Sitka Mountain Gear
Hunting in Wolf Country
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Stick 02-Jan-19
drycreek 02-Jan-19
Brotsky 02-Jan-19
grubby 02-Jan-19
dogger67 02-Jan-19
Stick 02-Jan-19
LBshooter 02-Jan-19
Brotsky 02-Jan-19
Burly 02-Jan-19
Amoebus 02-Jan-19
BigOzzie 02-Jan-19
12yards 02-Jan-19
Z Barebow 02-Jan-19
Ziek 02-Jan-19
South Farm 02-Jan-19
Stick 02-Jan-19
BigOzzie 02-Jan-19
Thornton 02-Jan-19
JRW 02-Jan-19
NoWiser 02-Jan-19
ben yehuda 02-Jan-19
Ziek 02-Jan-19
GotBowAz 02-Jan-19
Stick 02-Jan-19
ground hunter 02-Jan-19
Mule Power 02-Jan-19
IdyllwildArcher 02-Jan-19
NoWiser 02-Jan-19
jjs 02-Jan-19
Ziek 02-Jan-19
BOWNUT 02-Jan-19
Beendare 02-Jan-19
Elkhorn 02-Jan-19
lawdy 02-Jan-19
Nimrod90 02-Jan-19
SaltyB 02-Jan-19
HighLife 02-Jan-19
Thornton 03-Jan-19
Cheesehead Mike 07-Jan-19
djb 07-Jan-19
Cheesehead Mike 08-Jan-19
blackwolf 08-Jan-19
JB 08-Jan-19
deerslayer 09-Jan-19
South Farm 09-Jan-19
BigOzzie 09-Jan-19
Duke 09-Jan-19
djb 09-Jan-19
luckychucky 09-Jan-19
BigOzzie 09-Jan-19
South Farm 09-Jan-19
djb 09-Jan-19
GF 09-Jan-19
APauls 09-Jan-19
APauls 09-Jan-19
pete53 09-Jan-19
Stick 10-Jan-19
GF 10-Jan-19
Dale06 10-Jan-19
Amoebus 10-Jan-19
GF 10-Jan-19
Amoebus 10-Jan-19
GF 10-Jan-19
Nick Muche 10-Jan-19
Dale06 10-Jan-19
From: Stick
02-Jan-19
Recently, the area that I hunt has been graced with the presence of timber wolves. I hunt in Sawyer County Wisconsin. I've been hunting the same general area for over 30 years but until THIS year I have never seen any sign of one. This all changed Sunday evening.

I have a stand well off the beaten path. I take the 4 wheeler through the woods on my brother's property to where it connects with an old skidder trail. I park there and then walk about another half mile or so to the stand which is on public land that has no motorized vehicle access. On Sunday, when I got to where I park the 4 wheeler, I noticed several different sets of fresh wolf tracks on the skidder trail. Discouraged at the sight, I walked to my stand expecting an unsuccessful outing. I was correct. Not a creature was stirring.

Just before dark, as I was preparing to leave the tree, a pack of wolves cut loose howling and they were not more than 400 yards away. I've heard coyotes howl hundreds of times but this was the first time I've heard wolves howl... and they were very close. This was the first time that I have ever been afraid while hunting. I'm miles out in the middle of nowhere, half a mile away from my 4 wheeler, less than a quarter of a mile away from a pack of wolves, it's almost dark, and I'm armed with only my bow.

I climbed down and cautiously worked my way back to the 4 wheeler, started it, and got the hell out of Dodge. This is the last time I will ever hunt that area without a sidearm.

From: drycreek
02-Jan-19
I can't say as I blame you. I always carry a handgun when I'm hunting, whether it's with a bow or not. No wolves here of course, but hogs are thicker than fleas on a dog. I can't count the time I've either heard or smelled hogs in the dark, and closer to 40' than 400 yards. When I walk into my stand in the dark, I carry a Glock 20 with a laser/light combo on it, and I carry it in my hand. IMO, you plan for what can happen instead of what might happen.

