Skip to comments.Ranching, recreation collide in the great outdoors
Posted on 11/28/2009 4:13:30 PM PST by missycocopuffs
Reporting from Camp Hale, Colo. - As soon as Renee Legro saw the sheep, she screamed.
The herd, 1,300 strong, has been coming for 30 years to graze in this valley on the backside of the Continental Divide. But as Colorado has become an adventure sports destination, the once-empty valley has filled with hikers, campers and mountain bikers like Legro, and she was about to tragically embody the collision of the old West with the new.
Legro, 33, screamed because she knew what came with the herd -- guard dogs. Shortly after she rolled down a hill and came upon the sheep, a dog leaped at her, locked its jaws on her hip and yanked her off her bike.
A second dog pounced as she fell. The two enormous canines, powerful enough to fend off bears, tore at her until her cries drew two campers who drove them off. The emergency-room doctor lost count of how many stitches she required.
To Legro and her husband, Steve, there was one person responsible -- Sam Robinson. One of a dwindling number of sheepherders in Colorado's mountains, Robinson, 54, turned to guard dogs a decade ago, after the state banned the use of traps to prevent mountain lions, coyotes and bears from destroying herds.
"We don't have any other option," Robinson said.
The Legros see things differently. In their years of hiking, biking and skiing the magnificent open spaces near Vail, they have fled from ranchers' dogs several times. "I cannot bring my dog up to the forest and let it run wild and attack people," said Steve Legro, 37. "Neither should anyone else."
They wanted Robinson charged with a crime.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
So when did sheepherders start using Pit Bulls for herding sheep...
(did I miss anything)
IF you are going too fast to avoid a herd that size, you are going too fast.
Second, they knew the herd had guard dogs, yet still went into the herd.
3rd - I dunno about you - but if I know there are “mountain lions, wolves, etc” in them thar hills, I carry an equalizer, I perfer the kind that start with the number 4.
The same kind of folks who would sue the appropriate agency or entity if they were molested by bears, mountain lions, badgers, etc.
” But instead, the couple from Vail were charged with being Yuppie while outdoors, criminally stupid and sheep abusers.”
.. and those were the polite charges
The libs are the ones acting like pit bulls.
It obviously couldn't be they who are responsible. Them missing the state's culpability means they are libs for certain.
People making a real living and raising your food, have a right to.
Go somewhere else.
Hey it could have been a guard llama, think hooves and teeth.
There is a ring of truth in that statement.
The gal is from Chicago - would she decide to ride her bike alone through a tough neighborhood after dark?
The mountains have their own hazards - I've lived in the Colorado mountains, and there are things you need to know that you just don't do - such as hiking through avalance chutes in the winter (but some idiots ski down them). She chose to disregard those hazards and keep riding into dusk to feed her ego. And when she got hurt, it was someone else's fault, instead of a result of her own bad judgement. What if the bike broke and she spilled and hit her head on a rock - would that have been the bike manufacturer's fault?
I wish! Instead, the sheepherder was found guilty. He was supposed to have taught his guard dogs to attack mountain lions and coyotes but not strange creatures on bicycles who might also look as though they were attacking the herd. And the suburbanites who think they have some kind of right to wreck someone else's life and ruin their livelihood while in pursuit of recreation didn't even get a cross look aimed at them. The poor sheepherder must be heartbroken. Damn suburban liberals, I hate them. (How much do you want to bet those were Obama voters?)
A very logical presumption.
Skiing over by Salt Lake City a few years ago, my husband and I saw posted signs along a trail indicating that livestock guardian dogs were in the area and what to do if one encountered them—slowly back off—and I actually felt better knowing that the dogs were in the area.
I was being a bit of a punk - if you keeping working dogs you also have the responsibility to train them to not atack human - except on command. The Numi opened a freeking “dog park “ in the park across the street from me and I now I have to chase the blanky-blanks out of yard all the time.
