Well, at the risk of getting grisly, the first time I popped the beast was with #8 shot from my Winchester Model 12 (16 ga - a gem). Hit it in the buttocks as it was running away with yet another of our hens. It had already killed most of our 30-odd chickens and, worst of all, our pet turkey, technically a wild turkey who had wandered onto our property as a lame jake and decided to stay even after he'd recovered and was well enough to leave.

It had also killed several sheep and goats of our neighbors - I'd actually followed the dog from my car and saw it doing this. The neighbors said they'd shot, or at least shot *at*, the dog.

After nicking the pit bull in the rump from about 100 yards away, which would barely draw blood but cause a mighty sting, instead of fleeing it turned and ran straight toward me. I emptied the shotgun to no effect. Eventually I had to run and jump onto the roof of a car to get away from the thing!

I figured that would be the last we'd see of the beast but no, it returned later for yet another hen. This time I shot it in the neck with a .22 LR from a rifle - twice. It dropped the hen, which wasn't dead yet, and ran home.

Finally I realized the dog was absolutely crazed and nothing would prevent it from returning. The animal control officer in our rural county refused to come out to take a report. The local deputy suggested I just kill the dog next time it appeared. I spent the rest of the day with a .357 in a belt holster.

Sure enough, it came back. This time I grazed it in the head (the bullet just bounced off - pit bulls have notoriously thick skulls) and put one round in a shoulder.

Only after I called the animal control officer and told her I had tracked the monster to its home and would kill it right on the owner's doorstep if the authorities didn't act did she finally come out.

It was all very unpleasant. I don't take any pride or comfort in my actions. My grandmother wanted me to go ahead and kill the cur anyway just to make the neighborhood safer but I was worried that after all the fuss I'd raised it'd be me in jail instead of the dog's owner.

The best I can say of the whole affair is that the dog's owner has kept it chained up for the past two years. But I never allow my grandchildren to play outside unsupervised and I still carry a handgun in a holster whenever I'm outside doing chores, mowing or just watching the kids. It's a sad testimony to how indifferent some folks can be regarding responsibility for their animals.

Anyway, sorry for the unpleasant thread drift. Needless to say, I don't worry nearly as much about humans I encounter during nighttime photography.