From: Brotsky
02-Jan-19
Stick, I would not be overly concerned. If you ever hunt out west you will be hunting with large predators pretty much every where you go. Just be aware of your surroundings and take the proper precautions and you will be fine. Wolves are not anything to get worked up over other than the fact that your deer hunting will most likely be very poor going forward.

From: grubby
02-Jan-19
I have hunted around wolves my entire life and haven't got ate yet but it sure does make the hair stand up. If a sidearm makes you feel better than carry it but I wouldn't worry too much about the wolves.

From: dogger67
02-Jan-19
Don't let the wolves keep you from enjoying the woods. I have had several close encounters with them (missed one with my bow last fall). Unfortunately you folks in WI don't get to shoot them whey you see one. They have always run away when I come across them. I do have bear spray for back up as I am in grizzly country. Their howls are pretty impressive.

From: Stick
02-Jan-19
It wasn't JUST the wolves themselves that rattled me. It was more the circumstances.

I was in a place that is several miles away from the nearest paved road and other than me and my brother, rarely is ever visited by another human and I was alone. It was also nearly dark and I had to walk about a half mile while being in "hearing range" of the pack which was upwind from me so they wouldn't be tipped off by my scent. They would only hear that there was "something" out there that may or may not be prey.

I know that wolf attacks on humans are extremely rare but how often do wolves encounter humans under these circumstances?

From: LBshooter
02-Jan-19
Stick, sounds like you need a Glock 20, when I'm up in the northwoods I always have a pistol on me.

From: Brotsky
02-Jan-19
Stick, don't be worried about it. They caught you off guard is all. Wolves encounter humans in those circumstances quite often and no one is getting eaten. Imagine being 7-8 miles into a wilderness area in Idaho or Montana (I would say WY but I'm not allowed there as a NR LOL), there's wolves, lions and maybe even grizzlies in certain areas. There are still rarely ever any attacks other than a few grizzly attacks each year. I think you're maybe being over sensitive to the situation do to the fact that you weren't expecting them to be there and they took you by surprise a bit. Take a few days to mull it over and you'll see that the worry is for naught.

From: Burly
02-Jan-19
I have hunted in wolf country for years, never had any issues.

From: Amoebus
02-Jan-19
Been hunting in wolf country (northern MN) all my hunting life. Nothing better than a late night wolf howl to get one out of the 'city' mode. I have a ton of respect for the animals (both deer and wolf) that survive a MN winter.

I agree with others - never had an issue with wolves (that wasn't in my own head). We have heard them every year while hunting and seen them on average every 3-4 years (very big woods area). The reactions varied from running away to walking away.

From: BigOzzie
02-Jan-19
first encounter with only a bow, sent me hustling back to the truck. there were 6 wolves entered the meadow, 2 went east 2 went west and 2 came straight at me. I only had 3 arrows.

since then I am more aggressive, I don't carry a side arm most times, but I don't turn tail anymore either.

oz

From: 12yards
02-Jan-19
Been hunting in wolf (and bear country for that matter) country for as long as I've hunted in MN. Had them run past my stand on a couple occasions. Can make deer hunting tough, but I only once felt uneasy about my walk in or out. Then I got over it and never worry about it now. One place I hunt is over a mile walk in and out. No issues.

From: Z Barebow
02-Jan-19
Not wolves, but in 2017 I was hunting in WYO. I had a mtn lion come in for a drink, 40 yards away. When he left, he went out the same skid road I needed to walk out on. Needless to say, it was heavy on my mind. But as I thought about it, how many times have critters with big teeth and claws watched me and I didn't know it. I won't let big critters keep me from hunting.

From: Ziek
02-Jan-19
You should build a house made of bricks, and never leave it. We all know that one made of straw or sticks...well, they'll huff and puff...lol

From: South Farm
02-Jan-19
Living in Ely, I can tell you I've rattled in more wolves than bucks. Sneaky buggers, but other than giving you the creeps they're pretty harmless and turn tail pretty fast once you make your presence known.

