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My first wolf

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  • My first wolf

    I had been working on my old Polaris 440, replacing the primary clutch and components, and shimming the secondary. I did a few more things to it and took off down the Chena and out on the Tanana to give it a good run. Everything worked perfect, so I turned for home.
    I got back to the last island before the Chena, and spotted a big dog trotting up the trail in front of me. I hate to think about a dog running loose, and if able to catch them will do so and try to return them to the owner.
    I closed the gap, and it started moving away, so I turned to cut it off. As I got closer yet, it turned its head and I got the shock of my life. At 2pm on a fairly warm spring day I was staring into the eyes of a gray wolf at 25 yards in the middle of the river! Whoa. Hold the phone.
    I stopped, and called a friend to tell him the news. As I watched the wolf, it headed upriver, not toward safety in the trees. I hung up, and headed home as fast as I could get there, about a 3 minute run. I ran in, grabbed the .22-250 (new rifle in the bunch, custom built on a Mauser action w/ a 10X fixed Leupold scope) and some ammo. Back out I ran and headed downriver.
    I got to the area I saw it last, and started to track. He was heading across some sandbars, so I took an angle and pinched the throttle wide open, struggling to gain speed in deep powder. At some point I hit the edge of sandbar so hard I flew over 2 snowmobile lengths in the air. The only thing that saved me was the deep powder I was wallowing through. This wolf was not worth dieing for, so I let off the throttle.
    Still no wolf, and I was coming up on the tree line. I knew he would be on my left, and I had to beat him to the edge. There he was! He had been in a depression and he popped out heading hard toward cover. He too was fighting deep snow. I shut down, jacked a round in, rested on the snowmachine handlebars (not running, no forward momentum) and squeezed off a round. Ok, I jerked like I grabbed a hot skillet and promptly missed. Settle down! Breathe! New bullet in the chamber, gun on the rest, snugged in tight, crosshairs on him as he went up the bank. Everything looked good when I focused on a single spot behind his leg and I squeezed the trigger. After the shot, and realizing that I had my first wolf, I started to shake. I'll admit it. I shook so hard I had to sit on the snow machine or risk falling into the snow. I spent some time in the sun going over everything that happened. Somehow, I feel it was meant to be. That wolf had every opportunity to dissapear down a multitude of hard packed trails, yet he went the only direction that I even stood a chance.
    His gray hair w/ black tips and orange/brown ears is not prime. He is not the biggest wolf in the wood at 75 lbs. But he is beautiful. What an amazing animal. What a very lucky guy I am to have had this opportunity.
    Do I think every wolf should die? NO. I think wolves are an incredible part of our environment, and integral to a healthy land. Would I do the same thing in the future? I don't know. I just don't know. Guess I'll cross that bridge if it ever happens again.

  • #2
    Good job river rat.... i tried to run one down years back on my old 580ZR, and in the deep snow he left me sitting. and i still was about 45mph... but i felt kind of stilled still as this wolf had a trap on one foot and was dragging about 5 foot of chain... he was caught up with a few nights later... 150lb dog... and just flat huge, seeing him up close i did not feel bad for being out run. i have had them run for miles up the haul rd in front of the truck. and it didn't seem they every tire. good job!!! this one was meant to be.

    Vince
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    • #3
      Nice Job

      That is an awesome story, Yet I haven't had the chance to be in that situation yet. congrats on the wolf River Rat

      Fishonaustyn
      Early to bed
      Early to Rise
      Fish all day
      Make up lies

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      • #4
        Congrats. Thats part of nature, and being a hunter thats having respect for your game.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          That's awesome River Rat. I hope to see a pic soon, and hope I get a chance like that some day.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ak River Rat View Post
            I shut down, jacked a round in, rested on the snowmachine handlebars (not running, no forward momentum) and squeezed off a round.

            Good wording!
            I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
            I have less friends now!!

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            • #7
              Good Eats

              Most people can not get over the "Lassie" image and consider eating a wolf. But I can tell you first hand that the meat is very good. The toughest part was putting that first bite into my mouth. It got easy after that. You really should try it. Not many people in the world have a chance to eat wolf.
              Congratulations.
              Patrick

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              • #8
                Good story, good day outside and good wolf. Congrats
                "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
                ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

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                • #9
                  Nice!!

                  It sure does sound like that wolf was meant to go home with you. Thanks for the story of your adventure.

                  What are you going to do with the hide?

                  If you do not have use for the skull, I will take it off your hands.

                  If you want your skull bleached, I will bleach it out for you when I do my bear skulls this spring.

                  Rod

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                  • #10
                    Good job taking an oppurtunity and making it happen! But, you forgot something very important, THE PHOTO, we love photos!

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                    • #11
                      photos

                      I just did not seem to get them right. He stiffened up quickly, and it was difficult to try and stretch or move him so that he looked good. I'll go back and look at them again. Maybe I can get my daughter to help me post a couple.
                      I have the hide frozen for now. I am not very fast at skinning and working a hide, so when I have a bit more time I'll work on the head details, finish splitting the tail, and remove the feet. His hair is very matted, so not sure what to do there except be patient and start brushing. I wonder if some of it will come out in the tanning process. I do have a stretcher from years back when I had big plans to become a trapper. Good trappers are craftsman, I was not, but kept the stretcher anyway. After tanning I am not sure what the plan is. I'll let that develop as time goes by.
                      For now, the skull is with the rest of the body out in the woods. I was not sure what I wanted to do. I'll probably go back and get it shortly. Thanks for the offer on bleaching it. I have a couple of skulls that I should do, so maybe this will get me moving.
                      At 75 lbs, healthy teeth, and being alone, my guess is that this might be about a 2 year old. I will always wonder if he might have been one of the wolves that was catching dogs on Chena Ridge. A friend who lost a dog up there saw a photo and said it looked like a wolf he chased from his yard. Hard telling.
                      Never thought about eating it. I would not be opposed to trying it. After all, some cultures do eat dog.
                      In the past I always thought about hunting wolves. Now, I am more committed than ever before. He was such a wonderful animal to see, I'd like to increase my chances to see more of them. I would like a chance to hunt them, not just catch one in passing.

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                      • #12
                        Congrats on the Wolf. I bought a air dried wolf hide that was caught in a neck snare, the fur was matted very badly around the neck were the snare was. I sent it as it was to the tannery and it came back nice and completely mat free. I would try that first and see how it comes back. I rugged the one I have.




                        Steve
                        "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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                        • #13
                          ok, thanks,

                          Nice Wolf Stid. Very interesting colors. I like the idea of not having to spend hours combing, but sure would if needed. I'll try the tanning process to see. Any ideas on who to send it to? Once I get it dried, then tanned, I'll look at it close to see what to do next. I have a great wall that I was saving for a bear mount or rug, but I have the wolf, so guess first come gets the space.

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                          • #14
                            I had Black Bear Taxidermy send it to Alpha fur dressers in Anchorage for me. If I remember right it was less than 100 dollars to tan it. I rugged mine myself. Black Bear Taxidermy would have rugged it for me and he does nice rugs, I wanted to try to do one myself. When I saw this large black wolf hide at the fur rondy, I decided to buy it and try to rug it.

                            Good Luck

                            Steve
                            "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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                            • #15
                              Most excellent!!

                              I've been looking a bit, but nothing good yet....."Yet"....~~LOL!!~~ who knows when there gonna pop up??

                              We tan them and cut the backs and bellys into Ruffs, the legs into Muckluk tops and teh heads into shell bags. Good way to make a wolf into a lotta gasoline.

                              Hope it finishes out good!!
                              If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.:topjob:

                              "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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