View Full Version : Run in with dogs

December 10, 2007, 12:40 PM
This past saturday while hunting with my brother and a freind I had a run in with three very large dogs. I had gotten a call friday night from my brother. A good freind of his had invited us to hunt on some private property with him. The property has been posted for many years because the owner had a cow shot and has found bullet holes in his barn after past seasons. This past year he had a big problem with deer eating his crops so he wanted us to take a couple doe. late in the morning I was walking in a field toward a wood lot and up a small hill in front of me a very large angry looking dog appeared. It began to bark and growl at me. It was about 75 yards away at this time. I stopped and waited to see what it was going to do. It then ran at me closing the distance to less than 50 yds. When it stopped I pulled out my .38spl(didn't want to have to shoot it with my 270). Just then two more equally as large and mean looking dogs came running over the hill straight at me. The first dog also opened into a dash straight at me. I fired one shot about 10 feet into the ground in front of me and the two trailing dogs immediately ran back the way they came. The first dog though just stopped about 10yds in front of me growling and showing his teeth. I pointed my pistol at it but did not want to shoot as I did not know if it was one of the farmers dogs. I started to back away and every step I took back it came foward. I shot the ground again this time less than a foot in front of it and it finally ran off. After it happened I was informed the farmer only had one dog and it stayed in the house.
Would you guys have done the same as me or would you have shot the first dog when it didn't run away from the frist warning shot. It didn't have a collar and now I am worried it may hurt one of the farmers children. I told him about the incident and he said he hasn't seen any dogs around but that he will keep a look out for them. If he sees them he plans to put them down.

On a good note we did take three doe and the farmer has invited us back for late muzzle loader season after christmas. This morning I stopped by my brothers house on the way to work and dropped off some butterfly steaks I cut out of one of the backstraps from my deer. He is going to drop it off with the farmer and thank him again for allowing us to hunt his property.

December 10, 2007, 01:27 PM
Your cool head and rational thinking amazes me...i would have:

1) Peed my pants

2) Ran

3) Climbed a tree

4) Shot wildly and missed

And not definitely all in that order.

Seriously, tho, I had 2 dogs chase me and my cousin once, and we ran into the brambles, all because we did not have any guns. If we did, we would most definitely have shot them...a warning shot would not have occurred to me, so I admire you keeping cool under pressure.

December 10, 2007, 01:29 PM
I'm probably not the right one to ask, but after the first shot, if it came any closer I would have capped it and apologized to the farmer afterwards. Dog bites can be very nasty to treat.

December 10, 2007, 01:34 PM
Sounds like given the information at hand, you did the right thing. I am sure you would have shot it before getting bit...

Might want to clarify with the farmer that you will shoot the strays as well. Probably dogs people have dropped off.

When I was a kid and would visit my uncle, we would have to take baseball bats with us if we were out in the "back 40". The abandoned dogs would all pack-up.

The Tourist
December 10, 2007, 01:35 PM
Yes, you showed admirable restraint.

Yes, I would have also peed in my pants.

But I would have also shot the dogs without even a second thought.

I love dogs, I own two of them. But I have no respect for idiots who let dangerous dogs run. In effect, the dog pays the price for the owner's stupidity.

But safety is a real concept. I make my wife carry at least pepper spray when outside with our dogs. We've had one loser who let his pitbull run free all day, and I've been surprised by a dog not tethered who ran out of a garage to see my dogs. I had no choice but to scoop up my dog and figure out if additional action was needed.

I was not pleased when the owner came out, and explained "she always does that."

I felt like saying, there are always guys who shoot.

December 10, 2007, 03:06 PM
You did just great for just having the information you had at hand. The bottom line is that you used good judgement and more important, did not let them hurt you. I will never let any dog bite me and if one does, he won't get another chance. Had a simular situation a few years back and I was fully aware the the land owner did not own any dogs. One dog actually trailed me after I thought I had lost him. Did not like seeing them out like that. Later asked the land owner and he said that they were the neighbor dogs, with some displeasure. Told him that I felt I should take them out and he said; "Understand that I am not telling you what to do and don't care to have any further conversation about any dogs." Talk about a green light!!. Sadly did not see them after that but will be ready if I ever do. Remember Colonel Klink? I see nothing, I know nothing. Would I do it?? Who is going to know??!!;)

December 10, 2007, 03:15 PM
You did the right thing. I had to shoot a dog once I and still think about it even though it was going to bite me. Turns out the dog was hurt and enraged because of its injury.