From: Stick
02-Jan-19
Who said anything about keeping me from hunting?

This is just something that is new to me so I wanted to share the experience and see if there was any real cause for concern or precautions I should take. Other than strapping on my .45 the next time I go out,(which will be this weekend) this won't change anything for me other than my chances of punching my tag probably just went down considerably. ;)

From: BigOzzie
02-Jan-19
It definitely makes stand hunting more difficult. I find the wolve travel through on about a 2 week cycle, when the wolves are there or have just left deer have their patterns all messed up. I find does bedded under the willows, right on the creek edge and not moving much from there.

When I know wolves are present I change tactics, first I hunt wolves, second I find another way to find deer other than normal stand locations. The deer will be in deep cover and not wanting to come out. I got in the habit of pushing them out, of deep cover just before dusk, and when the wolves howl at dusk, they hustle back to deep cover (where I try to be waiting for them). So far no luck.

From: Thornton
02-Jan-19
No big deal man. I've hunted where there are wolves, lions, and bears and only had one occasion where a lion watched me from 60 yds. Usually they ae just trying to get away from you.

From: JRW
02-Jan-19
Stick,

I've hunted around Wolves in the central forest region for years. They really are more scared of you than you are of them. Also, please keep in mind that if a game warden catches you with while you're archery deer hunting, it's probably going to result in a nasty ticket.

From: NoWiser
02-Jan-19
You'll get used to them. I've hunted some extremely remote (canoe access) areas, that are thick with them, my entire life. I've seen a ton and shot one. They really are not a concern. I am rifle hunting when I'm in that area, but I don't bother to even load my gun walking to and from my stand in the dark. Enjoy hunting with them, they are an awesome animal. As you get used to sharing the woods with them you'll be much less concerned, but the first few encounters are a bit eerie. If I had the choice to hunt an area with wolves or without, I'd pick with wolves 100% of the time.

02-Jan-19
Saw a wolf in the wild for the first time last summer. It was pretty cool, and it loped out of sight really quick.

From: Ziek
02-Jan-19
Sorry Stick. Didn't mean to make fun at your expense. Well, maybe I did. It always amuses me to listen to descriptions of scary encounters from many 'modern' outdoorsmen. It's amazing how sheltered and protected we've become.

"...off the beaten path...miles out in the middle of nowhere, ..." When in reality "...half a mile away from my 4 wheeler...several miles away from the nearest paved road..." And don't forget "almost dark". Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! You have to make a major effort to truly get anywhere near "the middle of nowhere", and you have to leave your electronics at home.

You're rarely in mortal danger just because you're out of sight of your vehicle or cell phone range. It's unfortunate that encounters like that are even notable, and you are fortunate to have had the experience. Too bad it was tainted by imaginary fear brought on by a sheltered existence.

From: GotBowAz
02-Jan-19
NoWiser, I follow you about hunting with wolves, but Im not sure i understand why you would prefer to hunt where wolves were rather than where they are not? Seems to me you would have more deer encounters without sharing the woods with the wolves?

From: Stick
02-Jan-19
@Ziek

You have no idea about my existence sheltered or otherwise. The only thing you know is what I told you and that was simply that I had a first time encounter with a pack of wolves and was concerned. Anything other than that is baseless speculation on your part.

Your opinion is noted and dismissed.

02-Jan-19
I hunt in the UP,,,, once in a great while I carry, and its a 22 for small game..... I would be more concerned about some meth head, somewhere, than the wolves. The wolves are pain in the ass, to hunt with, but ,,,,,,,,,,,,, However if you do not want to encounter wild things in wild country, go to a game farm

From: Mule Power
02-Jan-19
For those who have no close up and personal experience with wolves it’s hard to explain. A bear doesn’t bother me. I’ve been 10 feet from a lion with no fear. But knowing that wolves come in numbers and hunt as a team can make you feel pretty vulnerable. In about 2004 they got thick in the Bitterroot. Really brave too since Judge Malloy had there backs and they hadn’t been shot at. After having some to close for comfort with packs of 8 or more I drove to Missoula and bought a semi auto handgun which I kept very handy during bow season.

