Jack Harris's Link
Turn the tables back to the shooter. Through reliable sources - he had no intention of shooting a dog. It was low light, and he never saw the collar (know your target...). Look at the picture of "Tonka". Shooting coyotes while in the act of deer hunting is ALWAYS LEGAL in NJ. He could have covered up his mistake but he was the one to call the authorities. He has tried to make amends with owners to buy them new dog, but they are not ready for that. It seems some politicians have grasped the issue and all that United Bowhunters of NJ have fought for may be undone.
A sad blow to all involved and all that will be impacted...
Know your target, know your target, know your target....... Just thought I would share this with our National bowhunting community - perhaps this knowledge could prevent a similar mistake from being made elsewhere. This is one genie that will be impossible to put back in the bottle.
Bottom line, the shooter made a HUGE mistake that all NJ bowhunters will be paying for. He didn't try and hide his mistake.
I thought all states, counties, cities, townships, etc. all have leash laws.
I had a serious conversation 3 years ago with a neighbor who let his dog shit in my yard and walked off!
Two things for sure; 1. Has she been a responsible dog owner and not allow her dog to roam this would not have happened.
2. Has he been a responsible hunter and made sure of his target this would not have happened.
His dogs shit was scooped up with a shovel and tossed onto his property.
Being a dog owner takes a lot of responsibility. Why folks who let dogs roam have to understand there are going to be mishaps.
If the dog ran into the street after a deer the dog owner would be 100% responsible for the damage to the vehicle!
Why did they not keep their dog on their property? You know the property that they are paying for, the property for their personal use?
The hunter must assume / accept all responsibility for this one.
A shot on an assumed target ??? " SAD "
The dog was only doing what dogs have done since being domesticated .
As Jack stated,
KNOW YOUR TARGET !!!!
Cool looking dog.
? EDITOR: My dog was shot and killed last night (Wednesday, Sept. 20). I was walking him around 7 p.m., and he must've seen some deer, he took off into the woods.
There is a small section of woods that connects a bunch of our properties. I called him right away, loudly enough that not so close neighbors heard me, and followed him.
Within a minute, a man shot our sweet dog, Tonka, with a cross bow. He was killed within 200 feet of our house and several other houses (that also have small children). The man claimed that my dog looked like a coyote, even though he was there to kill deer. My dog had stopped running before he was shot...probably about to come back home. The police and game warden confirmed that my dog does not look like a coyote. "Hunters" should know what they're shooting before they shoot, especially with a scope. He had a collar on and was clearly someone's dog. Never in a million years could I have imagined that this would happen. The man who killed my dog had permission from one of the neighbors to hunt on their property. How can this be allowed?
There is essentially a stranger with a gun in the woods. My 9-year-old usually has him on a leash running all over the place. Thank God he wasn't there with him. I'm telling you this because I love this town and I wouldn't want to this happen to anyone. This man will be fined and probably lose his hunting license for a few years, but that will never replace the pain or the hole in our heart that our family has. We live in a community.
There are children everywhere. How can hunting be allowed so close to so many homes? How can people with guns, who don't live in our town, be allowed to walk the woods? I was following Tonka, if the man had misfired, that cross bow could've headed my way. There must be a way to change the rules.
We don't live in the sticks. Our houses might not be on top of one another, but I can see many neighbors from here. There are so many kids in this area. I understand that you are allowed to hunt on your property and I acknowledge that my dog left our property but that not an excuse to kill someone's dog - the sweetest of dogs that was wearing a collar. How is it OK that we can let anyone into our community with a weapon so close to our homes, without telling the other neighbors? I wish that I knew that someone can shoot with a cross bow more than 150 feet from my home without my knowledge....but the bow can travel further!? How do I explain to my 3- and 9-year-old that their 1-year-old dog was shot and killed right outside of their home? My 3-year-old won't remember, but my 9-year-old, who cried himself to sleep last night, is forever scarred and will probably never want to play in the woods again. The man who killed Tonka left the woods and then called the police after we had found him and after he heard me screaming and after we had called the police. I wonder if he would've turned himself in if we didn't find Tonka. Our home feels empty and our hearts are very broken today. That's the end of my rant, but not the end of my new mission to make a charge
As far as the husky, I could see how someone would think that was a big coyote in low light. My neigbor used to let her dogs run free up here until I explained to her that I hunt coyotes at night and one of her dogs would look exactly like a coyote with night vision. She didn't stop letting the dog roam free and eventually it disappeared - when I was away. It was not me.
