesting observation.

hawkeye270's picture

I knew that Jack Russel

I knew that Jack Russel Terriers were pretty spunky and aggressive for their size but that is one bad little pup! I saw a show with Ted Nugent a little while back where they were hunting black bears up in coastal Alaska. The guide did not go anywhere without his Jack Russel Terrier. The dog was trained incredibly well and would not ever bark until the bear was dead. They did not use the dog for treeing or hunting the bears but rather it was just along for the ride. I could not figure out how the bears did not smell it though. I guess if they kept the wind right than it would not have any better chance of smelling the dog than smelling them but it still just seems like you might be hurting your chances by towing a dog around like that. It apparently did not hurt this guys' chances though. That dog has some real guts. It really shows the hatred and fear of canines that felids have. They have a long evolutionary history of competing with each other and therefore there is some pretty serious anemosity between them. Excuse the anthropomorphism.

CVC's picture

It is kind of funny to think

It is kind of funny to think that these little dogs can put fear into a cat or a bear.  There is no comparison based on size, but heart is another thing I guess.  Do you think animals understand size?  My chihauhau bosses around our lab.  It seems like spunk factor matters more than size.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Yeah for the little dog!!! 

Yeah for the little dog!!!  That's pretty cool.  No sad feeling for that cat, that's for sure.

bigracks's picture

jack russell trees lion

yes was wondering also why did he kill? was it killing livestock ,did he have a permit,  

ecubackpacker's picture

I checked the SD website.

I checked the SD website. Mountain lion hunting is only open to residents. The season runs 1 Jan- 31 Mar. The residents are allowed one lion with a permit. The season may end early if 45 total lions are taken or 30 female lions are taken. Also, if a private landowner doesn't harvest a lion during the season, they are allowed to continue to hunt on their property for the rest of the calender year. The permit is only $25.

I never thought about SD having a mountain lion season.

The funny part of the story is the 17lb JRT treeing a 150 lb mountain...That's one bold dog!

CVC's picture

As I thought about it, the

As I thought about it, the guy did the cat a favor by killing it.  Death is quicker and easier than a life of humilation of being treed by a little jack russell terrier.  The farmer was kinder than the cat's friends would have been to him once they found out what happened.

ecubackpacker's picture

I guess the question is

I guess the question is whether he needed a tag for a mountain lion and is the mountain lion managed for huntable numbers in SD. Some times if there isn't a huntable population and the game and fish dept isn't managing the lion for hunting, they may not require a license or tag.

You're right, there is a lot of information missing from this story. He could have livestock on the farm he is worried about being killed by the lion. Maybe he has small chidren to worry about with a lion roaming the farm.  The article needed to be more indepth to understand the reasoning for killing the lion.

CVC's picture

I have some questions about

I have some questions about the story.  Did the guy have a tag for a mountain lion or did he just run out and kill it for no apparent reason other than to kill it?  I certainly support the legal taking of a cat with a tag and license and killing on in self defense, but this doesn't sound like anyone was threatened by the cat.  The blog doesn't tell everything so I am left wiht questions, but I hope this wasn't just some indiscrimanate killing of a big cat.

gatorfan's picture

Very interesting!

Seems like this guy really wanted that cat dead!

Unfortunately, this brings more unnecessary bad attention to hunters (IMO).  Although the guy wasn't hunting, in the eye of the public, because he had a gun, he is a hunter.

My sister raises and breeds JRTs and I can attest that those little dogs have the aggressiveness of the biggest guard dog around.  They are fearless and relentless!!!

I'll be interested in reading the comments from others.  The subject of mountain lions seems to get very heated around here (SoCal).  I just showed my son a nice cat track that we found on Saturday morning.  If we would have actually been able to catch a glimpse of it, I would have shot it immediately!!!  Of course I would have been using my Kodak loaded with a 4 gig card...