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The forecast for today was a very serious storm front blowing in. It was due to hit around noon with lots of snow, high winds and temps dropping to below zero. Perfect weather to try and locate predators wanting to feed before the storm

I left the house an hour before daylight with extra layers of fleece and thermal underwear in an effort to maintain a comfortable 98.6 degrees.

I made a few stops to howl into some drainages that occasionally hold wolves, but heard no responses. My ultimate plan was to be in a small wet weather lake bed right at daylight. This place and the large valley behind it is a good place to call. When I parked, I gave a few soft howls but got no reply. I then hiked about 1/2 mile before dropping down a trail to the lake bed. I have not been here in at least a year so I was very surprised to see a lot of frozen swampy grass and some larger areas of water that were frozen over. I quickly discovered that beavers had moved in and the area was already filling with water (It will be a lake by next spring).

I found a path along the edge that took me to a spot where I could see fairly well. The pond was directly in front of me with some brush and alders at about 90 yards and then heavy timber beyond that.

It was just starting to get light so I took out my favorite call (Ironwood from Robert Patrick at Rare Earth Calls) and started to make some very slow and soft fawn distress calls. I was standing in some small alders since it was way to wet to sit. I blew 3-4 times then scanned to my left. As I started looking back to my right there was a black wolf staring right at me. It was standing facing me at about 95 yards. I had my rifle barrel resting on a small branch and it was already pointed in that general direction. Since I had the wind in my face, I gave a very short bleat hoping to bring the wolf a little closer and possibly position it for a broadside shot.

It worked, the wolf took a few steps forward, stumbled once, when it broke through some thin ice then stopped to look towards me again. It was now at about 90 yards and slightly quartering towards me. I centered the red dot reticle on its chest and touched off the shot. The Leupold VXR scope is a 1-4 and it was set on 1X. At the shot I thought I saw the wolf fall and I know that I heard the thump of the 123gr 7.62X39 bullet but I could no longer see the animal due to the tall grasses. Instantly the valley erupted with the howls of the pack that was apparently in the tree line just behind the black wolf. I quickly tried to make some distress sounds on the chance that another one might venture into view but they were all definitely heading away from me.

My finger is pointing at the spot where the wolf fell.



I gathered my backpack and started trying to make my way over to what I hoped would be a dead wolf. I have been through this ground a few times in the past but with the recent beaver flooding I was quickly busting through the half inch ice and in water halfway up my (apparently not really waterproof) gaitors. A few more steps and I dropped through past my knees. This was getting worse and even though it was 20 degrees, I was on a mission to locate and recover that wolf. I always use a hiking staff and that is the only thing that kept me upright while breaking through the ice and waiting for my boot to hit the bottom. I was shocked when the water started to be thigh high and I could see it would get deeper before I could get to where I needed to go.

I spent several minutes backing out through my trail that looked like it had been cleared by an ice breaker. When I got back to solid ground, I was soaked, my new Whites hunting boots were literally full of water and I wasn't really sure what to do next.

It took me about 20 minutes to slog along the edge of the pond and work my way to the other side. Then I still had to work my way out again to where I would hopefully find a dead wolf. This time the water was only calf deep and I quickly found what I was looking for, my first black wolf! It was a large female but she was literally half submerged.



I had my drag strap ready and pulled her up towards firm ground where I could examine her and notch my tags. It was also a chance to take some pictures before trying to get her back up to the trailhead.



When that was all done, I was starting to feel a serious chill and knew that I needed to get moving to build up some heat. The path I took getting there would have been miserable to retrace so I opted to pull her further downstream since the water seemed to be much shallower that direction. Even though I was now heading the "wrong" direction, I hoped it would be easier and drier. I pulled her about 150 yards through soggy tall reed grass before coming to what looked like a little shallow channel that was iced over. I pulled the wolf right up to the edge before I started across. My first few steps after breaking through the ice were in ankle to calf deep water. On my next step I did not hit bottom as I planned and literally started falling further forward. I managed to twist my staff sideways as it hit the ice and that stopped my forward motion. The pistol and knife on my belt were both underwater before I hit bottom. I was able to grab an alder branch and I pulled myself back out of that cold water faster than I went in to it! What a mess.

This little hole sure doesn't look like it goes from four inches to four feet deep does it?



Long story, short. I had to back out of there again and pull her several hundred more yards "downstream" before I got all the way around and back to the spot where I originally took my shot.

