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Letter: In wolf killing, trust hunter in the field

Published on November 9, 2017 4:55PM

I read in your newspaper the opinion of a retired biologist of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife doubting the account of the hunter who shot and killed a female wolf while hunting elk in the Starkey Unit.

Evidently, the wolf was shot through the chest as stated in the article. This indicates to me that the wolf was not coming directly at the hunter but was at a perpendicular angle at the moment of the shot. I don’t believe that a high-powered round such as those used for elk hunting would deflect a bit going though a body of wolf so that one could come to the same conclusion of the retired biologist.

However, the hunter states that the wolf was coming directly at him at a measured distance of 81 feet — it is not stated how fast the wolf was moving but it couldn’t be but a matter of a few seconds before the wolf was upon him if it continued on its path. Under the same circumstances, I would do exactly as he did and shoot. Yelling, whistling or offering candy to dangerous wild animals that may or may not be rabid would be the very last thought that would occur to me.

So how do we re-counsel the hunter’s version (by the way, he was the only person there) and the fact of the bullet wound that the wolf was presenting a side view to the hunter when he fired?

Most rifle scopes are of a variable power of magnification — 3 to 9 power is common. The hunter states that all he could see was a furry mass through his rifle scope when he fired. If the rifle scope was set on a higher magnification level that is very plausible.

I surmise that the wolf tried to avoid the hunter and turned 90 degrees at the moment of the shot. This allows the hunter’s statement of the incident and the facts of the matter to jibe. May or may not be true but it is better to realize there may be different versions of the same incident.

Bill Timmermann



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