02-Jan-19
Don't fret wolves. They're afraid of humans.

From: NoWiser
02-Jan-19
Eric,

I love hunting in the country wolves inhabit, I love seeing them and, mostly, I love listening to them as I'm falling asleep in the tent every night. I'll gladly trade a few deer encounters for those experiences.

From: jjs
02-Jan-19
Been dealing with wolves since hunting northern Mn., my son had one come up to him about 10' away while gun deer hunt (he is 6' and the wolf was almost looking at him eye level as he describe it) and this last fall had one come up about 20 yards just checking us out. They are not fearful of humans but need to really have a check on your hunting dog if you want to keep it. Need a wolf hunt to bring them back into balance and bring the moose/deer population increase also.

From: Ziek
02-Jan-19
"You have no idea about my existence sheltered or otherwise."

I have your posts. By your definition, my house is "in the middle of nowhere". It's about 1/4 mile to my nearest neighbor and 6 miles to the nearest paved road. We frequently have bears and cougars within sight of the house. It sure doesn't feel like the middle of nowhere to me. I've shared salmon streams with brown bears while fishing, slept in the open in country prowled by cougars and bears, and been out of communication with the outside world in wilderness areas for weeks at a time. And I can assure you, I would have tried to get a peek at those wolves rather than "...got the hell out of Dodge.", since I rarely see them in my travels. My account of that encounter sure wouldn't have been 'I heard wolves, peed myself, tucked tail and ran.' It would have been exciting, but not scary.

I'm simply observing that even during my lifetime, even hunters/outdoorsmen have become so estranged from the natural word, that many/most are uncomfortable with being out 'on their own hook' so to speak. They feel isolated and vulnerable when being more than a few steps from modern conveyances, and technology. That's what I got from your post and it's getting truer with each succeeding generation.

From: BOWNUT
02-Jan-19
We had lots of them around us when we Caribou hunted in Quebec. They cleaned up the carcasses pretty quick. I think they liked us being there. Other then that feeling you get when the hair on the back of your neck stands up and you can't figure out what's watching you that you can't see. There's nothing like listing to a pack howl.

From: Beendare
02-Jan-19
Yeah, along the lines of Ikes post....wolves still have a healthy respect for humans...its not a big deal.

I've hiked out of areas in the dark with wolves howling as close as 70 yds away in Alaska, Canada and Arizona. They can get your Spidey senses tingling for sure.....but not a problem like Grizzly bears.

From: Elkhorn
02-Jan-19
I once heard something quietly rustling in the leaves, looked through the thick branches and saw a wolf stalking me at about 5+-yards, shot him right through his eyeball.

From: lawdy
02-Jan-19
The closest I have ever come to being killed in the woods by an animal was being attacked by a bull moose in rut. He had just battled another bull and was ugly. I barely made it up a tree. The second, releasing a fisher from a trap. I have seen only one wolf in the wild and he fled.

From: Nimrod90
02-Jan-19
Stick, I'm with ya on this one my friend. Only time I can think of that I was terrified when I was hunting was in Ontario bear hunting, had a pack start up howling between me and the truck that was a half mile away as soon as my feet hit the ground at dark. Right back up the tree I went bow in hand! I had dropped my brother off a mile the other side of the truck on a two track about 4 miles back in the bush. Eventually got down , knocked an arrow and had a knife in my other hand and made my way to the truck. My brother said " I'm glad you came cuz I wasn't getting down until the truck pulled up! Scary stuff for a couple Indiana boys.