By the time I got back to my trail, I was quite glad to have that soggy part of the hunt behind me. Here is a picture of the swamp as I was heading out to the trailhead.



Moments after I took that picture I started hearing a lone wolf howling from an area across the pond. I left her there on the trail and slipped back down to see if I could work him in. I gave a number of whimpers and soft howls hoping that he would come to investigate but he never appeared. He was on the move and every time he howled he was closer to being straight across from me. The wind was picking up and I am confident that he caught my scent because the woods went totally silent.

I dragged the wolf back to my truck and with the heater blasting, smiled all the way home.

This was truly an amazing day! JCS


"The difference between adventure and disaster is preparation."
"The problem with quoting info from the internet is that you can never be sure it is accurate" Abraham Lincoln
 
Posts: 1607 | Location: Montana Territory | Registered: 27 March 2010Reply With Quote
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Good job and thanks for a good story and for saving a few deer and elk for hunters.


NRA Life Benefactor Member,
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Posts: 1828 | Location: Republic of Texas | Registered: 25 May 2009Reply With Quote
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Good story indeed, and I'm amazed at the size of the female. Any estimate on live weight? The males must be intimidating in size.

Came from Canada, eh?
 
Posts: 649 | Location: Kerrville, TX | Registered: 24 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Very cool, congrats!
 
Posts: 6540 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: 10 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Congrats on your first black wolf. Something about the black ones, they have a eerie character of nature about them.Especially the black wolves with yellow eyes.

I know you have discussed it before but curious on the caliber of the rifle you are shooting. What is the accuracy level of your rifle? Similar to a accurate bolt rifle? For predator hunting the fast extra rounds could come in handy on pack animals.
 
Posts: 239 | Location: Western USA | Registered: 08 September 2018Reply With Quote
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Congrats!

Nice story with pics and a beautiful pelt on that thing to boot! Any plans for the pelt and/or skull?


.

"Listen more than you speak, and you will hear more stupid things than you say."
 
Posts: 676 | Location: near Albany, NY | Registered: 06 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Absolutely beautiful black wolf! tu2 Congratulations! tu2 And yes, the caliber of your rifle, please?
 
Posts: 15650 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Sorry I forgot to add the caliber. It's a 7.62X39. Factory Federal 123gr soft points. Darn near moa rig. I only use it for my close range heavy timber hunts where it really shines.

I also used it to kill this one last week...

https://www.hunttalk.com/threa...lf-adventure.302372/

And this one last year..

http://forums.accuratereloadin...321042552#8321042552


"The difference between adventure and disaster is preparation."
"The problem with quoting info from the internet is that you can never be sure it is accurate" Abraham Lincoln
 
Posts: 1607 | Location: Montana Territory | Registered: 27 March 2010Reply With Quote
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My first wolf was a black. after that , it's downhill. LOL



Grizz


When the horse has been eliminated, human life may be extended an average of five or more years.
James R. Doolitle
 
Posts: 565 | Location: Central Alberta, Canada | Registered: 20 July 2019Reply With Quote
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Nice. Where was this at? How does wolf taste?
 
Posts: 471 | Registered: 30 September 2012Reply With Quote
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Sounds like you've got wolves figured out.
Mighty nice, even though a wet mess.

That ice water sure can jolt a person when
it hits you in the ass. I stepped across an
icy creek to a dry rock elk hunting and it
rolled over. Down I went 3 miles from camp.
Temp was around zero that morning.

Lets see some of your pelts.

There's months left this winter, can you tag
a few more or is there a limit up there?

Great pictures and story. Thank you for sharing
with us.

George


"Gun Control is NOT about Guns'
"It's about Control!!"
Join the NRA today!"

LM: NRA, DAV, RMEF

George L. Dwight
 
Posts: 4849 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With Quote
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We are allowed 5 tags. Season goes till March 15. I have 3 left. Smiler


"The difference between adventure and disaster is preparation."
"The problem with quoting info from the internet is that you can never be sure it is accurate" Abraham Lincoln
 
Posts: 1607 | Location: Montana Territory | Registered: 27 March 2010Reply With Quote
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Don't let 'em go to waste.

Good luck and have fun. Thanks
for the reply too.

George


"Gun Control is NOT about Guns'
"It's about Control!!"
Join the NRA today!"

LM: NRA, DAV, RMEF

George L. Dwight
 
Posts: 4849 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Good job can't wait for another Wis. season

I could have shot black ones and others over the years
 
Posts: 16199 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Congratulations!