JK!!! I shoot a recurve too lol. But ya that arrow peno doesn't add up.
I have lived most of my life in farming-ranching communities. I have seen the damage that a couple of small dogs can do to livestock and how many small game species get killed by cats. It really blows my mind how people with pets can be so stupid about letting them run amuck. Also amazed by the numbers of dogs and cats dumped out to fend for themselves.
I will and have shot a number of domestic “pets”/feral dogs and cats chasing and harassing wildlife or domestic livestock. Absolutely not acceptable for people to let their pets run wild and they should expect them to be killed either by a responsible landowner, hunter, or just someone driving down the road.
But in the CouldaWouldaShoulda department...
If you're hunting right close to a lot of houses, shouldn't you ask the landowner about coyote problems and neighbors' dogs, and neighbors' dogs that look like coyotes, and which neighbors treat the landowner's property as if they owned it themselves?
I COMPLETELY disagree with the "bereaved" dog owner's position that A) the 50-yard minimum is inadequate (it is more than ample for archery gear) or that B) it should be legally mandated that landowner A MUST inform landowner B that A is allowing hunting, and of course C) it's completely off the table to think that B should be able to prevent A from hunting (or allowing others to hunt) on A's property, provided that minimum safety setbacks and all other legal requirements are observed.
On the other hand it sure seems polite and sensible to TELL your neighbor that someone will be hunting your land and offer to introduce the Hunter in question to the neighbor so that they can discuss any safety concerns or considerations.
Yeah, PITA, right? Hunting shouldn't be that complicated. But frankly, Hunting is not an activity that really belongs in the suburbs - just unfortunate that the deer never got the memo and suburban hunting just happens to be necessary. But on the up-side... what if you introduced yourself to the neighbor and that led to no-hassle recovery permission and/or additional acres to hunt?
I just have to wonder, though... Why did this guy shoot an animal that "looked like a big coyote". Did he "know" that it WAS, or did it just look like that's what it could be....in a residential area... where neighbors probably do have big dogs (and that looks like one BIG freakin' dog). I got drilled HARD on 100% target certainty when I was a kid, and that just seems like a REALLY bad bet.
Funny how obvious Common Sense becomes in Hindsight.... I guess that's why it's GOOD that we see these sorts of things when they do happen; just hope the fall-out can somehow be contained.
Feel for her family, and the guy made a stupid mistake. Plenty of mistakes to go all around for sure.
Agree with the harassment of livestock and such above. Have personally dealt with several situations like that..... one just a couple years ago. Wasn't with bows, was shotguns with 00buck. The rancher that owned the calves the dogs had killed (deer too, but he hates deer...) was so happy we now have rights to several more of his properties. He said we saved him a good deal of money those dogs were costing him.
This isn't farm country where feral dogs are running and a problem.
You could be hunting land that's 2-3 acres. I could actually see people getting up for work in one area I hunted.
Bummer for the hunter and dog owner.
its the pet owners responsibility where their animals are and what they're doing - laws saying don't let your animals run through other peoples property would be better IMO
This dude should have known what he was shooting at. IMO he shouldn't be allowed to hunt if he can't identify species.
The dog should have been on a leash. Both are at fault here. Sometimes dogs get out.
Probably deserve to lose hunting rights there. And introduce some species identification courses if people are going to be stupid.
