EP 142: The Life of a Wolf Hunter with Gus Thoreson. While spending several winters in the backcountry trapping and hunting wolves, Gus studied and learned a lot about wolf behavior and tendencies. Wolves are a very smart predator that are efficient in being unseen killers. A wolf hunt is one of the most exhausting hunts, both mentally and physically and yields the lowest success rates of most any hunts in the west. By learning to better understand wolves, Gus has found quite a bit of success on harvesting wolves. This is an informative podcast for anyone interested in wolf hunting.

Disclaimer: this text was produced through an automated transcription service and likely contains errors. Please listen to the original audio for exact content.

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And I howled, and the pack answered me. And then here they come down to strangers

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Zone. You actually see one, but it’s two, three miles away. That’s an incredible day.

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Do you find them traveling, like in the summer range, winter range, anything to do with Western Big Games?

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

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Hey everybody. Jason Carter. Adam Bronson coming at you from Southern Utah. We

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Realize everybody, it’s middle of winter, not a lot to hunt, kill, you know, chase all though, unless you’re a lion hunter. Or maybe if you’re a wolf footer, which is something we’re gonna talk about today.

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Got an awesome guest coming at you here. A guy that’s just made a living at hunting predators. A few elk and deer as well. Super good guy. Before we get started, we wanna thank Under Armour. We appreciate them sponsoring our podcast, doing sponsoring, pretty much everything we do here at Epic Outdoors. Great partner of ours from the beginning. So thank you to Under Armour. Produce a great lineup of clothing. They got a few new items coming out. We actually saw a shot show and as well as the, the regular lineup they had last year. And what a great lineup it was. It’s very impressed with the gear they’ve been making

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Recently. Cool stuff to look forward to for 2020. Looking forward to putting it to use this fall. We wanna give a shout out to the Western Hunting Conservation Expo. It’s gonna be taking place here, coming up February 13th to the 16th. Check us out. We’ll have an Epic outdoors booth there. We’ll be there the whole time. Great place to either come join our membership, renew your membership, buy some entries to our membership drive hunts that we’re giving away. Really looking forward to that. It’s an awesome show. We love going to that. And on the Saturday, on February 15th is also a great event that we help sponsor, and that is the Full Curl Society Social, where they’ll be making hope Sheep Hunting Dreams come true. Giving away a bunch of sheep hunts there. We always have our name in the hat there. It’s always fun to see those that are lucky enough to win Doll Stone Desert or Rocky Mountain Sheep Hunts. There again, that’s February 15th on the Saturday during the Western Hunting Conservation Expo. And we’ll see you there. Yeah,

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They, we will see you there. We’ve got a booth there. We’ve supported each other for many years from, from basically Inception and Bronson. They’re giving away not only these sheep hunts, but the $5 ticket items as far as, you know, getting tags across the state of Utah and a lot, all the different species. So what a great opportunity. Looking forward to seeing y’all there. Come on out if you’re interested in one of these wolf hunts, bear hunts, lion hunts or, or anything. Give us a holler. Let’s get after it. Let’s get this guy on the phone and see what he’s got to say. I lo I want to talk some wolf hunting. Hey, is this Gus?

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It is.

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And Gus Jason Carter and Adam Bronson here. Epic Outdoors. How you, how you doing?

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Good. How are you? Good. Doing

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Good. You

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Looking forward to talking about some wolves today?

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Heck yeah. Yeah. I’m, I’m always looking forward to talking about wolves. Alright.

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Are you, are, have you been hunting them? I mean, have you been out, are we taking you away from killing one today? Or what are you doing? No,

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No. Heck no. You know, right now we’re actually just kind of hanging out and trying to have a baby where my wife’s due here in about a week or two. Oh. So I came outta the hills this last week and we’ve been hunting them here in January up until just recently. So I’m kind of just hanging tight right now doing chores around the house Yeah. And whatnot. Trying to not go hunting so that I don’t get in trouble. I’d probably not be a good idea. I’d probably not probably get myself in trouble pretty easily there, so.

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Yeah, exactly. It’s the last thing you wanna do is be out in the hills, miles and miles away. And so anyway, hope things go well for you guys.

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Thank you. Appreciate it. Thank you.

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But we’ll, as we get started here, we’ve heard a lot about you and of course we’re interested in wolf hunting. We’ve hunted wolves up there in Idaho and, and smoked a, a few of ’em ourselves, just, but, but haven’t done it with a vengeance like you have. And so we just want to kind of bend your ear on that. But before we get started You bet. Maybe just give us a little of your background where you’re, where you’re from and then what started this? Yeah, this dog killing spree.

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So, well I, I was born in Great Falls, Montana, and then we moved into Lehigh Valley and I was just a toddler, you know, real young, probably three or four. And then started school out in, and this was all pre-war before they’d reintroduced them. And we moved to Salmon when I was in fifth grade and Sam and Idaho that is. And so it’s, you know, for those that aren’t really aware of it, were right on the right on the border of the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 of Frank Church Wilderness. You bet. And that is one of the first places down there at the end of the road where they turned them loose in 95, I think 1995. So anyways, you know, I just started, I started trapping when I was about eight years old. We lived on a kind of a warm spring c creek there, and there’s lots of muskrat and raccoon and, and fox and whatnot.

