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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:00 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Denver
I'm w/ Bighorn. Chalk up another response for leaving your dogs at home. I'm a huge animal lover & thus so, vegitarian, but I'm way not into having them in the backcountry & don't go w/ folks who want to bring dogs.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:11 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Colorado
My dog loves the B/C, and Bays like crazy when you ask him if he wants to go with. That being said....I learned a tough lesson last year when I lost him for a week.

To me....it is an increased resonsibility on an owner to make sure the dog respects the rules of the B/C just like a human. Additionally....it is an increase in the owner's responsibility to look after the dogs well-being, and not to intrude on the group.

Mine is a very easy dog that always follows, and never chases wild-life. He still had an issue last year that almost killed him, and I learned my lesson for watching out for him. BUT...I can't deprive him of something he loves. It actually puts a smile on his face (don't take my word for it....my friends can attest). It sure beats his day job of driving my couch.

He doesn't bother wildlife...he doesn't bother other riders...he doesn't wear a beacon and run the risk of causing problems during crisis (yet another debate)....He just loves to throw down BIG LINES!

but.....his poop just might end up on your skins....if so....I hope that skin belongs to a telemarker!!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Maine
You were doing so well, then not even a :wink: on the pinhead slap! We're in for it now :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:11 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Colorado
sorry....I don't do smilies



or ride with telemarkers :D

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:24 am
Posts: 162
I suppose MBH wouldn't have enjoyed the Bozeman Chronicle's article from a couple weeks ago about hunting cats (it's not like LLSplit shot the darn thing). Although it sounds like the cat part just gave him a good reason to vent about his disapproval of dogs in the BC.

I don't own a dog because it's too much to worry about if I go somewhere (flights, Y-stone, etc) and can't take it with me. I do like dogs and never mind people bringing their dogs into the BC when we go, as long as it's not wearing a transeiver, but there have definately been times when were in places that I wouldn't bring my own dog - if I had one. And when Ellie kept stepping on my split/ski tails last weekend...

Give me my 2 cats anyday. They don't need to be walked and with a pile of food and an open toilette bowl they can be left alone for days at a time. :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:21 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 351
Location: bozeman
Quote:
I suppose MBH wouldn't have enjoyed the Bozeman Chronicle's article from a couple weeks ago about hunting cats (it's not like LLSplit shot the darn thing)


Actually when our group was coming out from our trip in the absarokas the other weekend there were two guys(alright alright...hillbillies) who had some nice hounds and were out looking for cats. They were in the right place since we saw some pretty large cat tracks that weekend.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:29 am
Posts: 144
Location: Nelson, British Columbia.
I don't usually make long post in forums, but if you're a dog owner and a backcountry rider I encourage you to read this.

I mentioned before that I owned 10 dogs. I keep a team of Alaskan Huskies for dog sledding here in Salmo. I also own a collie that I've trained as a bear dog. As a tree planter we've probably had 25 bear encounters together. Whenever I see a bear, I'll stop and train with her (blackies only I never mess with grizz). She barks and runs circles around me but never chases. I wouldn't try to suggest that dogs have no place in the wilderness. It all comes down to the owner/ handler's level of responsibility.

That being said, I don't believe that dogs belong in mountainous winter environments. There are a number of good reasons to leave poochie at home. It is easy to run unexpectantly into wildlife. Nobody rides with their dog on leash, it's not practical. Inevitably poochie is running free. The bobcat that LLS's dog flushed was probably not harmed in any way. A single encounter would not likely displace a bobcat. But how busy is your backcountry area?. How many people or dog encounters might this bobcat have on a busy weekend?. Enough harassment would displace a wildcat from its territory. Driving out predators has a major affect on ecological balances.

My particular backcountry area, the Salmo Creston Pass in BC's Kootenays, has some amazing and very rare wildlife. Stagleap Provincial Park was created in the Pass to protect this wildlife. On any given weekend 200 people might come out to ride in the Pass. 30 or so dogs might come along. Dogs are not permitted to run free in the park at any time of year, but park funding is low and enforcement non-existent. I've seen Mountain Caribou, Wolves, Bighorn, Lynx, and grizzlies (summer) in the park. The herd of Caribou is particularly sensitive to intrusion. This herd, known as the South Selkirk herd, is the only herd of Mountain Caribou that makes a migration into the lower 48 (Idaho,Wash). It is currently holding out at 36 animals, which makes it the most endangered mammal in the United States. Mountain Caribou depend on tree lichen for winter survival. The best source for tree lichen is old-growth fir and spruce which is protected in the Park. Old-growth is becoming harder to find outside the park and the Caribou's habitat has become fragmented by various land uses. This is where your dog can have a very negative impact.

