MT Wolf Update

MT_elk

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With only about a month left to the MT wolf season, I'm wondering how everyone is doing. I haven't seen many posts of successful hunts. Nothing for me yet (not even any live sightings). This warm spring-like weather we've been having is not helping. Anyone else been out? Any sightings?
 

shoots-straight

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I pulled my traps. I wasn't prepared for dirt sets. I usually trap the snow, but this year it all went off and left my traps sitting on the ground.

I won't give up for awhile yet on hunting them though. Best is yet to come.
 

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I should've killed one January 17.

I walked way back into a roadless drainage that has a small pack based out of it. At noon I heard a howl across the canyon 1.5-2 miles off. I howled back and we went back and forth for probably 20 minutes before it finally decided to come in. It'd come in a couple hundred yards, stop, and howl at me. I'd cut it off with my own howl and it'd move in a little bit more. It was cautious, and it took the better part of an hour from when I first heard it to when I first saw it.

I had all the time in the world to get set up and knew I was going to get a shot. I was on a little timbered finger ridge and the wolf would be coming uphill towards me. I set up behind a fir tree with a big canopy that completely hid me, and gave me what I thought would be the shooting lane on either the ridgeline itself to my left, or in the draw to my right with an exposed hillside on the other side of it.

It came in on the ridgeline perfectly, but right before it gave me a shot to the left of the fir tree, it dropped down into the draw. While still on the ridgeline I could see it through the brush but had no shot. I got to watch it howl at me from 80-100 yards away.

It was now coming up the draw to my right and into my other shooting lane, I swung over and was ready for what would be a 50-60 yard shot. It was dead calm, but not five steps before he got into the shooting lane he stopped in the last big clump of timber, I assume caught my scent, and turned and walked straight away from me. I got to watch him go over the top of the next ridge through the brush but again didn't have a shot.

It was heart sinking for sure. I've never had so much time to set up on an animal like that and I just outsmarted myself. As close quarters as the encounter was, I should've just set up with my back to a big open pine tree and took the first shot I had when it came in to the open.

I'm pretty sure it was a young male that was maybe just kicked out of the pack for their mating season. It wasn't very big, and I've never had a wolf come in to howls like that. I've had a lot respond, but never commit like this one did.
 

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It's been a slow year over all though I think. I've seen very few tracks outside of the drainage I almost killed that one in, and have heard likewise from all the other hunters/trappers in my area.

Lack of snow to push the meat down low, and honestly, I think there's just less wolves now than a couple years ago.
 

MT_elk

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What a neat encounter Randy! Thanks for sharing.
 

Nameless Range

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That's awesome Randy. Were you using a howler call of some sort or were you just calling with your voice?
Even though it got away it would've been beyond sweet to slay a wolf at 50 yards.
 

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That's awesome Randy. Were you using a howler call of some sort or were you just calling with your voice?
Even though it got away it would've been beyond sweet to slay a wolf at 50 yards.

I was just using my voice. There's no way I'd buy a howl call from the ones I've heard.

Yeah, it would have been pretty awesome to have closed the deal. I've had so many encounters with them since we've had a season it's ridiculous I haven't been able to tag one yet. They've quickly became my white whale.
 
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