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    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      If all goes well I have 2 weeks set aside for a northern Wi. bowhunt with a friend and resident. I’ve hunted the area many years. They’ve howled at me close enough to raise my hair in the dark a few times. My friend has pulled a buck or two out to a nearby chorus of howling too. I don’t really want to pack a sidearm, so what do you more experienced with wolves think? I’ve never been remotely bothered in a lifetime by anything in the woods. Is this even a realistic concern in the lower 48? I would pack in a heartbeat though in griz country! Though I hear bear spray is more effective. I guess I’m asking because they are not getting less numerous up that way.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Scott — I should probly say this in a PM, so as not to raise the hackles of the predictable hackle-raisers. But geeze, what a bonus to have wolves in your hunting area! I’ve spent a fair amount of time–not claiming any expertise but simply that I’ve been there and done that, several times in several places–among wolves, and never once have seen or experienced anything to suggest they are a threat to humans. I mean. they are a TE species and we are 7.3 billion!

      As hunters–particularly as we are portrayed and portray ourselves in the outdoor media–we see ourselves as fearless macho adventurers … yet too many of us grasp every chance to display our wholly unjustified fear of wild nature. Weather, other humans, accidents and “us” are the real threats out there. I say, thank your lucky stars that you’ve heard wild wolves and have an op to hunt again where you may hear them again. Those who think otherwise should stay within the safety of their cornfield tree stands and quit attempting to parley their personal paranoias into “reality.” That’s the mentality of NRA and …

      “I haven’t said enough; I’ve already said too much.”

    • Steve Capps
      Post count: 85

      Amen Dave. In my experience wild wolves are pretty smart and try to avoid human contact as much as possible. I’ve often seen their tracks around primitive camps up north but never had an actual visit. One year had an opportunity to shoot one on a bear hunt in Quebec. I had a tag but my sheer appreciation of being able to share the timber with such a beautiful animal prevented me from doing anything more than snapping a few photos. Perhaps on a different day I would have reacted differently but I have never regretted my decision that day.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Whether or not to carry a firearm is a personal choice, and there are many factors to consider beyond others’ advice, but I respect the fact that you are soliciting opinions.

      That said, they are quite prolific in my area. I’ve had a wolf just a few feet from me, and as soon as I stood up, it was out of there, never to be seen again. They are quite shy, elusive critters for the most part in my experience.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 918

      Dave – thanks for a great reply. I think the issue for me is just lack of sustained exposure. I used to feel that same way walking in the woods after dark as a kid. Definitely some primal stuff goes on in the mind when they howl so close.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 918

      Thanks all! Keep the comments coming. I hesitated to post because I had to acknowledge discomfort (bwaak!). But I’m comfortable asking here and thank you all for that.

    • Fallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      My deer hunting always improves when the wolves are in the neighborhood. We are looking for the same thing deer. My good friend who lives in the woods year round has had several close encounters with them and they always leave the minute they realize you are there. I think of them as fellow hunters not competition.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Paleo, Terrific that you have a chance to hunt in the same countryside as wolves. All we have are coyotes here, although they are wolf hybrids. I’ve only been fortunate enough to hear them howl a few times and I’ll never, ever, forget the first time. It seems like they just filled the woods with their beautiful, eerie sound, when really it was probably only a couple of them. Someday, I hope to hear wolves howl, through the woods or through the tent wall. Best of luck with your hunt. dwc

    • Charles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      Hold up your hand. Fold down your thumb and all but your forefinger. That remaining digit represents the actual number of adult humans proven to have been killed by wolves in North America in the last one hundred years: Wolves killed Alaska teacher in 2010, state says

      Now uncurl your middle finger as well. The sum of those two digits represents the proven plus the suspected number of adult humans killed by wolves in North America in the last one hundred years: Kenton Joel Carnegie wolf attack

    • David Fudala
      Post count: 224

      Scott,

      Living here in Northern Wisconsin, I’ve had numerous encounters with wolves while out in the woods. My better half saw her first this year as one trotted past her this fall at about 25 yards. And she was hunting on the ground. I’ve never had an encounter where I felt threatened or in danger. As others have stated, they’ve always turned tail and run once they’ve identified me. Now, one thing I will point out is that I have never had a chance encounter where a pack has found my kill before me so if a situation like that was to present itself, be ready for anything. I have had that problem with bears before and they can be quite reluctant to forfeit a free found meal!

    • David Fudala
      Post count: 224

      I’ll also add as a piggy back to what Dave said above. The woods would seem somewhat empty to me if the wolves weren’t there. Hearing and seeing them out in the the wild really put an exclamation point on the experience!

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Music to hunt predators by:

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      I’ll second what Bruce said. I’ve been within bowshot of wild wolves on multiple occasions while elk hunting and have never felt threatened. They act like scared dogs when they figure out you’re a human.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      David Petersen wrote: Music to hunt predators by:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNByVX17TN8

      Unfortunately that’s a really catchy tune!

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      Scott

      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

      Mike

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      This is a great thread.

      I was fortunate to hear a wolf howl while in Canada last spring. It was scary for me to hear that for the first time. But since then, I have evolved into more of an ehical hunter/outdoorsman and I would love to be in the woods and hear my fellow hunters again.

      It is hard to find that kind of wilderness here is good old western PA.

    • Charles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      I saw my first wolf in the mid-1960s, lying dead in a farmer’s yard when MN still had a bounty. I had to move to AK to see them in the wild. I’ve been privileged to see them on a few very special occasions. And they have come back in a big way in MN and WI.