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And I mean, it started, I I was just always, you know, my favorite movies as a kid was like Jeremiah Johnson, that type of stuff. And old Yeah. Westerns and kind of got with the horsemanship and ranch in lifestyle. And my family has a ranch up in Belt Montana. And, and, and my grandparents had, and so we just were always around stock and, and rodeo and, and hunting. My grandpa, he was a, he always take me hunting and stuff, you know, and even when we got to the age where we could go hunting and he’d, he’d come over and bring, you know, bring a camp, we’d set up a Wal tent and he’d take us for opening a week of elk season, you know, and anyways, she was pretty big impact on her, my brother, and i’s outdoors, passion for the outdoors. But anyways, I just always, you know, my mom used to take us some camp trips, pack trips into the wilderness there and always just loved it.

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I was the high, one of the highlights of my year, you know, as a kid. And so, you know, we grew up riding Colts and, and with the horsemanship deal. And, and then as I got older, I just, there was an old boy that used to trap bobcats back, back in there and, and he’d come out and march, you know, ’cause he couldn’t get, get a stock up over the top till, till about March. And I remember he lived in a, in a trailer park. And I remember we drove by and I’d see his rig. He drove a big old box truck that he’d load all his stock in. I’d, I’d see his truck there and I’d make my mom stop and drop me off and I’d go look at his hides and listen to his stories, you know, and anyway. And so I just kind of got obsessed with it there.

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Then I went to college on a, on a rodeo scholarship and ended up finally I was like, man, I gotta do it. That’s all I could think about is because I came back there and killed some elk back there and stuff. And so I, I went ahead and bought a bunch of old wall tents and I had a $300 average on all my stock, bunch of killer horses and mules, you know, and went in and spent my first winter on the middle fork there in 2009 or so. And, you know, I went in, started setting camps up the end November and started trapping and then come out at the end of February, you know, Ugh. And wow. So that was the first year was the winter of 2009. And it was just, you know, the, the wolf deal I kind of fell into by accident because the fish and game was wanting somebody to go back there and trap. But, you know, that’s quite the liability. I mean, when you’re dealing with large farm animals and winter conditions. And so here’s somebody that had already been back there trapping anyways, so they just went ahead and hired me to do it. You know.

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So tell us about logistics. That’s kind

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Of how I fell into the wolf field

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About the logistics of that camp. When you’re talking about camping or winter camping from November to February, and do you have your animals back in there? How do you pull that off? How do you survive yourself? How do you stay warm? That’s nasty. Let’s just start with that. That’s nasty. That’s

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Nasty. Nasty. You know, it’s amazing. It’s amazing how, how cozy you can make a, a wall tent, you know? Wow.

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All that, all that insulation on the walls. Right,

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Right, right. Well, actually what I would do is I would hang mannie’s, so kind of double wallet and it gives you about a couple inches of air there, you know. Oh, okay. And because there’s times, you know, it’d be negative 15 for a while. I think a guy just kind of adapts, you know, like I sold a mule to the flying bee and I’d, I’d get up and, you know, they’d be wanting their grain. I’d g grain ’em every morning. And I was just grazing them. This is before I was commercial. Now I have a hunting outfit. I have to follow more rules. There’s less rules for, for private, you know, hunters. Yeah. And so anyways, I, I sold this, I had this coordinator drop this mule off at the, the Flying Bee Ranch hole. I, I got up that morning to grain ’em and I had ’em on a highline, each one of ’em.

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It’s amazing how you get a system down. Each one of ’em know their system. They’re standing in their spot that they stand in every day to get saddle to grain them saddled. And so I go out and grain ’em. I’m just in my long underwear and slippers and, and I thought, well, heck, I might as well saddle ’em while I’m at it, you know? And I went to saddle and, and by 11 o’clock, by the time I got down to the bee, it was negative 18. Oh. And I’m like, geez, I just saddled my stocking. Nothing but my long underwear and slippers, you know. Anyway, I think the guy just adapts, you know, you do an awful lot of walking to stay warm. Like, even though you have horses, you know, you get off and walk and stay warm. Like I’ve had, it’s so cold that, you know, the type of deal, I mean, all of us have been out there and it, where your eyelashes are freezing together and, and stitching on your bits breaking and stuff like that, you know. But usually a guy can get in into a pickup and warm up or stay in the house if you want to. And that’s the difference is, you know, you can’t really do that. So you just kind of adapt and, and keep moving, you know, and that, that all ties into when you’re pursuing predators. I mean, they, they just keep moving too. And it really helps you. You don’t, you know, the minute you hunker down, you’re in trouble then, you know, you just keep

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Moving, keep moving. Well, what do you do? How do you feed a horse in the winter? Or mules in this case? Well,

