AS the country expanded and people moved west, ranchers set up in the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana. They amassed large ranches and brought in cattle and sheep. One of the many hardships they faced was the wolf.
Just how much can a wolf eat? You might ask.
Contrary to the view that wild animals are peace loving creatures who only eat for food, ranchers often find cattle or sheep killed and not eaten. Sport killing exists in the animal ranks. Just ask any cat who terrorizes the local bird population.
And then there are those who mark themselves for history. Such is one wolf in particular known as Three Toes. The big wolf got his name from a trap that pinched off two if his toes. Speculation exists to the wolf's history. Some thought he used to be a pet or came from the north and had been a sled dog, but the animal had no fear of humans.
What did he do? He began his reign of terror in 1912 and was finally caught in 1925 by Clyde F. Briggs the government hunter. The animal is attributed to over $50,000 in loss of livestock
($250,000 in today's money), killing 66 sheep in one night just before his capture.
Three Toes territory ranged from North Dakota to Eastern Montana. He killed sheep, cattle, and horses and that is with a bounty on his head and over a 150 people trying to stop him.
Throughout history, other wolves have ravaged countrysides around the world, making their place in history, some as man killers.
The wild west was often a dangerous land with outlaws - human and animal.
~~~I hope you enjoyed this tidbit of history and Three Toes story. I don't advocate the use of traps or poison, but I can see that the ranchers were up against a dangerous and costly foe.
I write sweet historical western romance with a bit of fun and faith and always a promise of a happily-ever-after.
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