      Yes, they’re a threat to dogs and livestock, something that needs to be kept in mind. But I’d give my eye teeth to live among them again. Meanwhile, I enjoy watching the Eastern coyote/wolf hybrids filling the vacated niche here in New England. They all get a pass from me, so long as they stay a respectful distance from the dogs. (One of them got the surprise of its life from my wife’s late Malinois – the Mal had covered a big chunk of a meadow before the coyote’s brain registered what was happening. 😯 😀

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Dave, that tune is a hoot, or a howl, as it were. Coyote shoots are not terribly uncommon out here, but I think guys and girls work pretty hard to connect. Whose the smarter? Dwc

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Took a walk up in the foothills behind the house this morning, and I was only 20 min. up the trail before I heard this coming up out of the trees nearby (excuse the crappy quality – I barely had enough time to pull out my iPhone):

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RXyCFSh38M

      I generally don’t seem to have to go far to find them, or at least recent evidence of them, these days. Right I after I recorded that, a moose busted out of the aspen grove at the top of the frame, going full-speed across the hillside and down the next drainage…

    • paleoman
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 918

      OK. I agree with you all, and yes, I’ve seen them slink off, barely visible from a close distance. Then again, you read these stories (I know…stories) of a logger in the UP chased up into his skidder cab, etc. That gives no one paws:lol:? Maybe he smelled like bacon! I get a lot of wisdom I may never have acquired on my own here. Thanks again for that!

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Do you typically carry bear spray?

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I don’t have much personal experience with wolves. Been to Canada 15 times and to Idaho once. I’ve seen their tracks a lot and heard them once. Awesome critters.

      Personally, the only animal that I would feel the need to carry a gun or bear spray for is the two large bears. Black bears, pigs, lions, wolves, coyotes, etc….I just don’t worry about. If I go that way, then so be it.

      If it’s a black bear that does me in….well, hell, I guess they probably owed me one.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 918

      Smithhammer wrote: Do you typically carry bear spray?

      Me, no. I grew up around the black bear clan, so like brothers they are. I guess wolves are of the at least “once removed” relative – whatever that means, to me as wild brethren, my issue, not theirs. Only wild critter that ever did me damage was a chipmunk! I wanted one for a pet as a kid, actually managed to throw chicken wire over one and grab it by the tail. It bit into my finger and wouldn’t let go. Oh that hurt! Still have a scar on my finger from that!

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      That’s great Bruce, so close to your house and to see the moose bust out of there!

      I’ll just throw in the mix here: When biologists survey pups in the dens, the adult wolves usually stay back aways and will bark but never attack. Even when the biologists are pulling the pups out of the den to get fur samples and sex and count them.

      Bear spray would definitely do the trick if you had a close encounter with an aggressive wolf. And if it allows you to hunt with peace of mind, then might just be what you need.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 918

      Smithhammer wrote: Took a walk up in the foothills behind the house this morning, and I was only 20 min. up the trail before I heard this coming up out of the trees nearby (excuse the crappy quality – I barely had enough time to pull out my iPhone):

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RXyCFSh38M

      I generally don’t seem to have to go far to find them, or at least recent evidence of them, these days. Right I after I recorded that, a moose busted out of the aspen grove at the top of the frame, going full-speed across the hillside and down the next drainage…

      I want to live in Idaho! Bruce – did you grow up there or move to this slice of heaven you have? Either way it does not matter. That an ethical outdoorsman is living and truly appreciating his habitat is a crazy good thing.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Paleo –

      I didn’t grow up in Idaho – we moved here full-time about 9 years ago, after living most recently in the Yukon and Chile before that. But we’d both come and gone from this little corner of the state for some time prior, and had lots of friends that already lived here. It finally dawned on us that it had everything we wanted, including a great community of people we’d known for a long time. Neither of us has regretted that decision for s second.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Thanks for posting the wolf howl. Really appreciate it. What was in Chile? I spent a few weeks there, including a hike up Villarica. Beautiful country, beautiful. dwc

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      dwcphoto wrote: Thanks for posting the wolf howl. Really appreciate it. What was in Chile? I spent a few weeks there, including a hike up Villarica. Beautiful country, beautiful. dwc

      My wife and I both worked for an outdoor ed/skills school for many years, which allowed us to live in some pretty far-flung parts of the globe. When I was in Chile (for the better part of 5 years), I was way down south – mostly in Puerto Natales (near the Straight of Magellan) and a little north of there in the Aisén region. But I did travel up into the central part of the country on several occasions when I had a little vacation time – the area around Villarica is really nice. Great food and wine, and extremely nice people.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      We didn’t make it as far south as we would have liked. We just ran out of time. My friend ended up being sick a good bit, due to a cat scratch he got at home before the trip. We did a trip down on straight along the coast, a 24 hour trip on a Navimag boat. Interesting time. We saw stars like I’ve never seen here, not in terms of being reversed, but for brightness and clarity. dwc

    • Stix
      Member
      Post count: 174

      Last year, at the walk-thru archery range, I was charged by an aggressive black bear that came to within 10 ft, I threw my bow at him to stop the charge (he probably would have stopped anyway). But the key word here is aggressive, which is not the norm but extraordinary… as with most wildlife.

      I then learned from a wildlife officer about this stuff called Wildfire 18%, which apparently is very effective on any marauding animal, 2 and 4 legged. It doesn’t weigh much and can be backpacked easily.

      If you need that extra sense of security, then carry it. I stress the word “sense”, which is just fallible human intuition.

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