A thrilling hunt ended in the worst way for several Montana cougar hunters, as a harrowing night led to an unexpected and sad end.
The dogs’ owners, Phil Soucy, Clyde Carpenter and Todd Hittle, were chasing the cat between Flower and Parmenter creeks, just two miles from the edge of Woodway Park on Feb. 2.
The hunters circled the area to look for fresh wolf tracks heading in the direction they wanted to free the hounds and finding none, deemed it safe for the dogs.
They were wrong.
“Initially, this has been one of my greatest fears,” Soucy said. “When you turn your dogs loose, it takes the fun right out of it. It turns my stomach in knots.”
The three dogs, Sadie, Dan and Roy, were killed by wolves shortly after they were set loose, Soucy estimates. The bodies of the dogs were recovered the next day.