Drew Zeiler thought he had done everything right before he let his three mountain lion dogs go on a set of fresh tracks Sunday afternoon.
In all that time, they had not seen any sign of wolves in the area.
This day wasn’t any different.
“We had run the roads every single day and had never cut a wolf track,” he said. “We were in the same area the night before and hadn’t seen any wolf sign.”
Zeiler and three teenagers were following his dogs’ tracks through the snow when the GPS collars indicated the dogs weren’t moving, which usually means they have treed a mountain lion.
“We thought we were going to be walking up to see a cat,” he said.
They came to a ridgetop and could hear the dogs barking. Zeiler guesses they were only 700 or 800 yards away.
By the time the four walked to the bottom of the draw and came back up the other side, there wasn’t a sound. The dogs didn’t come when called.
But the GPS indicated they were right on top of the dogs.
“Then we saw the first one,” he said. “You could see it had been in a big fight. It was ripped open.”
In the next few minutes, they found all three dogs scattered along the hillside. All were dead.