After reading how many people defend killing pets here I'm glad they banned hunting in our immediate area. Wouldn't want you guys to shoot my dog if she gets out and chases a squirrel.
That’s as different a situation as could be.
That means you end up spending more time observing the animal, and in a case like this where evidently the dog owner was following behind and calling after the dog, you would think that there would be a lot more information available to the shooter before he went ahead and made that crappy decision. Too, the farther out the shot, the greater the chance of skipping an arrow or bullet off into the distance.
So honestly, I think there is a Safety-related case to be made for limiting or even prohibiting magnification power on scopes, or just banning them outright in Archery seasons.
And again, I don’t know about you guys, but it’s a lot harder for me to judge the size of an animal through binocs or a scope. Yeah, you can judge RACKS, but I’m talking body size and mistaking a fawn for an adult or maybe a dog for a coyote. Biggest deer I ever shot was one I took for a 1.5 YO basket-rack - I decided he was kinda small, but good enough for my purposes at about 75-80 yards out and that (combined with being 20 feet up) was enough to prevent me from realizing how big a deer he was even at 7-8 yards when I finally took him.
The whole situation stinks for all involved!
Regardless of how it happens and what happens....if your dog is on someone else's property it's tresspassing. The hunter made a mistake but, keep your dog on your property and it won't happen.
Also....it's a freaking dog. Many people are more upset when a pet is killed than they are if it was a person. I love dogs but they are animals and I hold them in such less regard over any human that I can't even quantify.
Typical bleeding heart knee jerk reaction....let's make a law and this will never happen again!
But, wow, is there ever some disgusting, putrid arrogance displayed by a few in this thread. Feeding the anti's tremedous ammo you idiots.
That said, the dogs owner constantly notes kids... as if her dog would never hurt kids. Having seen many times where technically illegal off leash dogs, walking in local state forests (where hunting is legal) have charged my family, including my kids, even knocking my daughter down once. The owners always have the same response, "fido wont hirt anyone"... said as the dog growls menacingly.
This sucks, and hunters will take the brunt... but man, dog owners need to be better too!
So I will give this hunter the benefit of the doubt............................................especially since he admitted his mistake and took responsibility and called the authorities. He could have very easily drug the carcass out and nobody would have known what happened.(or at least could not prove anything)
I think most of the blame should be put on the irresponsible dog owner- if the dog was leashed, this would not have happened. But in this day and age, people don't want to take responsibility for their actions(or in-actions). The hunter did in this case and the owner did not, or she would not be trying to blame the hunter!
Just to clear up a few points that are important in the eastern states: 1. According to the dog owner the shooting occurred about 7pm. That was about 15-20 minutes after sunset, and was still within legal shooting hours. Visibility was limited. 2. Coyotes in the east are bigger and their colors vary much more than western coyotes. I have trapped various color phase coyotes on my farm and they were twice the size of coyotes that I've seen out West. That dog could easily be mistaken for a coyote by an experienced hunter.
The dog owner wants to be notified when hunters are present on her neighbors property. I'd prefer that she notify neighbors of when she will be turning her dog loose to chase wildlife and trespass.
The hunter that accidently shot Tonka might be critical to keeping this bill from getting passed. His testimony is important because it appears that he was legally hunting property with permission and wasn't expecting a housedog to be chasing deer.
Of course, this all depends on what the NJ law is for loose dogs and if they are allowed to chase wildlife on neighboring properties.
I would hate to see a law that restricted hunting all because Tonka was breaking the law.
The end point, to me, still comes from basic hunter safety courses - know your target. If you have ANY doubt, dont shoot.
The dog owner was wrong, the dog was wrong... But the person/people with the weapons are the one's who will be most scrutinized which is a bummer. But it's life. It's a horrible reminder, but a strong one, that like it or not, "we" have to work harder than everyone else at being great ambassadors.
Think of what happened to Walter Palmer when he shot a lion a million miles away. Now you're talking about a guy who killed a pet dog right here in the States. Some people will save their dog in a fire before they save kids. Not a chance he wants his name out there.
