Wolf Attack Hunters Statements Posted

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Last week we posted an entry on the self defense killing of a wolf by a pair of Flathead Valley hunters. Currently the NewAmerican is running an article with written statements of Mark Appleby and Mario Benedict on the wolf pack attack.

Apparently the two hunters saw no fresh sign of wolves or other predators and felt comfortable enough to have lunch near the carcass for awhile before quartering up the elk. According to Mr. Pitman they were just starting to load the quarters onto the horses when:

[Mr. Appleby] turned and started to yell, "Wolves, Raymond!" I turned to see six or seven wolves at 20 yards or less coming in on us ... silently! No noise was heard. I pulled my .44 and fired a round up the hill as a warning. They didn't pause at all. So, I started pulling the trigger at the violent, incredibly fast pack of wolves. They were so close and [there were] so many of them. They were all around us from our 3 o'clock to our 9 o'clock [position], coming in for either the horses or the meat or us. We were definitely in a life or death situation..

Visit the link above to read the full account of each hunter, since earlier news stories did not appear to give solid details on the events leading up to and during the shooting. The US Fish and Wildlife is still investigating the attack and have not wrapped up the case.


BikerRN's picture

The US Fish and Wildlife

The US Fish and Wildlife is still investigating the attack and have not wrapped up the case.


I fear the feral bunny cops will conspire to make an example of these two hunters no matter the justification given to kill a wolf. I will continue to follow this case through BGH.

Flash, flash and flash

I can tell you when things are that confused all you can remember is flashes.

bear in the moon light looking down into my face, my nose almost touching his rump as he was turning to leave and i was attempting to sit up, and the flash into the tree he was standing beside (bear season not in) can't recall anything other than that, not retrieving the pistol or standing up.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

It does seem a little weird

It does seem a little weird though, some of their statements.  They almost seem more like that of a story, and not making a statement.  The line "So, I started pulling the trigger at the violent, incredibly fast pack of wolves" seems dramatic.  Who wouldn't have just said, "Those damn things were charging hard so I shot at them"?   I am not at all doubting their story, just seems like it was played up a little. 

CVC's picture

Maybe they thought their

Maybe they thought their statement counted toward points on the BGH contest?  Why say I shot at those damn things when you can use 10 times the words and earn more points?

gatorfan's picture

That's what happens when you

That's what happens when you give someone a chance to think about their "story" before you take their statement.  A statement taken at their trucks right after the event occured probably would have been much more entertaining!  Your version of just one statement would probably be tame! 

I would probably have needed a shovel!

gatorfan's picture

Well, you can add wolves to

Well, you can add wolves to my short list of animals I don't wish to hunt "with"!  I read the original story and didn't think much else about it.  Reading the accounts of the guys that were there really brings more emphasis to how dangerous this situation really was!

Has anyone else thought about this to the point where you ask yourself, "What would I do"?  I am thinking that if I had been in this situation, there would not have been any warning shots.  I think warning shots would be warranted to keep the wolves from getting too close.  Twenty yards is already waaaaay too close!  Of course, I would probably be in deep doo doo for taking out more than one wolf but at least I would hope to be around to show the warden where the carcasses were.

 I have seen enough documentaries about wolves to learn that they are very aggressive hunters and very effective at downing their prey when the hunt in packs to know that these two gentlemen are very lucky to be alive!  If they can take down a wild animal the size of an elk or a bison, I would think a “little” human would be pretty appetizing to them.  It is a good thing for these guys that they had the horses there to warn them.  Just imagine if the pack had been around the night before when he shot the elk.  He could have been taken out while he was posing for his money shot!

Keep your eyes open guys, we’re not the only ones out there “hunting”!


ecubackpacker's picture

Gatorfan, I often ponder that

Gatorfan, I often ponder that question while spending countless hours in the deer stand. What would I do in this situation or that situation? I was never a boyscout but I live by their motto, "Be prepared." That's another situation I can think about tomorrow if the rain lets up and I get to go hunting.

As  for the wolves, if they were to get to get within range and growl at me, I think I'd have to introduce them to the modern rifle and let them hear it "bark".

CVC's picture

gatorfan you ask what we

gatorfan you ask what we would do and that is probably a good question to ask before you encounter the wolves and find yourself in that situation.  Best to have a plan and not need it then to have to think about options while staring at hungry wolves.  I didn't have a plan until you asked the question and here is what I would do.  The old saying of better tried by 12 then carried by 6 comes to mind. 

If it was just a casual encounter with a wolf or wolves I would leave because they are beautiful animals and the law protects them.  However, if I was in anyway fearful for my life I would kill the wolves without hesitation.  Let the wardens prove it wasn't self defense.  I cannot imagine a greater horror than being eaten alive by a wolf.

In the hierarchy of life, I as a human rank about a wolf and if it is a question of my life or my hunting partner's life or the wolf's the wolf is going down.

hawkeye270's picture

"Raymond said, "We need to

"Raymond said, "We need to get the hell out of here!" and I agreed with him as we both feared for our life at this point. I dropped the backstrap and started to follow Raymond down the road as his horse was almost dragging him and mine was doing the same. We got about 50 to 75 yards down the road when the wolves were howling right next to us on the side of the road. I said, the bastards are following us, maybe trying to kill us or the horses. I told Raymond to shoot into the trees at them as we were trying to get away down the road. And that's what he did. At that point the horses were totally out of control — damned near dragging us away. For an hour and a half back to the truck it was a rodeo with the horses as they were scared to death, spinning around and trying to look behind them for wolves."

From their own mouths. I can not imagine being in their shoes. That would have been one heck of a terrifying experience. That is the risk you take when you enter the woods but from everything I have heard, these guys are completely innocent. They had the right to protect themselves with deadly force. I don't see any room to charge them with anything from the reports that have come out so far.

CVC's picture

Hawkeye wrote, They had the

Hawkeye wrote, They had the right to protect themselves with deadly force. I don't see any room to charge them with anything from the reports that have come out so far.  I agree with you one hundred percent, but unfortunately, predators more deadly than the wolves they faced are circling the hunters right now.  Just like the teenage girl that killed the albino moose, these hunters killed the sacred wolf and the antis, I am sure, are pressuring those investigating to find the hunters at fault.

I don't see how they can be charged.  The men, rightfully so, feared for their lives.  This should be the end of the story.  I can't imagine the terror they felt with the wolves so close.  I am glad they kept their presence of mind and defended themselves.  We need to keep following this story.