What ravens, dogs, sheep and grizzlies all have to do with a Big Hole ranch

Editor’s note:

This story is part of the Lee Enterprises series “Grizzlies and Us.” The project examines the many issues surrounding the uneasy coexistence of grizzly bears and humans in the Lower 48, which have come  into focus in recent years as the federallyprotected animal pushes farther into human-occupied areas. The 10-part series, comprised of more than 20 stories, was produced by outdoor reporters and photojournalists across the Rocky Mountain West.

 

Black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, wolves and eagles have killed a few sheep over the years on Erik Kalsta’s ranch on the Big Hole River.

Ravens, though, have massacred his lambs. And in a strange roundabout way, it may be grizzly bears that actually help solve Kalsta’s raven problem.

“I would not hesitate to say we lost at least 50 lambs last year to ravens,” Kalsta said.

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Jami Murdoch walks among her flock at the ranch she and her husband own near Glen. The couple uses livestock guardian dogs to protect their sheep from predators. 

Meagan Thompson, The Montana Standard

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