Dogs running deer?

Posted: Thursday, August 08, 2002

I spend much of my summer on South Douglas Island, the Lucky Me area where I have a cabin. The 14th of July I hear dogs barking in the woods behind my cabin. The next day two beautiful Irish setters with collars and tags came bounding out of the woods through my yard and down to the beach where they ran 300 yards and back into the brush. Both dogs looked "greyhound thin" and would not stop at a call or whistle. It was obvious to me that they were wild or semi-wild and were participating in an age-old pursuit of running deer. As the does have recently dropped their fawns and the area behind my cabin is a favorite place for does and fawns to spend June, July and August I can only assume that is what they are doing. I have seen this happen before several times. The fawns cannot outrun nor defend themselves they are so small.

On Aug. 5 the same dogs did the same thing, charged out of the woods on a full run, did not slow down and ran back into the woods only the smaller dog did not look as thin as before. In years past some owners have let their dogs run free until they get hungry and then they go home and rest up, feed and then return to the woods to run deer. This may or may not be the case, but if the owner of these dogs or anyone else knows of them please keep them at home or someone will end up taking care of them in the time honored tradition of wild dogs on Douglas Island. It would be a shame as they are beautiful dogs, one is older with a fair amount of white on the muzzle and the other is smaller and probably her (his) pup. As I said they both have collars and tags but neither will respond to a human voice nor will they break stride from a full gallop. Occasionally people will just turn their dogs loose when they can't keep them anymore but as they both have tags I doubt this is the problem.

If you have lost these dogs and would like help in getting them back I would be glad to help as I have a fair idea where they are. Please call me at 586-6986.

Tim Whiting

Juneau



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