Wolf Hunter Kills Malamute

Pet dog shot six times

News Outside Online

Malamutes are often used as sled dogs due to their strength and indurance     Photo: Kyslynskyy/Thinkstock

A Missoula man's malamute was fatally shot by a wolf hunter on Sunday. Layne Spence was skiing with his three dogs near Lee Creek, Montana, when Little Dave, a two-year old brown and white malamute, was shot in the leg.

“I started screaming ‘Stop, stop,’ and the man kept shooting,” Spence told the Missoulian, noting that the hunter was 15 yards away, holding an assault weapon. “I shouted ‘What are you doing?’ and the guy said, ‘I thought it was a wolf.’”

The hunter reportedly shot the malamute six times and took off without another word. Spence carried Little Dave back to his truck and immediately filed a report with the Missoula County Sheriff's Department when he returned to town.

“Not every big dog is a wolf," Spence told the paper. "These are pets, they all had their collars and lights on, they were all with me the entire time ... I was standing right there."

Montana's general rifle season for wolf hunting is September 15 to March 15, 2014. This year's season has fairly loose regulations as state officials try to decrease the predator's population due to livestock and elk herd attacks. Lower fees, and a five-wolf-per-person bag limit are two of the major changes for the 2014 season, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

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