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Wolf Down with my LONGBOW!
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I have been pursuing my dream of taking a gray wolf with my longbow ever since they were delisted. I have been an avid predator hunter and traditional archer for most of my adult life. It seemed like the ultimate challenge to try and take what is arguably the most elusive apex predator with what is certainly one of the most difficult primitive weapons to master. I have spent hundreds of preseason hours practicing and countless days in the field every archery season in pursuit of wolves but have never (until now) been able to put it all together. Ask any predator caller and they will tell you that the most difficult part of predator hunting is often just locating an area that holds the species they are pursuing. This problem is greatly magnified with wolves when one considers the incredibly transient nature of a pack whose territory can often cover hundreds of square miles.

The 2014 Montana archery season started on a Saturday and by one o’clock in the afternoon I was hiking about 9 miles from the nearest blacktop. I found a pile of still wet wolf scat on the trail so I instantly knew they were close. I set up quickly, my back to a small ridge, with a great view of the facing hillside and shallow valley below. The wind and sun were both in my favor as I began to blow on my predator distress call. Just minutes into my calling sequence I was startled to hear very aggressive barking about 50 yards directly behind me. You guessed it, a pack of 5 wolves had been bedded down on the ridge right behind me and when they responded to my call they got a good whiff of my scent blowing right into their faces. Game over! They seemed quite content to stay just out of sight up in the timber and alternately bark and howl at me for over 30 minutes before they finally drifted out of the valley. Sadly I must admit that I have experienced that same response from wolves on a number of occasions and they all ended the same way, a fun show, and a long walk home, empty handed.

Three days later my work schedule unexpectedly cleared so I decided to take a quick morning trek back into that same area and give it another try. I am well aware that frequent calling in an area will quickly educate a wolf pack and ultimately make them even harder to hunt. However on this day I threw caution to the wind and decided to go for it on the slim chance that they would still be in the area. As I approached the area, I saw no fresh sign at all. I quickly picked a large tree to stand behind that would provide me some concealment but was also situated for a good view of a nearby hillside and the trail running along the base of it. I shed my backpack and nocked an arrow; my Toelke longbow was now ready for action.

I started to blow into the call, doing my best to duplicate the sounds of some small animal dying a horrible death. Less than two minutes into this sequence I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. Unbelievably, an adult wolf was racing straight down the hill towards the sound of my call with another one about 40 yards behind the first. It all happened fast, but as the first wolf got within about 20 yards of me it put on the brakes, hard.

Apparently realizing that something was wrong it was already turning and starting to trot away. As the wolf had come to a stop, the call fell from my lips and I had come to a full draw with my bow. As the wolf started to leave I gave a quick bark which is usually a surefire way to get a canid to stop and look back. The moment the wolf looked back towards me I let the string slip from my fingers and sent the arrow tipped with a Zwickey broadhead on its way. I watched the arrow arc the 28 yards to the wolf as if it were in slow motion and then saw the feather fletches bury in the fur near the last rib of the now quartering away animal. I watched the animal spin and bite at its side before taking off at a dead run straight back up the hillside it had just come down. It disappeared over the hilltop and out of my sight. The other wolf also turned and ran, stopping at the top of the hill to bark at me several times before departing.

In the moments after the shot, archers will frequently replay in their mind the spot that was hit, the reaction of the animal and its direction of travel. I was no different, and while I was very confident in the shots placement I am experienced enough to realize that what looked like a good hit can occasionally result in a long blood trail, or even worse, a lost animal. I picked up my pack, gathered my gear and tried to calmly wait the recommended 30 minutes before following after the wolf. In reality it was taking every ounce of my will power to fight off the urge to rush over that hill and begin my search. I finally reached a compromise with myself and after 20 minutes started to follow the blood trail. As I scaled the small hillside I found a fairly good blood trail with drops close enough that they were no challenge to even my limited tracking skills. When I got to the top I found where it had followed a trail on the spine of the ridge then the blood droplets suddenly stopped. To say that this was starting to look like my worst nightmare would be an understatement and a moment of panic set in. I took off my pack and was going to get out my flagging tape to mark the last known drops of blood. As I unzipped my pack I glanced over and not fifteen feet away was the now lifeless wolf sprawled over a small log. It had travelled less than 100 yards from where it had been shot. I let out a whoop that was probably heard in town 20 miles away.