December 10, 2007, 03:38 PM
The first dog though just stopped about 10yds in front of me growling and showing his teeth. I pointed my pistol at it but did not want to shoot as I did not know if it was one of the farmers dogs. I started to back away and every step I took back it came foward. I shot the ground again this time less than a foot in front of it and it finally ran off.
I understand you not wanting to shoot the dogs if they were the farmers. I do not tolerate agressive animals very well though. If this dog wouldn't back off after the first warning shot I wouldn't have gave him a second regardless if it was the farmers or not.

December 10, 2007, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the replies. If I had been hunting in one of my normal areas I would not have even given the warning shot but I was a guest on this man's land. I don't know the farmer personally. My brother's freind knows the guy from his church.
Might want to clarify with the farmer that you will shoot the strays as well.He has expressed his wish that if I see any of those three dogs again to go ahaed and kill them. I will however not be shooting at just any dog I see on his land.

I understand you not wanting to shoot the dogs if they were the farmers. I do not tolerate agressive animals very well though. If this dog wouldn't back off after the first warning shot I wouldn't have gave him a second regardless if it was the farmers or not.When it didn't leave after the first warning I was going to shoot it but then I remembered the conversation he had with us about someone shooting one of his cows. If I had shot it and it was his dog I am sure we would not be hunting there anymore. In my area getting access to a huge plot of land like his when nobody else hunts it is something special. Shooting the farmers dog would not have been right if it had not yet attacked. I still had a small buffer zone between us and the gun was aimed at it while I tried to back away. I think it would be like me inviting someone to my house and they shot my dog in my yard because it growled at them.
I would not have left it bite me though. If it would have made any other quick movement toward me I am sure I would have shot it. Its kind of funny I was going to leave my pistol at home that day. My wife always asks why I need a little revolver when I have a rifle. I carry it because you never know what kind of two legged creatures you will run into while in the woods. I think if all three would have attacked I would have had no chance of cycleing a bolt action rifle quick enough.

I just hope his kids don't run into the dogs. He has a couple little kids and I would hate to think that they got hurt when I could have killed the animal before hand.

December 10, 2007, 06:01 PM
You did good, I know that after the first and only warning shot if the dog did not stop and run I would have put him down. Glad you are OK and did not get hurt. We sometimes run across some strays on our land. :)

December 10, 2007, 08:47 PM
Another vote for your good sense and nerve..............

Being your basic coward my second shot would have killed a dog.

December 10, 2007, 09:04 PM
I'd say you did good too.

Had a similar situation a few years ago when hunting. Was walking back to the truck at dusk with my 12 year old nephew in tow. Three dogs came charging up the logging road we were on behind us. I turned, shoved my nephew behind me, leveled my Mossberg 835 at the lead dog and drew an imaginary line in the road. Had the lead dog (a pit bull by the way) crossed that line he would have caught a heckuva load of buckshot for it. He checked up about 10-15 yds away and just barked and growled. I postured up and stomped my foot a couple times in his direction. Eventually he turned and took off the way he came with his two buddies tailing him.

I kept my shotgun unslung the rest of the walk back to the truck.

T. O'Heir
December 10, 2007, 09:10 PM
Dogs that are allowed to run free are dangerous. Pets or otherwise. Lots of idiots think nothing of dumping an unwanted animal in the bush with the stupid idea that they can fend for themselves and not cause any trouble. They chase deer and have no fear of people. They're routinely shot up here.

December 11, 2007, 12:30 AM
You did the right thing by not shooting. If the farmer will let you, I would go back, hunt the dogs, and take them out. Wild dogs can be more dangerous than wolves and coyotes because they have no natural fear of humans.

Boris Bush
December 11, 2007, 01:41 AM
Last time I shot a dog it was one that would run around my wifes grandmothers farm like it owned it. Sat on the porch and wouldn't let her leave, or go in her house. The very next day after I learned this it did not like me shooting 'chucks on the farm and let me know it. It ran at me, growled and stopped 10 yrds from me.... Front sight, trigger press, dead dog and a happy grandmother. Shooting the dog may save a childs life. Animals that show that kind of blantant agression towards humans should be killed.

December 11, 2007, 03:02 AM
My first instinct is that any dog that "challenges" in the wild -- snarling instead of barking, showing the teeth and growling while advancing, gets put down. This is in contrast to the dog that stays 15-25 yards away barking and flashing it's teeth, maybe moving to the side or backing slightly. This dog is simply indicating he's unsure or afraid of you for you to stay back.

If in doubt, planting a shot about 8 ft in front of the animal to kick up dirt at them should discourage them.

roy reali
December 11, 2007, 08:56 AM
A good friend and I were just leaving a public hunting area in Northern California. We were approaching the parking area. We had just unloaded our shotguns and brought our dogs into "heel'. As we started across the parking lot we saw a very large German Shepard type dog standing at the other edge of the lot in some gras. This was a huge dog. It was staring at our hunting dogs. There were no humnas to be seen.