From: SaltyB
02-Jan-19
Stick, my family has 240 acres in Taylor county. Wolves suck to deer hunt around but aren't a threat to people. That said it is pretty eerie walking out in the dark and hearing them moving about around you. My brothers bear crew lost a dog this year and that is a much bigger problem than us being in danger. All we can do is keep working to delist them. The few short seasons we had taught them to stay away. When we can shoot them, they learn fast that we ain't food. The one tag I drew got me a full mount. Beautiful animal but they need managed.

From: HighLife
02-Jan-19
I never felt so much alive as having a pack follow me out from a bear stand up in Ontario! Outfitter let me know that night a certain Celebrity wouldn't go back without a shotgun with him on that stand. Had it happen twice since once in Wisconsin rifle hunting and another time taking a leak on my way up in Canada again shouldn't have howled back lol.

From: Thornton
03-Jan-19
Ziek was a bit abrasive but I'd have to agree with him regardless of if you dismissed it or not. We can only go by your reported facts of: you saw tracks, you heard howls, and you never saw the wolves. Same thing happened to me in Canada and I was praying one would come out in range so I could shoot him.

07-Jan-19
I've been hunting in Wolf country in northern Wisconsin for many years. I've had them howling very close to me, I've seen several and I had one pass directly below me while I was in a deer stand. I've never had any problem with them other they killed off most of the deer. I wouldn't be too concerned but I also wouldn't criticize you if you decide to carry a handgun.

One thing I don't think a lot of the western guys realize is that I believe the wolf densities are actually higher in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota than they are in the western states...

From: djb
07-Jan-19
Wolf numbers by state MN 2856, WI 952, MT 477, ID 786 and WY 347 but the west has grizzlies which I have alot more respect for. One thing is our wolves don't have alot of fear of man. Things like this happen fairly often in MN. http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2017/sep/28/grouse-hunter-and-bird-dog-have-harrowing-encounter-wolves/ If I'm out in the woods with my dogs I always have a gun with me. I also know foresters that carry because they have been followed out of the woods by wolves.

08-Jan-19
I talked to a logger in Bayfield County WI who used to bring his lab with him while he was out running his skidder and skidding logs. His dog would just run around and hang out while he ran the skidder. One day a pack of wolves chased his dog to the skidder and the guy jumped out and grabbed his dog and pulled it up into the skidder with him. The wolves hung out circling the skidder with no fear and wouldn't leave... Don't know if any of it is true but that's what I was told.

From: blackwolf
08-Jan-19
I have had them close while bowhunting Bayfield Co. Wi also. Had one chase a doe thru while I was scouting once. I froze as I thought buck was chasing. Wolf came in little clearing 25 feet in front of me, looked at me and high-tailed it. I too have thought about carrying sidearm but I just feel they are no bother. I would definitely carry if I had a dog with me.

From: JB
08-Jan-19
We have been hunting northern MN for a long time. Never worried about wolves, but they sure can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up when they cut loose. Had one do a head back howl REAL close on a -17 degree morning last year. Sounded like he was in the stand with me.

From: deerslayer
09-Jan-19
Never ceases to amaze me how tough guys can be on the internet.

Sounds like a neat encounter and cool story. Don't blame you for wanting to carry a sidearm.

From: South Farm
09-Jan-19
You can pretty much double what the MN DNR gives for a current wolf population. There's probably 2500 in the arrowhead alone..

From: BigOzzie
09-Jan-19
delisting helps, The wolves I hunt have become much more weary.

First time I sighted them they were stalking me, Second time they came up on the deck of our remote cabin and rolled the live trap around until the pack rat got loose so they could eat it.

since then I have shot at them several times, too far for my skills, thus no hide on the wall yet, but they are much more weary of human contact now then they were 4 years ago.