In town it’s a carry pistol, when we get on the outskirts of town - were we have a well known wolve problem, I carry the 1200 - nothing like a pump gun to say goodbye to critters.
We don’t have pets and if we take the grandkids camping, ALL of the adults carry something that starts with 4 - or bigger.
I was hoping Santy Klaus would bring a Bushmaster 450 this year, but it looks ike that ain’t going to happen....
I have been run off of trails by obnoxious bike riders though. The bikes also cause trail erosion making the trails rocky and rutted.
Sister’s husband supervised sheep herders. I visited them and came across multiple sheep flocks with their herders and sheep dogs. As long as I did not do something stupid like riding a bike into the herd or screaming and rushing the herd, the dogs (and herder) was no threat.
Deer hunted in the mts many years. Common to encounter sheep herds w/dogs and herders. In and around the sheep, etc multiple times. As long as I did nothing brain dead like charging into the sheep or anything along those lines, the dogs did not view me as a threat and so no problems.
But then again, I never acted like a stupid, brain-dead, Liberal and charged the sheep yelling/screaming/etc. Maybe if I had acted like an idiot, then different.
Not sure, as not brain dead around animals, having hunted around sheep/dogs/herdersa and worked farms/ranches.
“As soon as Renee Legro saw the sheep, she screamed...and rolled down the hill at the sheep anyway (screaming....sounds like her best rendition of a Banzai attack).
So, she screamed and on the bike charged into the sheep herd at speed anyway. Too dumb to live obviously. She obviously is a person who would get into trouble at a childrens’ petting zoo.
Ranchers always take it in the butt if anything, and I mean anything, goes wrong.....no matter whose fault it is.
Exactly. Now that I think about it I have seen dogs with the herders before. They were smallish like Aussie sheep dogs. Nothing I would be afraid of if they did get snappy. But that has never happened. I forgot all about them because they didn’t do anything to leave an impression on me. They are quiet and meek unless they perceive a threat to the sheep.
Threaten a herd with guard dogs and face the consequences of your stupidity.
Wonder if the knobby treads on her mountain bike was tearing up the trails and leading to more erosion? Lady, stay in town and eat tofu.
Because of her stupidity lives are ruined. You would think she wouldn't have a big smile on her face.
I lived in Idaho for many years and encountered sheep herds quite a bit hunting and riding horseback South of the Sawtooth Range. It was a common sight back then. Now, I can envision this stupid woman riding a mountain bike through the herd screaming. It’s no wonder the dogs attacked her. The dogs did their work well. Too bad the shepherd has to be punished for her stupidity. Just the way the world turns anymore. Sad.
He has no problems with coyotes - or anything else for the matter. Walk up the herd, no problem - running, as he explains to me, is NOT a good thing.
The dogs hair and color are to the point they are all but invisible in the sage - unitl they stand up.
Then, you just wet yourself....
Actually livestock guardian dogs are raised to work almost completely alone. They are raised with the sheep all their lives and feel like one of them. Their only job is to protect "the family" from any threat they deem important, usually by chasing it away but attacking if necessary. They are not "command controlled" in the sense that other service dogs are, since the shepherd isn't always nearby. Livestock losses drop considerably when these animals are used.
You have me there - my experiance is limited to sheep herding and the dogs I know of always work with a human.
When the BIL is in town, they put a ‘temp’ out in the field - in this case, the dogs keep on eye on the temp as well. I had thought of going over during the deer season so he could have an extened time off & I could could get a shot at -
a big deer
This is NOT meant as an attack on you or your post but we like big dogs and actually looked in to this breed.
From the article: Though not trained to attack people, the dogs, both white Great Pyrenees, were fierce protectors of Robinson's herd.
Size, Proportion, Substance Size--The height at the withers ranges from 27 inches to 32 inches for dogs and from 25 inches to 29 inches for bitches. A 27 inch dog weighs about 100 pounds and a 25 inch bitch weighs about 85 pounds. Weight is in proportion to the overall size and structure.
