The Wolf That Got Away

Canis lupus

Canada supports the second largest gray wolf population in the world, after Russia. Wolf habitat is diverse in this large country where, historically, wolves ranged in most areas. Currently, wolves in Canada occupy approximately 90 percent of their historic range. The 10 percent of Canada without wolves is primarily near the southern border, except near Lake Superior where wolves still live.

This is the second half of the combo hunt.  I had already harvested the moose in short order and now it was the wolf hunt.  I was teamed up with a gentleman and his wife and their goal was a mule deer.  The area abounds with mule deer and the biggest whitetail deer I have ever seen.  The deer hunter was after a trophy.  The plan was for me to hunt moose early, and then ride along with the deer hunter while we looked for deer.  Later in the day toward evening, we would head back into the scrub, wooded areas, canola fields and areas where the oil people had equipment.  Then it was moose time.  This was the plan until I bagged a moose.  Then, I would be hunting wolf the rest of the time. 

On the third morning I bagged my moose and so from now on, it would be wolf time. 

Not a big moose, but the smaller ones have not had years of testosterone running through their veins.  We have already had some, and it is outstanding.  Absolutely no game taste to it at all.  Almost like eating premium beef.

By the time we got him dressed out and taken to the processor, the day was over.  Now, I would have 4 days of wolf hunting.  The outfitter had an extra day at the end of my time frame, so he gave it to me and now there were 5 days to get the job done. 

This is a gorgeous picture as it was just getting light.  No wind, and the bait site was straight ahead.  This picture is off to my left.

I had a light breeze in my face and straight away about 150 yards was the bait site.  Whenever there are ravens and magpies, it is a safety signal for the wolves and as they sneak along in the timber, they will come out to eat. 

Looking straight ahead.  I like the fog because the wolves are sight feeders first and they will not see that well, just like me.  The bait site is located just to the left of the two washcloths on the sill.  That is where I lay my equipment to get the job done.

Day one ended and the sky cleared.  Nothing came through to nibble at the bait and so it is back to the box tomorrow.

This is looking at the front of the box.  I got out of the box to take a whiz and got two pics.

This is looking from the backside where I crawl into the box.  The chair is an office chair and I can raise and lower it to get the the right height.  Notice the propane heater off to the right and my bag in the front.  It contains extra ammo, lunch, hand warmers and extra gloves plus camera.

To avoid getting out of the stand, I drink NO coffee in the morning and very little water while in the box.  If I get a little thirsty, only a sip of water and then guzzle the rest of the bottle when back to the vehicle to pick me up. 

After another day, we changed locations as the weather had shifted. We walked up a road that the oil people had made.  Halfway down the road was a small lake that was frozen over, but the guide had achieved results at this location.  He had a big bait pile about 100 yards from the stand.

Looking over my stick, you can see the road and the bait pile was only a few yards down the road.  This would be easy pickings if a wolf came for a snack. 

At the bait site.  The guide had brought some more bait to put down and bones were scattered everywhere.  The bait comes from a processor that packages meat for the hunters and consists of bones and trimmings not packaged

I hunted two different locations, but did not get a shot.  I did have a couple of coyotes come to dine but did not see a wolf.

When we got back to the vehicle, there was a fresh wolf track. 

Four days in the box and while the temps were moderate, 0-10 degrees F, I could feel the iron in my blood was turning to lead in my backside.

When I got back to the lodge, I told my guide and the outfitter I was folding my tent.  They both said, ” Stick it out one more day.  We will sleep a little later in the morning and then you can head back to Iowa the next day.”   I have to confess, I was not only physically tired, but mentally tired.  With four big coolers in the back of the truck, there was 2200 miles of driving to do.  However, I have a moose.

This is my guide.  He got the big deer he wanted after I left.

Now below is a really sad story.  One of the guides went out to the stand where I sat for three days and he scored.   Fellow hunters give it that extra push regardless of how it hurts and if they have the time. 

If I had only taken one more day.

Good hunting, good fishing and good luck,  Hank

In the words of Napoleon “All things come to he has patience.”

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