UPDATE ON THE STORY FROM THE MISSOULA RESIDENT WHO FIRST REPORTED THE STORY:
I’m going to update this post before it goes viral now that more information is coming in. I have always been about credibility in this fight against wolves. Right now my friend, son of the owner of the goats and sheep, is running a circle around the perimeter of the mountain looking for more tracks. So far he has sent me 3 clear pictures of lion tracks in the immediate area which line up with the female and 2 kittens I knew lived in the area. At first glance, even to the most informed person, this has wolf attack written all over it. That may not be the case as of right now. Wildlife Services and the local news station are currently at the kill site. Government trapper is saying all lion killed and the only few tracks that can be found confirm it. Still the big issue here for me is that this is not NORMAL lion behavior. For now live traps and snares are being placed on the property by the government trapper and it has been said that they will “euthanize” what they catch. Hard to hear being a lion hunter that has seen the drastic decline of lions in the Missoula Management area in the last 10 years. We are less than a month from legal hound season and would love to have the opportunity to harvest these lions legally but it appears that they will be killed off before we get that opportunity. Last year I had the chance to kill a couple of the lions I believe to be the same ones who made the tracks at the kill site but the 2 were just babies and needed their mom to survive without causing problems….hind sight is always best, I guess! Anyway, I’ll update again if wolf tracks are found on the ridge on the down wind side of these kills. We have to look at the perimeter to be 100% sure wolves weren’t involved but for now that may not be the case.
FYI to Missoula-area residents. A Missoula resident stated the following message in a Facebook post this morning and included the photo below:
Last night wolves killed 3 goats and 2 sheep at the Stewart residence up Pattee Canyon in Missoula, Montana. These animals were more pets than livestock. They would never consider eating them or selling them. All stayed in an enclosed area at night and have a huge sheep dog to guard them during the day. Last night was the exception. A new lean to had been built to shelter the animals in the coming winter months. The guard dog, getting up in her years, spent the night like any other night in the house but it was decided that the sheep and goats could stay out for the night to see if they would use the new lean too. This morning every single one was dead, and the wolves didn’t eat a bite! Another sport killing, and I believe this pack is new to the area. Notice the trampoline in the following pictures. These people’s grandchildren play there! Not 1/2 mile away to either direction are the busiest recreation areas in Missoula. You got the folf course to the west and a gated creek drainage to the east traveled by at least 20 people a day in the winter.