Idaho For Wildlife News Release:
Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Steve Alder, Idaho For Wildlife
Colt Killing - Dog mangling wolf is finally brought down!
After 36 days and nights of hell, Sun Valley couple finally realize the end to their wolfish nightmare!
Colt killing wolf finally downed by Kevin Swigert.
The wolf that killed the Swigert’s valuable colt on 2-13-2014 finally met its end on 3-21-2014 at 1:50 PM. The wolf was killed near the approximate location that it attacked two of their dogs on 2-23-2014. Hunters from around the region have been assisting the Swigert’s in dispatching this aggressive brazen wolf. During these 36 days, two sets of seasoned hunters became extremely unnerved when this same wolf snuck in on them from behind, coming only, "feet away," and giving them a shock of a lifetime!
The wolf appeared to be desensitized to gun fire. Many speculate that this is due to radical wolf advocates shooting off “hazing” shots to scare wolves away from hunters. This creates a very dangerous situation for human safety when wolves no longer fear gun shots! USDA Wildlife Services flew the area multiple times in search of the wolf. Hundreds of hunting hours were spent to harvest this wolf. Almost every night the same wolf would return to the area. Kevin Swigert used a very accurate long range rifle chambered in a 300 Winchester short magnum which was loaned to him from a friend to dispatch the wolf. The Swigerts had photographed the wolf tracks after the colt was killed and their dogs were attacked so it was easy for them to confirm this was the killer wolf. The Following is Kevin Swigerts report that end’s this nightmare.
The wolf that killed J.R. Luna Azul is dead. Although we cannot be sure there were not other wolves involved we can be sure that the distinctive track we have been following for five long weeks belonged to this wolf. Justice has been served for the painful death of our horse. At 1:50 pm on March 21 we walked out to the truck parked next to our house and looked out at the pasture to see all the horses alerted to the north. Not fifty yards away from where the two border collies were attacked a month ago we saw a large wolf watching the horses. I grabbed a rifle from the motorhome that was ready to go and braced against the bed of the truck, The shot was 321 yards but I estimated it was closer to 250. I took a deep breath and began to squeeze the trigger. One of our older mares trotted right between me and the wolf. I hesitated, which was actually good as I was forced to relax even more. I was determined to put an end to the ridiculous chaos that has plagued our entire life for the past five weeks. I fired, striking the wolf in the left side just behind the rib cage. The wolf was standing broadside but facing slightly away so the bullet passed through the wolf at an angle taking out his heart, the shot could not have been better. He jumped and ran about thirty yards and fell.
I have always tried to be respectful of every animal I have ever shot. We should never take for granted that we have the right and the privilege to hunt and harvest wildlife. I did not feel that way this time. I was filled with a satisfaction I have rarely felt, one of justified revenge for the malice this animal wrought in our life. I could think of nothing but the insanity that the past couple of months has brought. My wife sent an email to a few friends when our colt was killed. It was like a match struck in dry grass and the firestorm that ensued was beyond belief. My wife and I have, for twenty years been about as logical and middle of the road as one can possibly be when the subject of wolves came up. We have always been about legitimate, studied management. We have tried to carry on our lives and do what we do in spite of the hazards to our dogs and horses. We have tried every conceivable method of deterring wolves from interest in our animals. We have discarded those methods that don't work and invented new ones. We have, for fifteen years, been pretty successful and we have not felt the need to resort to lethal means. Our bloodhounds are the finest of the breed and they are valuable beyond words to us. They represent thousands of hours of hard, exhausting work and are there for the safety and protection of other people. They are man tracking dogs, they don't hunt animals, they hunt people. They hunt people lost in the mountains or people trying, mostly without success, to elude law enforcement. For our dogs to be referred to as "hound dogs" is insulting in the extreme. I can can only say those references are slow witted and ill informed.
We have spoken to few people and almost no media in the weeks that have passed, yet everyone with a keyboard has weighed in on their respective opinion about who and what we are. They have dissected very conceivable notion about this incident and have passed judgment on our character. We have been called devils and saints, we have lied through our teeth and exalted the greatest truth. In reality, we have just watched this firestorm engulf itself. To those who are in need of throwing stones, we are strong enough to take whatever they want to throw at us because we have one thing they will never have, the truth. The opinions of those people don't matter, we will continue to be who we are and we will continue to do what we do. We will not be swayed by emotional idiocy from the path we have always followed. There has been a divide defined that has simmered for a very long time and we are grateful that our colt's death could at least be a catalyst for positive change and recognition of badly needed address.
We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to every person that has lent their support with both time and energy. The staff at USDA Wildlife Services and the Idaho Fish and Game have been professional, supportive and deserving of our respect. For every person we thought was our friend and shown otherwise, we have gained a thousand more true friends. The world is not a dark place, it is filled with good people and the only real chore is figuring out who they are.
We also would like to give a very special thank you to Steve Alder and Idaho for Wildlife. Steve has gone the extra mile to make sure the story and timeline of these events beginning in late January were posted accurately and without undo commentary or critique. Steve posted the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and we are extremely grateful that there is one honorable individual out there. Every media outlet that picked up on this story turned it around and upside down to meet their own agenda. We have been called liars and frauds, that the colt was killed by our dogs and that there were never any wolves in this area at all. The truth will always come to light. My favorite saying is this:
"No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar" Abraham Lincoln
Kevin and Jennifer Swigert
A very relieved Mrs. Swigert proudly holding the rifle that finally put to rest her 36 days of hell
"What the fangs of that terrible wolf did to my little colt!"........Jennifer Swigert
The Swigert's stallion, "Little Blackberry", bidding this terrible wolf a much anticipated goodbye!
Why a wolf can kill so effectively.
Location that wolf died with house in background.
Kevin sighs in relief at the downed wolf as “Little Blackberry” looks on.
321 yard humane heart shot by Kevin.
Wolf weighed exactly 100 pounds
Both front feet held together showing the unique shape and size of the paws
Tracks of the same wolf that attacked their dogs
Tracks of killer wolf near house
Black hair on top of the wolves back where the stallion had bitten a clump out when the colt was killed
Looking back at the opposite direction.