I'm not a dog lover by any means, but I have seen my wife love a dog and I think that there would have to be a heck of a good reason before I loose an arrow at a domestic. Chasing deer isn't one of them in my books, but if a dog ever threatened human life I would have zero hesitation.
The owner being careless, or the dog not being aware of it's life being at risk is not relevant fellows. 10 yards , 500 yards , or a 1,000 yards from a residence. The dog did not know it had a careless owner, and In all probability the dog never thought of it's self as a coyote.
The HUNTER MADE THE DECISION TO SHOOT !
It remains the responsibility of each hunter to, KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SHOOTING AT !
I'm sorry to say this, but his willingness to come forward does not excuse his poor decision.
When I had a golden retriever we had a fenced in yard. Dog stayed in there at all times. Out of the blue, 3 years later she all of a sudden figures a way to dig out one area and gets out, wants to go explore the neighbourhood. So now everyone should shoot her because she's no longer on my property? I get it, the responsibility is mine, but everyone needs to understand this is real life guys. Be it work, family, play or pets, things can sometimes take an unexpected turn and a dog can run loose. If shooting it is your first reaction I honestly think there is something wrong with you. As I've said I'm no dog lover, I never wanted one, but I can understand that there are people who are (like my wife), and for THOSE people I understand that I would not want to kill their dog and crush their spirit like that. We should all want to get along in this world and shooting peoples' pets isn't going to help that.
A completely different situation is one where a neighbor has a pet that they consistently let roam because they simply feel like it. You talk to the owner, it's against the law and if the animal is a consistent problem and causes damage, and you're within the law, well then...sss can't blame you. I think I would personally try and make it expensive for that person to have to retrieve their animal from the pound consistently, but maybe I am slower to anger.
We had a good young dog; never any trouble. One night he did get out. About 3:00 AM he woke my parents up because he was stumbling around in their room. Somebody - probably someone who was ticked off at some other irresponsible owner’s dog - had put out a little “treat” for the dogs that were causing a problem, but it was OUR dog that had his liver destroyed. Poor pup never had a chance.
So frankly, at least SOME people deal selectively with the problem dogs.
“Almost shot a large rotweiller coming thru the pines in bear season. Only reason I didn't was that at the last second I heard the dog's chain/collar rattling.”
That was part of my earlier point about scopes weapons.... they take the game out of earshot.
Wrong for me to assume that this guy shot any farther than I normally would with a recurve, but at 15-20 minutes after sun-down, the light-gathering ability of an optical sight can REALLY stretch my effective range vs. the brass bead on my .45/70 or the silver blade of my .54, or even a FO sight pin on a bow.
Jack - that is a darn big coyote! Seeing that coat removes a lot o’ doubt, but the mass of his muzzle would give me pause... especially in silhouette.
But when in doubt..... you’ve gotta be smart. On the private property I sometimes hunt, the owner has been asking me FOR YEARS to kill any coyote that gives me a crack at him; I know what his dogs look like and the place is big enough that there is no way I should see anyone’s stray pet on that property. So under those conditions I might be aggressive. On a 2-acre parcel, probably a lot less so. It’s just s situational awareness issue.
I've had animals get out I get it. I have land that borders a highway and one of my cows got out awhile back, she got hit in the head by a big rig at night. Should I pursue laws outlawing trucks near private property, of course not it's my responsibility. Had the truck not been driving at night to avoid law because his truck couldn't pass inspection he wouldn't have hit her. Still my fault. Had he not hit her someone else might have because she was not where she belonged. A dog shouldn't get shot cause it gets out once but when an animal runs loose anything can happen and it's on the owner to deal with the consequences.
1. Eastern guys who are familiar with coyotes can understand the mix up occurring because eastern coyotes have dog/wolf genetics and so are larger and colors vary widely. Western guys can't fathom the mix up because their coyotes are smaller and have more uniform coloration.
