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  1. #1
    pizza's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Superior Hiking Trail 7/5 - Wolf Encounter

    I just got back from an incredible backpacking weekend with my cousin. I went SCUBA diving on the iron range in the Biwabik/Aurora area in the mine pits on Saturday. I then drove to meet my cousin Saturday night at Bear Head Lake State Park up near Ely where we camped overnight. Then on Sunday we drove up near Grand Portage on the SHT and then yesterday down south to Jay Cook State Park.

    The highlight was an encounter with a large timber wolf Monday morning on our hike out. We were on the section of trail starting at the parking area on Arrowhead Trail Road. We hiked to the first campsite heading northeast towards Jackson Lake Road. The trail this far north is incredibly dense with vegetation. You almost need a machete to get through some of this stuff. There were spots with weeds and brush chest high and you couldn't hardly see the trail most of the time because it was closed in with so much vegetation.

    We decided to hike out Monday morning to Jackson Lake Road and then hike back to the cars via Jackson Lake Road and Arrowhead Trail Road rather than back track to save time and our legs...LOL! We started out early and stopped at "Hellacious Overlook" and shot some pictures. It was a spectacular view. I took my pack off and got some shots and then put my pack back on.

    Moments later we heard sticks breaking and rustling in the brush sounding like something large was running full speed right towards us. Shooting out of the brush came a large full grown gray wolf. I don't think he even knew we were there. He came right out in the clearing where we were within less than 10 feet from us and he looked to his right and saw us standing there making eye contact with us. Then he did a circle and ran back into the brush. My cousin and I were just stunned. It totally took us by surprise. We said to each other holy s**t did you see that?!!! We sat there frozen in disbelief.

    A minute went by and we heard the wolf coming back toward us for another round. The wolf stopped right on the edge of the brush and stared us down looking back and forth at the two of us several times. My cousin drew his Glock just in case. I didn't even think to draw my gun because I was still just blown away at was happening and the adrenaline was pumping. While the wolf was staring us down I just out of instinct picked up a rock and threw it into the brush towards the wolf and he turned and trotted back into the thicket. We sat there for a few minutes and then went back on our way to finish the hike.

    It was an amazing experience and from what I've heard extremely rare to have a close encounter let alone even see a wolf out there in the wild. It's going to be a great memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. This summer now I have been fortunate to be able to see a wolf and a black bear up close on the trail!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Savage's Avatar
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    That sounds like an awesome adventure. I can't wait to see some pictures. I plan to go up to the SHT in the fall for a few days. This just makes the wait all that much harder.

  3. #3
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    Wow great story! You have a great memory there.
    Terry

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    Wow!

    If you don't provide pictures, it didn't happen!

    Just kiddin".

    That's a fantastic experience, to say the least. Any idea why (s)he came back? You weren't near a den, were you?

  5. #5
    Senior Member miisterwright's Avatar
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    I'm glad that you got to have such a wonderful experience with that wolf! I'm also glad that you and you're cousin were prepared by carrying your weapons, and more so, that you didn't have to use them. I'll be ok if I never get within 10' of a wolf or a bear, but in case I do I don't leave the pistol home. A few hundred yards might be cool, but not 10'.
    ~Bryan

  6. #6
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Good thing wolves don't naturally eat "pizza" huh?

    All kidding aside ... one of those amazing events in the forest that occasionally we're blessed to witness. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.


    "A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
    Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." ... B.Franklin


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  7. #7
    Senior Member Hangin' Burrito's Avatar
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    That is truly a great experience!

    Thanks for sharing that with us.
    "Is this the best you've got?!!" (Shortoff Mtn., Linville Gorge 2010)

    "Life is tough.....it's even tougher if you're stupid!".....(John Wayne)

  8. #8
    pizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    If you don't provide pictures, it didn't happen!

    Just kiddin".

    That's a fantastic experience, to say the least. Any idea why (s)he came back? You weren't near a den, were you?
    LOL...yeah, pictures were the last thing on my mind when we encountered the wolf. I could have easily gotten some because the wolf was in view for quite awhile but we were more concerned with gauging what his intentions were. He didn't act aggressive towards us but he gave us a pretty serious stare down. Here are the overlook pics I took just moments before the wolf arrived. The wolf came from directly behind us.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    beep's Avatar
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    Pizza, we may have to start calling you "Wolf Man"!!!
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

  10. #10
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    There's nothing more life affirming for hikers, campers etc than a good wildlife encounter. You'll remember that for your life.
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

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