We both, immediately started to reload our shotguns. As we closed the actions some low-life looking jerk came out from behind some bushes and grabbed that dog. He put it in his truck and tore out of there.

We wondered if he was setting up to see weather his dog could take our dogs. It was as though he wanted a dog fight to occur. Seeing that our dogs had armed referees he decided the odds would have been against his dog.

December 11, 2007, 10:15 AM
I never said you didn't do the right thing, I just said that I wouldn't have given the dog a second chance. I grew up farming and ranching and I've had a few run in with dogs rarely with them being agressive towards me by more towards the farm animals. I've even had to shoot some dogs that were killing livestock even though I knew who the owners were. Somtimes I'd follow the philosophy "Shoot, Shovel, Shut-up", sometimes I'd tell the owner what I'd done.

I'm glad things have worked out for you.

December 13, 2007, 09:49 AM
if it were me i would have given it a warning shot low in front. but the next 1 would have been a kill shot. i refuse to be bitten by any animal. wild or domestic. during bow season here in nj its different. you can't carry a firearm as a backup. some states allow the carrying of a pistol during bow season. i recall a story my father read somewhere that a guy out bow hunting encountered a small group of dogs. i a public forest out in the middle of nowhereville. they were being very aggressive , snarling and showing teeth. 1 started towards him. he did not have a firearm so there was no chance of a warning shot. he picked out the biggest 1 in group and shot it. luckily the rest fled. when i hunt private land i check with the owner if they have animals especially dogs. i tell them leave them inside. and i ask if they happen to know of any wild ones that may be around and if i am allowed to shoot if i must. i have no problem with defending me and mine. some people have no sense on controlling their animals. there is a leash law

December 13, 2007, 10:09 AM
Thanks again for the comments. If the farmer will let you, I would go back, hunt the dogs, and take them outI wish I could do this but because of my schedule I will not be able to get back out there until after christmas. We will be hunting deer in the late muzleloader season then. I will have my pistol with me in case it is needed. I hope to see them again so that I can correct what I feel was a mistake. The more I think about it the more I think I should have just shot the dog and taken the chance of upsetting the farmer. When the dog advanced as I backed away I should have tacken that as its intent to attack and just shot it. Lesson learned, hopefully I never have a similar situation, but if I do it will end with a dead dog.

45Marlin carbine
December 13, 2007, 11:20 AM
IMO you did well, restraint is wise when a guest on someone's property. post #14 is my POV, and you might inquire of the land owner if a buddy or 2 tags along to take out any group of feral dogs. some years back (still is AFAIK) Georgia had a bad feral dog problem, the F&G people let it be known that they would not ticket anyone carrying a firearm on state run (F&G commision) land during closed season while looking for the dogs.
there was a large pack running loose here in county I reside in, I got one of them when he came forward at me while outside mowing (I always carry a .32 derringer in pocket, just as I do my knife) and tried to get a shot at them again later that p.m. with my 10/22, this pack killed a herd of sheep a few miles off, over 40 IIRC. finally some folks started baiting them in and shooting them. it's amazing how ferocious even smaller dogs get when packed together, really brings out the aggression.

December 13, 2007, 12:21 PM
You did the right thing. On unfamiliar property you don't want to mess around. Up by our hunting property peoples' dogs wander. While our's stick pretty close, they're very protective. "Wouldn't harm a soul," but if you're a stranger and master's not there, you'll get a bit of barking. If I shot any of the neighbors dogs that wander up to our property, or if somebody shot one of our's, that'd be a problem. I would generally avoid shooting dogs unless the danger was imminent (you were understandably on the threshold there). Who knows though. Dog that was wandering on public land and growling at me at the campsite a few turkey seasons ago ended up making interesting company when he came around. I dunno, I guess I just distinguish very sharply between pets and wild animals.

December 15, 2007, 02:25 PM
Sounds like you did the best thing with the conditions & info you had. You sure kept a cool head! That one dog sounds like he was crazy or rabid, when a warning shot didn't sway him.

We used to have a neighbor who let her dogs run loose all the time, I don't even think they had collars. Well those dogs killed a couple of our pets, shook em to death right on our property. These dogs killed some neighbors chickens too. Some other livestock was attacked but nobody could prove it was these dogs. This lady thought her dogs were little angels.

That, and stories like yours are why nowadays when I woods walk, I carry at least a cap and ball in case any stray vicious dogs are about.

I see strays that are not bothering anybody and they pass unharmed. But, if they turn and come at me, I already know I can't outrun a dog.