Many mountain dwelling mammals have adapted to such an environment as a means to avoid predation. Lynx, Snowshoe Hare, Pine Martens, and Mountain Caribou are all highly adapted mammals. The Mountain Caribou have huge hooves that allow the Caribou to walk through deep snow that wolves and cougars cannot get through. The Caribou like to live in the high-forested basins and ridge tops where the snow is deep and not accessible to predators. This is also the place where we like to snowboard. To a caribou, the scent of a dog is indistinguishable from a wolf. The accumulated scent of 30 dogs from a single busy weekend would make it seem like a huge pack of wolves was in the area. The result, the Caribou have been forced out of the park in the winter. The area surrounding the parks is marginal habitat (it's been heavily logged). The Caribou cows are pregnant this time of year and without proper food/habitat and added stress from human/dog interaction, calf survival can be compromised.

You might ask why you should care about displacing animals from your backcountry area. If you ride in a sanctioned and protected area, it could mean the end or the restriction of your winter access in that area. Most backcountry user are very conscious of their environment, and don't want to have a negative impact on them. The commercial resorts have done enough damage, and I think we can do way better. I encourage all dog owners to have a balanced approach when bringing their dogs into the Wilderness and our Parks. Don't bring them out in the winter when wildlife is already stressed. Keep them leashed and under control when you do bring them out. And if you see wildlife while you're out there, insure that your dog does not harass them.

Ride lightly, dog lovers!.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:29 pm
Posts: 339
Location: Reno, NV
I have never seen an animal while riding in the BC besides birds, marmot, and a bear (once inside Kirkwood's permit area). Have heard coyotes I guess, but not nearly as much as at my house, which is almost nightly.

MBH's points are valid though, and my bringing my dog would be reconsidered if I thought that protected wildlife were affected.

Why the anti-dog-beacon from some though?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:15 pm
Posts: 2598
Location: san diego CA
I think you are 200% wrong on your statement that a dog and a wolf have the same sent to any wild animal. My dog lives in my house, he picks up smells from this enviroment. A wolf lives in the wild . he carries a much different set of olafs which is what all "smells" are made of . Now you may be correct in saying in causes fear , but I dont think the two smell alike to any wild animal. And how do you think the same pack of caribou think about your sent? I believe it sends the same confusion and fear as the smell of a dog or a wolf. So,I do agree with you but like most preachers you only believe in part of your stand. You go to these places which makes you no different than the dog. You are both intruders with strange sent.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:27 pm
Posts: 1452
Location: Denver
Big horn does have a point though. To a caribou a dog is a predator and something to be feared.
He also has a miss. Most areas in the US don't have such heards to worry about. Around my locals there is no such wildlife that is in danger of being displaced. I am not going to see a bobcat, Caribou, or even Elk or deer. I have seen a few rabbits and some ferret-weasel looking critters. None of these are displaced by a pooch running around.
Thanks for bringing up the topic BH and when I travel I will definitely consider what you've pointed out when I am deciding if I'll bring my dog along or not.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:29 pm
Posts: 339
Location: Reno, NV
I think P420's main point is that humans are feared predators too (and feared for good reason). Though it's been a while since I ran screaming after a wild animal for no reason (like some dogs (and Ted Nugent) do).

I did have a strange dog traverse across a bowl and chase me down to the bottom barking the whole way once. I felt very distracted and stressed and ended up leaving the bowl. I do not approve of dogs displacing natural predators in this manner. </satire>


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:29 am
Posts: 144
Location: Nelson, British Columbia.
Well, I'm not a biologist, and yeah sure a dog probably doesn't smell exactly like a wolf. But your dogs scent most definetly lingers and without a doubt has an affect. As far as human scent goes, in most cases it would trigger a flee response in most ungulates. Our Caribou are protected by law and not hunted. When I have encountered the Caribou they have not fled.

As far as small animals go I wonder if you have ever heard of the classic Lynx/ Snowshoe Hare predator-prey relationship. It is a well documented and studied relation. The hare go through population peaks and crashes which the lynx follow. In a crash year many Lynx starve and it can take years for the population to recover. In a crash year, a single Snowshoe Hare can make all the difference to a Lynx's winter survival. If that Lynx is a pregnant female, it can mean the survival of the species in that area. Dogs love chasing rabbits, no self respecting hound can resist. You might think that it's only rabbit and not an endangered species, but that Rabbit might be what the Lynx need for survival.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 351
Location: bozeman
Mighty Bighorn- You bring up excellent points. The area I was in sees quite a large number of traffic (MT Ellis). However I as far as I know this particular place and surrounding area has a rather healthy cat population as evidenced by the increasing number of tracks I have been seeing. As you mentioned your area has certain restictions in place already and the fact people choose to ignore this is horrible. We have many places surrounding bozeman that I either choose not to bring my dog or am simply not allowed(yellowstone park). I have no problem leaving my dog at home if I believe bringing him will have a negative effect on the places I love. I also think I have at least a decent understanding of how small things can have huge effects on ecosystems since I the reason I am in Montana is I earned my degree in geography and can't seem to leave(the very light fluffy snow might have a part in it also).

Dammit I told myself I wouldn't get into the whole dogs in the backcountry debate!

edit to add: Damn you guys are fast


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