This year I have seen them 3 times once over 600 yards, out, once over 400 yards out and once over 300 yards out. they are not letting me get as close as they used to.

encounter #1 scared me. since then all encounters scare them. hehe.

oz

From: Duke
09-Jan-19
Cheesehead, I don't doubt your logger friend's story one bit. With canine presence wolves totally change as they smell them and are an imminent threat ! -While living in Wisconsin I have had probably somewhere around fifty to sixty encounters. -Most have been relatively fine, however a few that provided a little pucker factor. -One of those that sticks out in my mind was an afternoon when I was working a food plot with a Ranger. My (old) chocolate lab was riding shotgun with me when out of the woods a big wolf appeared and shadowed us on the Ranger for nearly 100 yards staying about 30 feet away. -I grabbed my dog by the collar as she was all postured up (like she could win that battle!) and I got her back to the truck before anything could happen. I did some further recon the following week and discovered a den about 250 yards from where we had been working, which makes sense. Mamma was in protection mode.

As BigOzzie stated above, the number of sightings and humanization drastically changed once the wolf season was opened here. (It's amazing how quick these animals figure it out!) Additionally, I was a lucky recipient of a tag and shot one off of our property! A beautiful mount and a challenging hunt. (Albeit, with a rifle.) Unfortunately, the season was shut down again and we are in the holding pattern to get it back under way. I'd imagine that if we don't get the season going again it'll put us right back where we once were in short order.

I don't question anyone thinking about ramifications of hunting in wolf country. They seem to stay away from attacking humans, but will shred dogs in no time, therefore I know their capabilities.

From: djb
09-Jan-19
South Farm I agree that the number of wolves in MN is under estimated and 2500 for the arrowhead is probably pretty close. I remember in the 80's when the estimates ranged between 500 and 750 but I knew of packs in Cass Co. that didn't show up on the DNR's maps or estimates. I have also seen a change in behavior over the last 40 years and they seem to be getting bolder every year. In the Duluth area we have had people walking their dogs and having them attached by wolves and I know of one small dog that was killed when the owner had it out for a walk on a lease . The lady that had this happen works with my wife. Like BigOzzie stated I think we need a season to start putting some respect for man back into the wolves.

From: luckychucky
09-Jan-19
In Alaska we are in wolf country when we step out the front door. Years ago some friends and I were in a Forest Service cabin near the end of deer season. My buddy had killed a nice buck and had it skinned out and hanging in the open front woodshed. At about 2 in the morning a pack of wolves start howling outside and if three wolves are in chorus it can sound like 30 of 'em. It sounded like they were very close. So my friend asked me "do you think they are trying to sneak up and get the deer? " I replied "I don't think they are being very sneaky about it."

From: BigOzzie
09-Jan-19
The numbers in montana say that an open hunting season on wolves is not too effective , I agree.

There are approx. 250 wolves killed in montana per year. The largest percentage of those are trapped. A small percent are shot by hunters. A smaller percent are targeted and shot.

The stat I heard was 10% of the wolves killed in MT are killed on a wolf hunt. More are shot when people are hunting big game and incidentally come across a wolf. Then most are trapped.

"I went and checked my numbers and I was wrong, half the wolves killed are by hunters and 10% of them are targeted and the rest incidental. Therefore 12-13 wolves per year are shot on wolf hunts, 110 shot while big game hunting, and 125 ish trapping"

I have targeted wolves for 4 years. I have called them in, I have followed them, I have been on stand waiting for them. All I have done is educate them.

I may just be a bad hunter, but I have bailed on a call because I spooked, I have missed twice due to improper equipment for the situation, and I have done nothing but scare/educate them.

I have a wood fired hot tub at the remote cabin, and I have to admit I like sitting back and listening to them howl at night, it is cool. It will be even cooler, when one of them donates a hide to the cabin wall. It's a matter of time, I'm getting closer.

oz

From: South Farm
09-Jan-19
I've hunted wolf country most my life, never had an issue or felt threatened, but I believe when you add a domestic dog to the mix that's when the potential for something bad to happen goes way up. This year I hunted down by Palisade and I can't believe the number of wolves and wolf-sign I saw there! Our group of 4 saw just one deer on the land we hunted but everyone saw wolves everyday. It was incredible, and discouraging. We call it the "wolf farm" now. I think my buddy is regretting buying the property, but if and when they open a wolf season he'll be sitting pretty!!

