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The Wolf Hunter Who Shot a Husky Was Just Sentenced in Montana Court 

A Montana hunter who killed a husky dog after mistaking it for a wolf last fall has just been sentenced to six months of probation.   

Last September, Amber Barnes was walking through the woods near her home when a “wolf pup,” came at her, allegedly snarling and growling. She shot the animal, skinned it, and posted the photos to Facebook. 

“[It] was a great feeling to text my man and say I just smoked a wolf pup,” she boasted in the original post, according to Fox News

It didn’t take long for other social media users to point out her error: The animal wasn’t a wolf at all but a dog, one of about a dozen husky-shepherd mixes that had been abandoned in the area not long before Barnes’s hunt. Unsurprisingly, the Internet was outraged at the mixup.

Barnes argued that she had a permit to hunt wolf pups, which is currently legal in Montana, and said she acted in self-defense. Barnes defended her actions on Facebook, but later removed her posts when the backlash continued, reports Fox News.

Gray wolves are common in Montana, but visually distinct from huskies. Image by Maxime Riendeau/Getty

Many conservationists argue that wolves are a critical part of Western ecosystems. However, anti-predator sentiments remain strong throughout the Mountain West, particularly among hunting and ranching communities who view them as a threat to cattle and other valuable game animals. As wolf numbers rebound, predator hunts may grow more common—and more popular.

Regardless, shooting dogs is still very much illegal. Authorities quickly put Barnes under investigation for animal abuse. On February 28, she pled no contest to one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty, reports KPAX, and was sentenced to six months of probation. She was also given a fine, which has since been lifted. 

The judge has prohibited Barnes from using her hunting rifle during her probation and has ordered that she enroll in a hunting education course. 

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  1. What a moron! If you can’t tell a dog from a wolf you have no business with a gun in the wilderness. I’m not anti-gun just anti-idiot.

  2. Jeanne Rasmussen

    This woman should not be allowed to hunt if she can’t tell the difference between a husky and a wolf. I think her sentence was far too lenient.

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