Outdoors blog

Wintering deer harassed by dogs

Dogs killing deer is not a new problem in the Inland Northwest. Packs of two or more dogs roaming freely can take advantage of deer in deep snow or crusty snow that makes running difficult for hooved animals. Even house pets can revert to deadly predatory instincts when allowed to roam around deer that struggle to survive during winter. This deer was dragged down in a harrowing few minutes as at least three dogs bit chunks of flesh from its body before it finally succumbed. The 2004 incident prompted a story in The Spokesman-Review following a tip from a resident. (Rich Landers)
Dogs killing deer is not a new problem in the Inland Northwest. Packs of two or more dogs roaming freely can take advantage of deer in deep snow or crusty snow that makes running difficult for hooved animals. Even house pets can revert to deadly predatory instincts when allowed to roam around deer that struggle to survive during winter. This deer was dragged down in a harrowing few minutes as at least three dogs bit chunks of flesh from its body before it finally succumbed. The 2004 incident prompted a story in The Spokesman-Review following a tip from a resident. (Rich Landers)

WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT -- Washington Fish and Wildlife Deparment agents in the Spokane Region spent an unusually large amount of time last week responding to complaints about free-roaming dogs harassing deer.

At least five incidents showed up on the department's weekly report on enforcement officer activity. The cases were reported in Stevens, Lincoln and Spokane Counties.
 
In one Lincoln County case, loose-running dogs mauled a mule deer in the Mill Canyon area near Lake Roosevelt. The responding officer found the seriously wounded deer floundering in deep snow.  He dispatched the deer to put it out of its misery. Then he issued citations to the owner of the dogs.
 
Allowing dogs to harass wildlife is against the law.



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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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