All of the hours spent both at the range and in the woods had finally paid off. I had just fulfilled an incredibly challenging goal and at the same time I have taken what may be the first modern day wolf killed with a longbow. I sat there on that log just soaking up the sights, sounds and smells. It was an experience that I now shared with the wolf hunters throughout history and it was one that I wanted to savor as long as I possibly could!

The details; The wolf was examined by a biologist and then a game warden at which time a DNA sample was taken as part of the states management plan. It was an adult female in excellent condition (other than the fact that she was dead). Equipment used was a 62” Longbow crafted by Dan Toelke, 56lbs@30”. Carbon Express wood grain Heritage 350 arrow tipped with a Zwickey 145 grain broadhead. The shot entered mid body at the last rib on the right side and exited through the left armpit taking out both lungs on the way through.





"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: 1621 | Location: Montana Territory | Registered: 27 March 2010Reply With Quote
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What an incredible hunt, congrats on a true trophy


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Posts: 2266 | Location: Monee, Ill. USA | Registered: 11 April 2001Reply With Quote
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JCS271

Way cool and an incredible accomplishment as an archer. Hugh congratulations! I'm trying for a wolf this year with a rifle and if I just get a shot a 300 yards I'll be super happy.

Mark


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Posts: 12395 | Location: LAS VEGAS, NV USA | Registered: 04 August 2002Reply With Quote
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I celebrate with you this great achievement!!!
I want to go on a wolf hunt so bad...but to do it with your long bow simply incredible!!!

MIGHTY congratulations brother tu2

WOW clap
 
Posts: 3430 | Registered: 24 February 2007Reply With Quote
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That's absolutely awesome - congrats man!
 
Posts: 1489 | Location: New York | Registered: 01 January 2010Reply With Quote
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All the Congrats in the world! Incredible story and hunt!!!

Well done!!!!


Graybird

"Make no mistake, it's not revenge he's after ... it's the reckoning."
 
Posts: 3716 | Location: Okie in Falcon, CO | Registered: 01 July 2004Reply With Quote
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Great story and photos! Congratulations!
 
Posts: 344 | Location: Pocatello, Idaho | Registered: 26 August 2005Reply With Quote
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Now that is an achievement! Congratulations. I hope you write that up for a good magazine article.


~Ann





 
Posts: 17746 | Location: The LOST Nation | Registered: 27 March 2001Reply With Quote
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Probably one of the highest points of hunting I've read on AR. Very we'll done.

Steve


Formerly "Nganga"
 
Posts: 2723 | Location: Phoenix, Arizona | Registered: 26 April 2010Reply With Quote
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That is an incredible accomplishment. I have hunted wolves for years and have never once gotten close enough to shoot one with a bow.
Well done sir, well done


My biggest fear is when I die my wife will sell my guns for what I told her they cost.
 
Posts: 6393 | Location: Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee | Registered: 22 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Amazing feat---Congratulations!
 
Posts: 1576 | Registered: 16 March 2011Reply With Quote
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Well done and a strong Waidmannsheil on that difficult accomplishment! Enjoyed the write up.


-------- There are those who only reload so they can shoot, and then there are those who only shoot so they can reload. I belong to the first group. Dom ---------
 
Posts: 728 | Location: Michigan | Registered: 15 March 2005Reply With Quote
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I too


You have done what few will ever do with a bow. If there were 5 people on this site that have done what you have done, I would be shocked.

Congrat's!!

Now, go out and buy yourself some lottery tickets!!
 
Posts: 2394 | Location: Utah | Registered: 23 February 2011Reply With Quote
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Awesome. Great shooting.

Jeremy
 
Posts: 1469 | Location: Indiana | Registered: 28 January 2011Reply With Quote
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Great report and even better results! Congratulations. Well Done.
 
Posts: 4214 | Location: Southern Colorado | Registered: 09 October 2011Reply With Quote
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A true hunter through and through. Congratulations. Are you going to full body mount.
 
Posts: 975 | Location: Brooksville, FL. | Registered: 01 August 2007Reply With Quote
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COngratulations. Just excellent!


.
 
Posts: 40442 | Location: Crosby and Barksdale, Texas | Registered: 18 September 2006Reply With Quote
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Badass!! Way to go.


