I would consider yourself fortunate to hear them howl–if you see one you are one with the wild. Now if you live in the bush in AK and have sled dogs then you may not have the same feeling.
Wolves like the Great bear white or brown speak of the wild we embrace. They are hunters just like you and me–to share the terrain with them is an honor.
I carry a side arm in the city and on this latest trip, never felt the need to carry one (well outside deployments) in the wild. And that includes AK during the salmon run just be bear smart and if your wrong–what a heck of a way to go–be a great post here.:D