From: djb
09-Jan-19
In Duluth MN you're in wolf territory even when your in town. We also have a large deer population in town that we have a special bow hunt to try and keep them under control. An interesting fact is that Alaska has about 1 wolf per 45 square miles of habitat and MN has 1 wolf per 11 square miles of wolf habitat. South Farm one of the packs I knew of in the 80's was between Palisade and Outing.

From: GF
09-Jan-19
+1 for Dogs changing the equation entirely.

I don’t think having a dog around turns them into a threat for the human involved, but if your dog is running to you for protection from the Wolf that’s on its tail, you probably don’t find any comfort in that!

So yes, absolutely; if I were so much as walking a dog in Wolf Country where the wolves aren’t “adversely conditioned” regarding humans, I would not feel the least bit silly carrying some kind of a repeater or Bear Spray at the very least.

As to the hair on the back of my neck...

One afternoon I was coming down the mountain and heard a coyote cut loose with a booming howl, sounding like it was just yards away. So I nocked a shaft and went into Stalker mode. About 5 yards into the sneak, a second coyote joined in; seemed like every step I took added another voice to the chorus, and these weren’t just yips and yaps, these were big, booming, hound-dog HOWLS that I could feel vibrating in my ribcage. And there I was sneaking in like a bear bent on pushing them off of a kill...

So about the time it sounded like there were more of them than I had arrows in my quiver, I backed out.

I don’t think that prickling on the back of the neck is Fear. I think it’s nature’s way of reminding you that Life is Sweet and the alternative is long.

As to how much of a threat I’d feel in Wolf country....

I have a semi-educated opinion on predators - all animals really - which is that they tend to classify the world into either Things That I Can Eat or Things That Can Eat Me.

Predators that get shot at, harassed and harried every time they come into contact with a human tend to be quite certain about us falling into the latter category. Predators which have been protected from all forms of Adverse Conditioning, not so much. Hearing wolves howl around me would be totally cool. Realizing that they were following me out of the woods would put me on edge.

You always read/hear how there has never been a recorded attack by a healthy Wolf on an adult human in North America. OK, that’s 4 qualifiers built into that one statement and I believe that it may no longer be true. And nobody makes that same claim about the wolves in Europe & across to Asia. And the North America statement basically only dates back 100 years or so, to a point at which wolves were universally persecuted and largely eradicated. In other words, it’s not saying much.

I respect and admire wolves for a number of reasons. But RESPECT just happens to include not choosing to believe that they are harmless or necessarily afraid of me.

And speaking as a Science Guy who was in grad school at U Wyo when the reintroduction debate was really going on, I’m prepared to look back and say that at least SOME of what we thought we knew about wolves was wrong. I don’t think anyone anticipated how quickly we would go from one pack to over 20. I don’t think anyone had the SLIGHTEST idea that we would see packs grow into the dozens. But that’s what happens when you drop a Predator into an unnaturally saturated prey base... so it turns out.

We still don’t actually know how a population of artificially protected wolves will behave towards humans after X generations of harmless (to the wolves) interactions, but I don’t think that our suitability as a food source will go forever untested.

Make of that what you will..

From: APauls
09-Jan-19

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
I've always tried my darndest to be able to see and shoot them. One time I was watching a huge wold eat guts from the boat so I snuck in on shore and cut him off in an opening. Was taking pictures of him from about 8 yards away. I didn't even know wolves could get that big. But when he stopped and looked at me with those yellow eyes I kept taking pictures, but the second he left I was very happy he had a full stomach of fish guts. I'm still never worried about wolves, but when he stared me in the eyes it was like a message was sent. "I could take you in two seconds. Any time anywhere." And unless I was armed, he is right. That wolf was gigantic. It's head alone was massive. I cut him off in a clearing after this photo was taken. Unfortunately my film was destroyed and I got this pic from another guy. For size reference, i think you can see the width of tractor tires in the picture.