2. Eastern guys (mostly) feel that a dog is going to do what a dog is going to do and that the hunter is ultimately responsible. Conversely, the western guys (mostly) feel that if a dog has left it's owner's property and gets killed that it was the dog owner's fault. It seems that the dog owner habitually let her dog chase wildlife on numerous properties.
I'm not trying to start a debate but was just noticing the differences among hunters in the east versus the west. It seems that we are all brothers from different mothers...
And although I feel the hunter is ultimately responsible, I just don't agree that he should be MORE responsible than the dog owner that let her dog run free. Especially when the hunter broke no game laws and did the right thing by notifying the authorities!
I just can't understand where people get off crucifiying this guy for an honest, and VERY understandable mistake!
BUT...what has always kept me from releasing the bow string, is the fact that I could not be 100% sure, and didn't want to be the hunter featured in the story above.
You see something that looks like the animal in your trailcam pic running towards your stand at last light chasing a deer. What do you do? Quick........................."what do you do hotshot???!!!" ;-)
And that family shouldn't be allowed to own an animal of any kind for the same length of time.
Both sides are idiots.
What do you do? You ask yourself “what is the worst thing that can happen if I take this shot?” And then you ask yourself “what is the worst thing that can happen if I choose NOT to take this shot?”
Seems to me that elkstabber had the right take on the analysis when he noted that in the east it is easier to mistake a coyote for a dog. Unfortunately, in this case… The shooter mistook a dog for a coyote, and all hell broke loose.
You just have to be aware of your situation and what the challenges are and what the risks are.
If you’re in farm country and letting a big coyote walk will likely allow it to take some livestock, you’d more likely be excused for erring on the aggressive side. Or if in an area where large coyotes have demonstrated an inadequate level of respect for human dominance.
But it’s a funny thing..., even though I had the one landowner anxious for me to address the coyotes that had been mauling his dogs, I’m sure there’d have been hell to pay if I’d shot the neighbor’s pet.
I do agree, though, with the guys who’ve noted that dogs and coyotes have very different gaits and body language - even how they hold their tails is different....
Gotta pay attention to all the details and let down when anything doesn’t seem right.
At least if you’re hunting where there are lots of people and pets.
I guess I can just identify with this guy because I could see it possibly happening in a few spots I hunt. And you can talk what-if scenarios all you want, but sometimes while hunting crazy stuff happens, and sometimes it happens FAST and you don’t have time to run all the scenarios thru your brain!
And elk yinzer.............................maybe if there weren't so many folks afraid to shoot at a coyote, they wouldn't be so aggressive! ;-)
Sounds like maybe having dogs isn't such a great idea..............one less dog is no big deal
Maybe we should stop protecting dogs from us, and start protecting our kids from dogs.
Sorry got all the domestic duties caught up and can't go hunting until next week so I'm bored !
Yes, we have bigger and more varied colored coyotes in the northeast but I never saw a dog that I thought was a coyote at bow hunting distance. Watch them for 5 seconds and their movement and behavior is completely different.
Maybe you missed the part of him turning himself in???
That’s why you need to do it BEFORE it happens.
To kill or not to kill: if anyone doesn’t think that’s a decision that requires some forethought, that’s someone who has no business being allowed out in public with any form of weapon. Ever. And by “in public”, I mean not even in their own back yard.
I agree that you run those scenarios thru your head well before you go out to hunt. BUT............................in the real world you don't always have time to think! Just like all these cop shootings...............................................I'm sure all of those officers had years of training and running thru simulated scenarios. But when the crap hits the fan, sometimes there is just no time to think and you just have to go with your gut. That's all I'm trying to say here.
Loose feral dogs in the woods is never a good thing. No one ever admits rover gets loose by accident or they are purposely let go to fend for themselves if no one wants them. Typically in a rural area just outside of the main urban centers. Dogs are great companions ( I can't have one due to severe allergies which sucks more than anyone can know.) but also can be very dangerous.
