HAMILTON - A Victor man will face charges for allegedly shooting two hounds that crossed his property in December.
The Ravalli County Attorney's Office filed two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals against Gary R. Mazade.
Mazade allegedly shot two hounds owned by Bob Kubiak on Dec. 15.
Kubiak was pursuing a mountain lion that had killed a dog and attacked a horse in the Bear Creek area earlier that month.
Kubiak was hunting with his two hounds, Tracker and Ruby, with a licensed hunter. Kubiak had permission to hunt from most of the landowners, but not Mazade.
According an affidavit filed in the case, Kubiak said he'd released the dogs on a "cold track" of mountain lion at about 9:30 a.m. About five minutes later, he heard three gunshots.
Kubiak and another hunter walked about 60 yards to Mazade's property line, where they found "no trespassing" signs. A tracking device showed the dogs were about 100 yards ahead of the men. One of the tracking beacons showed that one dog continued to move.
Mazade refused Kubiak and the other hunter permission to enter his property.
The dog, Ruby, was found just before nightfall about three miles from where the dogs were last seen.
"Ruby was scared and huddled in the creek bottom and would not come to Kubiak," the affidavit said.
The dog was shot in the neck. It was treated by a veterinarian and survived.
When officers interviewed Mazade eight days later, he told them he'd seen the hounds chasing deer on his property. He grabbed his rifle, hopped on his four-wheeler, and went after them.
After spotting the dogs, Mazade told the officers he shot three or four times. He said one dog dropped immediately and the other dog ran off, the affidavit said.
Mazade said he later told Kubiak that he didn't have permission to hunt on his property.
The charges, filed in Justice Court, said Mazade committed the offense of cruelty to animals by killing one dog and shooting the other.
Ravalli Republic editor Perry Backus can be reached at 363-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.