What kind of idiot rides screaming at speed into a flock guarded by this kind of dog?
Many posters here need to reread the article, but this time pay attention to the part where she says she came over a hill and into the herd.
As someone who has lived in Vail, and mountain biked Camp Hale, which is one of the races in the Vail Town mountain bike series, this is an issue of access. Personally, as citizen of a constitutional republic, I put the lady’s right to access above that of the sheep herder, who has, more likely than not, hired illegal aliens to watch the herd. My sympathy is with the woman who suffered severe injuries for the crime of riding her mountain bike, not with the sheep owner and his illegal alien herders who were no where to be seen while she was being attacked by the two Great Pyrenees.
The article says a decade ago they turned to guard dogs because the state banned the use of traps to capture lions, bears and wolves which were killing the sheep. Fourth paragraph.
...never heard of Great Pyrenees or any other sheep dogs attacking people. IMO, the suburbanite probably appeared to threaten the sheep in some way. Maybe the terminally suburban folks should consider staying in suburbia instead of moving to the Range and trying to regulate working class people with common sense off of it.
Those are definitely not the kind of dogs I have seen herding sheep in the Rockies. I am sure that if two of those were after my hide I would be scampering up a tree. But I doubt that I would set them off in the first place. Beautiful dogs BTW.
Yep, very stupid. It wouldn't surprise me if you could ride swiftly through a herd and get little or no reaction from the dogs if you kept quiet. On the other side of that coin if you stood still in the middle of the sheep and screamed you would probably be attacked. Common sense says you don't do either. Just ride slowly or walk your bike through, no problems.
I’ve walked by Great Pyrenees sheepdogs a few times. ...even petted some the neighbors’ dogs, when the neighbors weren’t around. One would have to frighten the sheep pretty badly to get those dogs to bite people, as far as I know.
First you postulate that he hired illegals which is not in the story then you state as fact that the illegals he hired were AWOL.
I have one thing to say to you. Shame they weren’t pit bulls.
I agree with you. People demand their rights constantly, but forget their responsibilities. This couple obviously haven’t a clue about their own obligation to know what behavior they ought to exhibit when out on the range.
As an avid knitter, spinner, and weaver, I wanted my own flock of sheep for years, remembering fondly the flock we had when I was growing up. My dad told me I was just in for heartbreak, since the ‘burbanites moving to the country let their dogs run free, including running sheep to death.
This woman should have done a little homework about how to behave when coming across a flock of sheep. She could have badly spooked them by screaming and riding into the flock that way. The dogs were just doing their job, in my opinion.
Screaming probably sounds like a sheep being attacked to a sheep dog. Sheep do a lot of bleating but when attacked they do scream like neurotic lib-chicks. lol
Yeah, herding dogs are completely different since the herding instinct is actually a modified attack and must be under human control. These dogs are usually high-energy friendly types that incidentally do their job by scaring the bejessus out of the sheep! Livestock guardians are the complete opposite. They want to protect the sheep because they think they ARE sheep too, and the sheep agree. They are large intimidating dogs, but very low key and quiet unless danger threatens.
Another city liberal discovers the real world.
She should go back to the city.
For the briefest moment I slipped into my “King of the Universe” fantasy mode where the two yuppies were taken by plane and parachuted over a remote stretch of Amazon jungle with only a pair of J Crew sweaters, some organic power bars, and a blackberry with no reception.
Stick it where the sun don't shine Steven and may "The bird of Paradise fly up your noise".
She is not from the city George, she is from Chicago...
Her sense of personal entitlement would be lethal if she were to charge a range bull like she charged the sheep...maybe next time.
Grand Pyrnees. Traditional sheephearding dogs.
Sheep herding dogs are agressive by nature. They are working dogs.
Thanks for the info. That’s what I like about FR - lots of smart folks sharing good smarts.