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An Alaskan tale… wolf encounter

May 9, 2013

607px-HowlsnowbThe fog rolled down the hill like ocean waves and darkness descended making the outbuildings disappear, it was the stuff that ghost stories are made of. My eyes strained to stay open as the fog’s cold damp air embraced me, when off in the distance came a sound that cut through to my very soul. The long mournful howl of a wolf out looking for it’s nightly kill.




It has been reported that in Alaska there have been no fatal attacks on humans by wolves….


But one quickly forgets these facts when you are alone hundreds of miles from any civilization and you hear a wolf howling nearby. I was asked by a friend to help protect his horses from wolves that were in the area. Apparently a large fire to the East of his homestead was pushing all the wild animals Westward right through his valley. He was stuck working on a job at the other end of the state and said his wife after many days of fighting off the wolves alone was tiring and needed a break.

It was about 5 am and hours since I heard those first wolf calls. The light was just starting to reveal the corral’s when all the horses started to walk in circles. It was like watching a compass, as they moved in unison first one direction then back the other way. Finally they stopped and all looked to the South. It was from there I hear another wolf call, answered almost immediately from what I thought was right behind me. I turned only to see the tail of an animal disappear around the back of the barn.

By the time I returned my gaze to the South there was three wolves trotting down the road toward the corral. I fired the shotgun twice and they scattered in different directions. Almost at that instant there was a howl from the North over by the lodge that was followed instantly by three shots. Now I had wolves on three sides and my adrenaline was pumping. When I looked back at the coral the horses where whinnying and there was a wolf standing right at the fence. I couldn’t use the shotgun so I moved closer to avoid hitting the horses.

Little did I know this was all to draw attention from the real attack behind me in front of the barn. The wolves were after the miniature ponies and came creeping along the side of the barn while I was focused on the corral. The wolf by the corral ran off as I approached and when I walked back to my 4 wheeler I saw the others almost on top of the miniatures. I couldn’t wait so I fired the shotgun in the air and ran over, hoping that would scare them off and it did.

After that they didn’t return and I sat down on the 4 wheeler and tried to relax. I started to fall asleep but something woke me and as I turned a wolf, with eyes almost glowing and mouth drooling, was no more than a few feet from me and for an instant we both froze. As I moved raising my gun the wolf turned to run but not before I emptied the revolver in his direction……

There may have been no reported fatal attacks on humans by wolves in Alaska,

but to this day I wonder what that wolf was going to do.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2013 2:50 pm

    Bet the lady jogger on the Alaska Peninsula would disagree with that. She was killed and partially eaten by a pack a few years ago. She was the school teacher and was listening to music as she jogged. There have been several attacks, also. A child dragged off downriver at one of the villages, but recovered, slightly damaged. An older child attacked near Cordova. The motorcyclist on the Haul Road. One in northern Canada probably don’t qualify, but at a remote lake, a pack killed and mostly consumed a surveyor.


  2. Del permalink
    May 9, 2013 9:22 pm

    They were around all the time but they were really hard to see. I think in the 4 years I was there I only saw one. And could never trap one…. I would set the perfect set up and they would ALWAYS trip the traps…. Smart critters…….. Cool tale though Pete…….


  3. Raven permalink
    May 10, 2013 12:07 pm

    I am a wolf lover and a raven lover. Your writing is amazing and had me on edge. Wolves do kill but morewildlife than human. When they are desperate and or sick is when they go for the human. There are different views from all about wolves as with any species.


  4. Jon permalink
    May 11, 2013 10:51 pm

    Been awhile since I’ve commented though I’ve been reading. In this case Rosalyn stole my thunder as I read the same story about the jogger few years ago.Can’t remember if it was Alaska Magazine or one of the papers. Here in Mn. there was the first wolf hunting season in years last fall.


  5. May 17, 2013 3:51 pm

    Sorry Jon. Didn’t know if anyone even remembered that one, lol.
    Raven, we have wolves go through here fairly often. This Spring, there was one that seemed not very wary and I think it was a female searching for a denning place. Kara and I saw her two different days and both times she was more intent on what she was looking for than us. There have been wolves on the driveway between my house and Kara’s house. We both enjoy the ravens. They each have a unique personality and are far more entertaining than most people.


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