~Ann



 
Posts: 15479 | Location: The LOST Nation | Registered: 27 March 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by JCS271:
We are allowed 5 tags. Season goes till March 15. I have 3 left. Smiler


Quite a step up, from Don't shoot the poor Wolfies. Big Grin

Grizz


When the horse has been eliminated, human life may be extended an average of five or more years.
James R. Doolitle
 
Posts: 565 | Location: Central Alberta, Canada | Registered: 20 July 2019Reply With Quote
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One down!
 
Posts: 3584 | Location: Somewhere above Tennessee and below Kentucky  | Registered: 31 July 2016Reply With Quote
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Awesome,thanks for letting us share it tu2


DRSS
 
Posts: 2007 | Location: MI | Registered: 20 March 2007Reply With Quote
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I don't know what the 'J' stands for in your name, but it must be Jack. Wolfman Jack!

I read your other two posts on your wolf hunts. You're the man...

Congratulations on all of your hunts. You sure worked for them and deserve the success.
 
Posts: 1955 | Location: Colorado | Registered: 26 May 2010Reply With Quote
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If ever there was a "king" of NA trophies it would be the wolf...IMO!

Congrats...tu2


Aaron Neilson
Global Hunting Resources
303-619-2872: Cell
globalhunts@aol.com
www.huntghr.com

 
Posts: 4829 | Location: Boise, Idaho | Registered: 05 March 2009Reply With Quote
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I would agree that they are the hardest animal in North America to specifically target and harvest. I travel many hundreds of vehicle miles and at least another 50 miles (no exaggeration) by foot for every wolf I have taken. But when you get one, it is ALL worth it!


"The difference between adventure and disaster is preparation."
"The problem with quoting info from the internet is that you can never be sure it is accurate" Abraham Lincoln
 
Posts: 1607 | Location: Montana Territory | Registered: 27 March 2010Reply With Quote
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Does Montana allow trapping of them.

Traps work 24/7

When Wis. allow the taking of wolves the quota was filled in 3 days most of them were trapped.
 
Posts: 16199 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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For the last few years Ive read about your wolf hunts, they are always fantastic. You are one dedicated hunter, and someone to be admired,
wolves are very hard to hunt, and be successful.
Thanks for balancing out the eco system, and telling about some great hunts, best of luck, and watch those frozen holes!!
 
Posts: 398 | Location: texas | Registered: 29 March 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by p dog shooter:
Does Montana allow trapping of them.

Traps work 24/7

When Wis. allow the taking of wolves the quota was filled in 3 days most of them were trapped.



There is a winter trapping season, but I enjoy hunting them. No interest at all in trapping.


"The difference between adventure and disaster is preparation."
"The problem with quoting info from the internet is that you can never be sure it is accurate" Abraham Lincoln
 
Posts: 1607 | Location: Montana Territory | Registered: 27 March 2010Reply With Quote
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Awesome hunt and photos!

I hope you get the rest of your wolf tags filled.

Justin Cool
 
Posts: 2914 | Location: West Texas | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Niiiiice!
 
Posts: 31 | Registered: 03 April 2020Reply With Quote
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great trophy and story


mario
 
Posts: 1419 | Location: northern italy | Registered: 01 June 2002Reply With Quote
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Great story with photos, thanks!

I have a wolf tag in my hunting jacket that's burning a hole I think... Next week I'll be where I followed a lone black wolf for several seasons, came very close several times but he managed to elude me. He made a living on deer and beaver.

Your pics are so alike to where I call from that I almost wonder if you stole them from my blogs! Just kidding!

I've tracked the black one on snow shoes when he was trying to bring down a big buck whitetail! I got to know his trails and area. They had a serious encounter but that ended in each going their own way, but I think he was just delaying another tactic. It was February, bitter cold and in at least two feet of snow. Together, they went up over a 30' cliff that I couldn't climb, but I circled around to the dirt road and found where they'd crossed it, and just beyond that was the battle. From all signs, the buck was a big Northern Whitetail.

Sorry for injecting a bit of my story, but I found great encouragement in yours. I'll be 85 in 6 weeks so can't do what I used to in snow shoes, but will be there next week and on til the end of the year. God willing, I'll then purchase another tag for 2021 that's good to the end of March. Thanks again, go fill those 3 remaining -- and tell us about it!

Bob
www.bigbores.ca


"Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being" - King David, Psalm 148 (NLT)

 
Posts: 737 | Location: Kawartha Lakes, ONT, Canada | Registered: 21 November 2008Reply With Quote
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