We had in incident in MN in early 80s when a feral pack tried to take a kid from his Mothers arms. Apparently they were stuck in the ditch from almost colliding with a deer. They get out of the van and shortly afterwards here comes the pack that was chasing the deer. An attack insued and lucky for the two of them another vehicle came and they were scared off by honking horn, etc. As the story goes a few days later the local community mounted on horse back, ATV, vehicles etc. and tracked the pack down, exterminated them. Something like 20-25 mixed breed dogs in the group. I have heard this story a number of times in my lifetime, tracked down a few folks for an interview who actually participated in the event. No real documented cases of wolves taking people in the woods but feral packs of dogs will....
Not to be overly cynical, but… If a dog turns up dead on private land, it’s a pretty good bet that the land-owner has a very short list of people who’ve been given permission to hunt on that property. Doesn’t exactly take the World’s Greatest Detective to figure out who the shooter was.
Coming forward was the right thing for this guy to do, but it’s not as if he had a chance of getting away with it otherwise.
I just think it reflects an appalling lack of situational awareness to think that a guy could be hunting in the suburbs, in the evening, at right about the time when people are coming home from work and getting out walking their dogs before it gets dark, and this dog owner is somewhere in the background calling “TONKA! TOOOOONNNKKAAAA!!! Here, Boy!” And it evidently didn’t occur to this guy that somebody’s dog had gotten off the leash.
Bottom line is that this guy screwed up, and you are either willing to make excuses for him, or you are not.
I am not. And I don’t think anyone else should be either. I do think this is one of those stories that I like to be told in every Hunter Ed class in the country from now till the end of time, because these are the sorts of Bad Decisions that affect everyone who wants to be able to hunt in this country.
If you’re not part of the Solution....
But that is why… If you go back all the way to my first post on this thread… I did specifically mention that the calculus can change a bit if the owner of the property that you’re hunting has mentioned that there has been a problem with large, aggressive coyotes in the area.... I had that exact scenario crop up on one property that I was hunting were the owner's Vet had told him straight up that the only way he was taking his dog home this time was in an Urn, because he (the Vet) was DONE salvaging Coyote-mauled pets and that he would stitch up the dog one last time ONLY if the Vet could find her a new home.
Maybe the important point here is that not everyone who hunts for deer is actually qualified to make a judgment call as to whether a particular canid is a latrans or a lupus or some kind of mix?
Growing up, I had a miniature collie that was a show dog, he was very docile and timid. we had to leave him with some friends for about a year or so that lived on 60 acres out in the sticks... He turned pretty wild very quickly. He would kill rabbits, birds, etc. He would chase anything that that would come around, including deer. We didn't find out about this until after the fact. Well, someone shot him... I guess he went on a neighbors property and was reeking havoc. broke my heart as a kid, but I understand as an adult.
These people were at "home". I understand that they were walking the dog but, this was their home. So, I don't get the "letting them run lose" mentality being used here as a defense of the guy's actions. He made a mistake. One he will pay for. One I'm sure he is having to live with. The people did too by allowing their dog to do things like this. A dog is only going to be as good as its discipline. If you choose to walk your dog leash free, you'd better be sure they know when you give them a command, to follow that command. When they don't, it is up to you to make them understand that the next time, it'll be in their interest to do so. So, these people need t rethink their approach too. I'm not sure how they feel about deer. And, being a suburban home owner living with them, it likely wasn't good feelings either. But, this dog's actions would have escalated too. Wouldn't have been long before he was trailing them for miles with no better discipline then it expressed when she hollered at it to come back.
It's an unfortunate circumstance for sure. God Bless
Ironically, there are coyotes in my suburban neighborhood (3-4 miles from appropriate habitat) and they have killed quite a few outdoor cats in recent months. Keeping those cats indoors would not only save their lives but keep coyotes out of our neighborhood.