Chasing Wolves: Day Two

posted on February 25, 2015
gunclub2015_fs.jpg (8)

undefinedFeb. 24—We saw a wolf today. Actually, Caleb Davis saw it. The wolf was cruising a ridgeline high above a hardtop road late this afternoon. We were glassing the hillside checking out elk, deer and sheep in the mountains above a hardtop road near Gibbonsville, Idaho, when the moment arrived.

As we did yesterday, we were trying to determine by the animals' behavior whether wolves were "shopping for groceries." If the ungulates suddenly bolted downhill, for instance, we'd know an interloper—or several—was likely in the area. That would give us a plan for morning, because we could be reasonably assured the wolves would stay near the scene.

The sighting didn't really matter much this afternoon, though. No ungulates did anything differently, and the wolf was not seen again. Didn't matter much for me, either. I couldn't have climbed that hill before nightfall—not after this morning.

Snowmobiling is tough on my arms and knees. The snow is hard as a rock in many places, and it plays tricks with the front skis. I'm not used to it and so I go slow. Still, it wears out my arms. Then the hiking wears out my legs.

After a 7.5-mile ride uphill, we dismounted and took our time working a Forest Service road, hiking 2.5 miles till eventually we found a vantage we liked. From there we watched a gaggle of elk fanned out on an opposite ridge. There were many groups of cows and calves, and a bachelor group of five bulls—including a dandy 7x7 and a 6x7. If wolves were hungry, surely all this live bait would be an attractant—but no dice. So we reversed course. That took another couple hours of hiking and snowmobiling.

Besides the one sighting, I did see much evidence of wolves today, though. We went uphill because we were following tracks of a pair that had likely killed the three elk Caleb pointed out down the mountain—a 5x5, cow and calf, spread across a couple hundred yards near our jumping-off point. We saw those tracks occasionally across the top of the mountain but not the makers of them. Then on the way down the mountain, adjacent to the calf carcass, we noticed a fresh fox kill. Wolves are efficient, I'll say that for them. As you can see there isn't an edible part left of the fox or the calf.

And they know how to work this terrain. They stay high, cruising ridges until they're ready to move on a kill. We must do the same. Only problem is this riding and hiking and hiking and riding is taking a toll on me. I wonder what I'll have left if Caleb, me and my Kimber see an opportunity to move downhill for a kill of our own.


Benelli Lupo BE.S.T. Lead
Benelli Lupo BE.S.T. Lead

New for 2022: Benelli Lupo BE.S.T.

The new Lupo BE.S.T. features a premium wood stock that bridges the original Lupo’s precision performance and technological innovation with defined ergonomics and contemporary styling.

First Look: Zeiss DTI 3/25 Thermal Imaging Camera

Zeiss has released the DTI 3/25, its second thermal imaging camera developed especially for hunting.

First Look: Bergara Premier Divide Rifle

Representing a lighter, backcountry-minded version of the Bergara HMR, the Premier Divide bridges the gap between a tactical and hunting rifle, pairing the company's proprietary Cure Carbon Barrel with a custom AG Composites Chalk Branch carbon stock. 

Mojo Outdoors Releases Scoot-N-Shoot Gunner

With turkey season around the corner, Mojo has added the Scoot-N-Shoot Gunner to their turkey lineup.

Browning Ammunition Introduces Pro22 Rimfire

Browning's new Pro22 is the company's latest addition to its ammo lineup, providing target shooters and plinkers with a new high-accuracy option for shooting their favorite rimfire rifle.

New for 2022: Nosler Suppressors

The all-new Nosler Suppressors are designed specifically for hunters to strike an ideal balance between size, light weight, exceptional durability and sound mitigation. 


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.