Forums Splitboard Talk Forum A new reason to bring your dog into the backcountry
Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 62 total)
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  • #567471
    282 Posts

    If you’re skinning at 5am in the dark alone in montana your dog can tree a bobcat for you!!! Trust me it happened this morning. Kinda eerie.

    Rico in AZ
    559 Posts

    two nights ago i was walking my dogs around 10:00 pm. we were being stalked by a pack of coyotes. the dogs were going ape shit!

    25 Posts

    Years ago, my dog and I were hiking through an avy-felled aspen stand near Independence Pass. I was following her as she charted our balance beam course, just cruising along tree-to-tree, 5′ off the ground. I looked to my left to see a coyote, a few trees over, travelling the other way!:shock: Guess I was the only one not focused on the task, cause neither canine stopped.


    I’m don’t want to flame your post, but this exactly why you should leave your dog at home!. I’m a dog lover, I own 10 dogs, but I always leave them out of the BC. Allowing your dog to harass wildlife is just plainly irresponsible. A bobcat is not a danger to you, if your dog had not chased it, it would have remained hidden until you passed.

    What’s more, dogs cannot be trained for safe BC travel. I’ve seen a dog killed from a ridge top fall. That kind of ruined the day. I’ve also spent many hours looking for dogs who have fallen into tree wells or who’ve become lost on descents.

    Finally, there is nothing worse than your dog’s shit on my skins…

    1165 Posts

    @the mighty bighorn wrote:

    Finally, there is nothing worse than your dog’s shit on my skins…

    That’s the real reason isn’t it? You had a shitty time last time you went out with a dog! 😆

    340 Posts

    I agree with MBH that it is uncool to harass wildlife in the BC. Bobcats, bears, and coyotes are no threat whatsoever to humans and they have enough to worry about already (unless they’ve been fed of course – fed bear = dead bear). Not that big a deal, but I think it should be avoided.

    But… dogs rule in the BC with their quadrapedal design – much more stable than ours.

    (Gimpy and Buddy, photo by Joesnow)

    282 Posts

    Ok I guess I could no find the sarcasm font 😉 . Saying that my dog treed the cat was misleading. I had seen tracks and scat the whole way up and when I noticed my dog head off trail to snif some off those tracks I shot my headlamp in the area and saw the eyes in the tree. No barking, hissing or anything like that going on. I moved on pretty quickly and kept the dog away from where I saw he cat. I’m all for keeping the wild wild, after all that is why I choose to live in a place that has bears, cats, wolves(which my dog is a quarter) etc…… I knew it was only a matter of time before someone mentioned the whole dogs in the backcountry debate but I don’t even wanna get into that.

    Mighty Bighorn- BTW, I was near your neck of the woods last weekend. Great area, wish I would have had better visibilty, but new snow is always nice.

    28 Posts

    Touring with your dogs is the best! Fun for the whole family. My dogs are the reason I left the resorts in the first place.

    Hey knucklesplitter – that’s an amazing picture. It truly captures mutual joy. I grew up in Reno (Mt Rose and Sugarbowl). Where is that shot?

    By the way, I always pick up the dog poop and leave no trace. I want everyone to be happy. No big deal.
    And as far as the risk to the dogs, here’s what I figure:
    I know that I’m risking my life everytime I go into the BC but it’s worth the risk to me and I’m willing to take it. I’d rather live my life to the fullest and die in the BC than live to be 80 sitting on the couch.
    I guess I have the same philosophy for my dogs. Nothing makes them happier than to run free off leash in the snow. My dogs are sooo happy when they go touring with me. Dogs live in the moment. I think they would rather live a healthy, exhilarating life with the possible risk of it being cut short than sit around depressed and fat at home all day.

    Peace. No offense to all the fatsos.

    340 Posts

    Oops, that’s not my photo. I believe Joesnow took it at Horse Creek Peak outside of Bridgeport. Here’s the TR:

    2486 Posts

    Must be something in the air, took my huskies out last night to Misson Trails, a typical urban open space that peoplego to mountain bike, hike , ect. We were coming down the trail and my dogs were leashless running free and I hear the sound of coyotes. look down the trail and their were four of them, playing haveing a good time. I made sure I made some noise so there wouldnt be a supprise when they saw us. Three of them ran into the brush but one came within 25 feet of my male husky. He took off for a minute chasing the coyote , but I called him back. He turned around and the coyote started following. I would walk about 100 yards, squat down and the coyote would come up within 50 feet and stop. I walked another 100 yards,turn and he was still there. All the way back to the car. Didnt feel threatened or anything, just thought it was great.

    1165 Posts

    You are aware that coyotes are totally evil as far as your dog is concerned. They will go as far as to play with your pooch to lure them away from you. They will then gang up and kill you dog. It happens quite frequently.

    2486 Posts

    Maybe, but they dont scare me. I dont mind walking into them and trying to kick the shit out of them. Dont get me wrong, I love coyotes and love seeing them in the city, but thats just it I live in the city and in Southern Cal, you may find one in your garage. Just like rattlesnakes. Fire department is always going out to get a rattlesnake out of someone house. Oh yeah mountain lions. Loose a person every 2-3 years to one of those. And I mean in the city.

    30 Posts

    @knucklesplitter wrote:

    Bobcats, bears, and coyotes are no threat whatsoever to humans and they have enough to worry about already (unless they’ve been fed of course – fed bear = dead bear).

    Maybe it should be a fed bear = a dead human…no need to kill animals to let a stupid human live

    17 Posts

    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.

    44 Posts

    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!!

    25 Posts

    You were doing so well, then not even a 😉 on the pinhead slap! We’re in for it now 🙄

    44 Posts

    sorry….I don’t do smilies

    or ride with telemarkers 😀

    154 Posts

    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. 😆

    282 Posts

    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.


    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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