From: APauls
09-Jan-19

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
Maybe I'm an idiot though. I've been known to "hang onto the bait" a little too long when dealing with wild animals...

From: pete53
09-Jan-19
have lived in timber wolf country all my life in the country in northern Minnesota and now at 65 years of age have never been attacked yet. I am not a wolf lover at all but wolves stay away from humans , when hunting or in the woods I always have a firearm with but worry more about black bears than anything else .

From: Stick
10-Jan-19

Stick's Link
It seems that there have been a couple of fatal wolf attacks that have been documented.

From: GF
10-Jan-19
From Stick's link:

"David Mech, a senior research scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey who has studied wolves full-time for more than five decades, said there have been about two dozen nonfatal attacks in North America in the past century or so. Most involve wolves that had become habituated to people who have been feeding them at campgrounds, dumps and other sites near wolf habitat, he said."

I don't think there is anybody regarded as a higher authority on wolves than Dave Mech (pronounced Meech or Meek, as I recall)...

And there you go.

Interesting that both fatalities have occurred in the past 15 years. Why? Because Mech just told us why... habituation and protection.

Watch yer top-knot, Pilgrim!

From: Dale06
10-Jan-19
I’ve hunted in wolf country a lot and never carried nor was I concerned about them. They are more afraid of you than you of them. Sure is suppose a person gets injured by a wolf some where every few years. Lightning strikes also. I did arrow one in Alaska in August. That was pretty cool.

From: Amoebus
10-Jan-19
GotBowAz - I would add to NoWiser's answer that I pick areas (deer and elk) that have a reputation for wolves because it quickly removes all but the diehard hunters.

jjs & djb - I haven't seen the wolves that we encounter get any less fearful of us in the last 40+ years, but we don't hunt anywhere near a city.

From: GF
10-Jan-19
@Phil - what do you suppose are the chances that those wolves in your area are getting shot at on a regular basis?

Just askin'....

From: Amoebus
10-Jan-19
I have been hunting partially in and out of the BWCA. Since 1995 (when we started this hunting camp), I have never seen a human track that wasn't one of our group. Now, Mech reports that wolves have a range that can span 250 sq mi so I cannot guarantee they aren't getting shot at.

From: GF
10-Jan-19
Have to love this line from that article on the fatality:

"Residents are afraid to walk alone, and rifles now ride shotgun in vehicles."

*

From: Nick Muche
10-Jan-19
"I did arrow one in Alaska in August." .

Pics and Story please!

From: Dale06
10-Jan-19
I don’t post pics. I was on a grizzly hunt where a guide and I were in an elevated blind overlooking a salmon stream that contained lots of spawning salmon. The blind was elevated with construction scaffolding, about 12’. On top of that was a plywood platform and a pop up type of blind that was about 6’ by 12’. And there was a 4’ square adjoining the back of the blind that held a porta potty. We ate, slept and lived in the blind for five days. One or both of us were on grizz watch from about 530 am till about 1130pm. The rest of the time it was too dark to see to shoot. We saw multiple grizz every day. Some small ones came less than five yards from base of blind. Unfortunately the “shooter size” stayed well out of range. One morning we woke up and spotted two wolves on a sandbar about 150 yards down stream. They were working our way looking for salmon. They got to thirty yards and stopped and went back the other way. For some reason the bigger of the two, turned an trotted back toward us I came to full draw and lip squeaked. The wolf stopped at 30 yards. I released and watched the Iron Will tipped arrow zip through its chest. The wolf jumped into the brush and was gone. We waited 15 minutes and the guide went to look for the wold. It was dead in about 30 yarrds. I almost didn’t buy a tag for wolf. That happened to me years ago in NWT. Didn’t but a wolf tag and had one sitting looking at me at 40 yards and I had a 270 WSM in my hand.

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