Thursday, July 25, 2019

Wolves and Ranchers

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.

A Surprise - Christmas in Texas - is FREE July 25-27 and always free on KINDLE UNLIMITED.   Enjoy.

You can find all my books on Amazon


  1. Wow, I had no idea a wolf could do so much damage, so many killings, I'm glad it was caught , I would only think that the wolf felt it had to protect itself especially after have been caught on the cage where he lost some of his toes. Animals are wild creatures and we just cannot trust them at all for sure. I surely learned more about wolves on the post. Thank you so very much, you are greatly appreciated. God Bless you.

  2. As Alicia wrote, I had no idea a wolf could do so much damage. I’ve used them in two of my Montana books. I felt bad about killing several in one book. Good information, Patricia.