More on dogs from a reader...

posted Sep 15, 2016, 2:21 PM by Paul Wagner
Joe saw our post and sent us this:

On a recent trip to Emigrant Wilderness, a group of us setup camp on the south end of Upper Buck Lakes. Later that day, we encountered a group on of people on horses accompanied by an unleashed dog (looked like a Foxhound). They were looking for a campsite somewhere around the east side of Upper Buck Lake.

Later that night, we could hear the hound barking and some yelling by the owners. It didn't last long, but it sounded like the hound happened upon some night critters. The next morning, shortly after waking up, we heard the sound of an animal calling out, somewhere in the southwest side of the lake. We also heard the hound barking. We were surprised to hear the hound in this area since his camp was clear on the other side of the lake.

After a few minutes of this, we decided to take a look, but we did so cautiously, because we thought that the dog might have chased a bear cub up a tree. It turns out that the hound had trapped a fawn on a hillside. When we got closer, we could see the fawn was exhausted, laying down, and appeared to give up. The hound was holding the fawn by the hind leg, in his mouth.

We decided to move closer and start yelling at the hound to get him to release the fawn. We even threw some rocks in his direction (not at him), and after numerous attempts, he eventually let the fawn go. I tried to put myself in between the hound and the fawn, to keep him from going back. He was set on trapping this fawn. I'm guessing he is a skilled hunting dog.

During this time, the fawn was able to join up with 2 does nearby. I wasn't sure if the does and the fawn stayed together or not. I wondered if they might have abandoned the fawn because of the scent the dog likely left on the fawn. I'm not sure if that happens with deer.

We ate breakfast after that and we think the group on horses with the hound left the area. Later that night, we heard a pack of coyotes on the north side of the lake howling. We worried the worst happened, that maybe the does didn't stay with the fawn, but we really don't know. We were kind of bummed out about this.

Of course, it could have been different prey. That is nature, and nature happens. We reported the issue to the ranger station when we got back. Later that day, I got a call from a very concerned Fish & Game officer and told him the story.

There's probably not much they can do, but I'm hopeful the rangers will continue to reiterate to people with dogs that they are required to keep the dogs under control.