September 27, 2020

Backcountry Safety Course Likely Will Be Incomplete and Ineffective

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has plans for a backcountry safety course to teach people how to protect themselves against bears, lions and wolves when they, “…get into conflicts with people’s dogs.” And that may be the extent of it.

According to the linked-to article above Wyoming officials admit, “…wolf attacks on people are rare but sometimes wolves get into conflicts with people’s dogs.” Is this suggesting that if you venture into the backcountry without a dog, you will not be attacked by wolves?

Topics include how to use pepper spray and proper food storage. These are all well and good but why not present a complete an honest course on what MIGHT happen in order to properly teach people to be prepared? I just don’t get it.

Missing from this short list is how to be safe from contracting Echinococcus granulosus (Eg) from wild canine scat or other sources.

Will Graves, author of “Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages” and canine disease researcher says of the planned safety class, “This is a bit of ‘progress.’ Authorities admitting that wolves can, under circumstances, become dangerous. Also, there is the threat of becoming invected with E.g.”

To which Dr. Valerius Geist, professor emeritus University of Calagary, replied, “Agreed. But it could be better. Time will tell.”

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