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Posts: 7374 | Location: Alaska | Registered: 05 February 2008Reply With Quote
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That is incredible Jay
You gotta make some T shirts for next Big Bore shoot with that wolf
I'll buy some raffle tickets right now
Better get that bear this year with bow
2014 Montana Predator Grand Slam Longbow style


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Yours truly , Milan The Boarkiller - World according to Milan
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Posts: 13376 | Location: In mountains behind my house hunting or drinking beer in Blacksmith Brewery in Stevensville MT or holed up in Lochsa | Registered: 27 December 2012Reply With Quote
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WOW!!

465H&H
 
Posts: 5686 | Location: Nampa, Idaho | Registered: 10 February 2005Reply With Quote
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What a Hunt! Congratulations sir, you have really accomplished something, that few men have ever done! Fantastic!!!!!!
 
Posts: 479 | Location: texas | Registered: 29 March 2008Reply With Quote
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Great job very nice

Calling one into bow range wis hard to do.

.
 
Posts: 18165 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Great job. tu2


Jim "Bwana Umfundi"
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Posts: 3012 | Location: State Of Jefferson | Registered: 27 March 2002Reply With Quote
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Congrats,

Phenomenal accomplishment!

Your great grandkids will be talking about that feat in 100 years from now!
 
Posts: 501 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: 04 August 2005Reply With Quote
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Congrats!!! Another good Wolf.


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Posts: 2208 | Location: East Wenatchee | Registered: 18 August 2008Reply With Quote
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Very impressive!!!! Congratulations...keep up the good work.

Phil


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Posts: 228 | Location: Albany, NY | Registered: 24 December 2007Reply With Quote
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Incredible. Well done man.
 
Posts: 2717 | Location: NH | Registered: 03 February 2009Reply With Quote
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Simply incredible....A trophy that few undertake and even fewer would accomplish.

Outstanding! clap


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Posts: 779 | Location: Baltimore, MD | Registered: 22 July 2005Reply With Quote
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One of the best hunt reports ever on AR. A beautiful and vicious animal you took. I also shoot a long bow only when it comes to archery, and that wolf is quite the feat. Simply amazing, congrats


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Posts: 1857 | Location: Chattanooga, TN | Registered: 10 August 2010Reply With Quote
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Incredible, you are my hero. I know how tough it is to take a wolf at all, let alone a bow. Congrats!
 
Posts: 274 | Location: Clyde Park, MT | Registered: 29 December 2005Reply With Quote
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Congratulations Jay !
You already put on one of the best Big Bore Shoots in the country this year and now success on a hunt that is at the pinnacle of hunting accomplishments.
Did it yourself solo wolf with a longbow-Holy Shit!
I'll be shaking your hand in congratulations next year in Libby clap


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Posts: 432 | Location: WA. State | Registered: 06 November 2009Reply With Quote
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tu2 tu2
 
Posts: 551 | Location: Idaho | Registered: 27 July 2008Reply With Quote
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tu2 tu2 tu2
 
Posts: 1662 | Location: Winston,Georgia | Registered: 07 July 2007Reply With Quote
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Excellent.


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Posts: 9157 | Location: Zambia | Registered: 10 April 2009Reply With Quote
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WOW! That is by far the best and certainly the most impressive hunting report EVER on AR. On your own, with a long bow and taking a WOLF?!? Would be tough to ever top that and few, if any, will ever accomplish what you did.

The chances of just seeing a wolf while hunting one is very rare, but calling one in to long bow range is nuts.

Congratulations, sir, my hat is off to you.
 
Posts: 1018 | Location: Bozeman, MT | Registered: 21 October 2002Reply With Quote
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Superb! Sublime! Wow! ...and these are all understatements
 
Posts: 925 | Registered: 05 October 2011Reply With Quote
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I am really impressed, but even more envious.
 
Posts: 995 | Registered: 04 January 2005Reply With Quote
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W0W!!!! tu2


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Posts: 17099 | Location: Texas USA | Registered: 07 May 2001Reply With Quote
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Fantastic! What call did you use?
 
Posts: 292 | Location: Northernmost Sweden | Registered: 17 July 2013Reply With Quote
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Congratulations, a hell of an achievement.


Frank



"I don't know what there is about buffalo that frightens me so.....He looks like he hates you personally. He looks like you owe him money."
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Posts: 12261 | Location: Bakersfield CA. USA | Registered: 30 December 2002Reply With Quote
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