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You know, I would, I would feed them like real, real high protein grain, like a molasses mix type deal. Like a 19% protein grain. And when I come, like you had kind of had to build ’em up to it. You couldn’t, you can make one twisted gut. You just pour the feed to them. So I would build it up to where, by the time I came outta there, it was feeding them each about 15 pounds a day of grain. And so I’d have it, I mean, that was the logistics, you know, you’d have to figure out how much you’re gonna need

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And you gotta get it in there. Like you gotta get it

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In there. Oh yeah. Yesterday, no, you gotta pack it in there. Your food, you know, I mean, you eat a lot of dehydrated stuff. That first year was a big, big learning year. I mean, I had some growing pains there. I your gut had some growing pains. Oh yeah, I forgot ketchup. I forgot salt and pepper. You know, like typical stuff like that. Like, but I did have, I always thought this was ironic ’cause I had this one camp down clear down on, on the middle fork. I killed a bull, a seven point bull that fall right up above it. And so I packed, packed the bull out, cut it up, and then I was packing it back in to eat him. You know, I thought, well, that’s kind of ironic. But anyway, you know, so I would have, so at the end of the road, I had a camper and that was my highest elevation.

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Yeah. And I would, I just had coolers full of meat there, and they stayed frozen all winter, you know. Wow. And then when I would go up to that camp, I would take enough meat with me because shoot, sometimes down on the middle floor could be warm, you know, I mean, it, you, it’d be raining on you in January and crap like that. And you know, you don’t want all your meat to be thaw, you know, thaw and then freezing and thaw or freezing. So, yeah, there’s definitely some logistics like that. But it, you know, and then there’s quite a bit of feed down there at the end of the road. There, there was so much snow. I fed hay there, and then I had, I just fed grain down on the middle fork and let ’em graze, you know? And I, I don’t know, it’s a, you gotta get a system. If you’re gonna hunt in the back country with stock, you gotta get a system. And it’s hard to do for most folks that are just gonna go for three or four days, but we there for a couple months, they, your stock gets it down, you know? And, and that’s like my stock. Heck, they, they know where I’m at at home, you know. I mean, I can go into the saveway parking lot and drink saddles off and drop some grain. They’ll be back there in the morning.

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So. So just to back up a little bit, you talked about your mom a bit. Like she’d drop you off and, you know, kind of helped you with this lifestyle, it sounded like a little bit. You want to go into a little bit of

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That? Yeah, yeah. No, she, she was a pretty good hand back in her day. She and her dad. You wouldn’t, you wouldn’t think so, but she always rode Colts and she’d take my brother and I just pack in there, you know, but she didn’t know. I mean, heck, we’d take hot, frozen hot dogs and stuff like that, you know, and kind of just live over a fire for a few days. And, and you know, we’d always take our horses and stuff. She didn’t really know how to pack, you know, but she would tie, she could tie bags on the side of one and take us in there, you know, she grew up on a ranch and Yeah. And rodeo and the whole works, you know, and, and so yeah. But yeah, she would always take us like into the Stoddard country. I dunno if you guys are familiar with that, but the bridge just washed away a few years ago. Huh? She’d take us in there and then down river by my permitted area. Now my hunting area. She’d take us in there and stuff like that, you know, just over, you know, for a couple nights. And it was, it was pretty fun. She, we, she always had a few bolts get being born every spring too. So we would, we kinda grew up starting them. We, you know, we’d start breaking the lead and then get ’em riding and then take them into the hills or go to Cowboy and on ’em, you know, and whatnot. So,

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So bridge the gap between college and paid to hunt. How, how? Right. You know, it’s one thing to say, I want to go do it. I’m tired of college or whatever. I’m rowing. I can see no future in that per se, except for a broken back or whatever. Right. And so, exactly what, now what am I gonna do? You know, you know, what’s Gus gonna do? How, how are you gonna get paid to hunt? So, so just bridge that gap and then your first paid gig.

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Okay. Yeah, no, so I got, I went to work for Middle Fork Outfitters, actually in high school. I did, I didn’t know it was bad. It’s been past seven years, but I took some guys hunting. They were just past seven years. A hard time. I didn’t, yeah. Well, I didn’t know. I, you know, I, I was a dumb kid. I was a sophomore in high school. Heck, I didn’t even have my night license. They were like, well, we to all you do is hunt. And I’m like, yeah, you know, my poor mother, you know, I, when I got my driver’s license, she thought I was going to school for like a month and a half and I was just going hunting. And so, and then the school calls her is like, Hey, what, what’s wrong with Gus? Is he sick or something? And anyways, I’d been, I’d missed too much school at that point.

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I had to go to homeschooling. But, you know, I thought I was gonna make a million dollars hunting and trapping, still working on that. But anyway, yeah. So I, you know, these guys are like, man, we heard all you’re doing is hunting. You help us get some elk. So I took them, took them, and we, we put a couple of elk and, and then, you know, so I was like, man, this is pretty cool. I could do this guide thing. Then I went to work for Middle Fork Outfitters, and that’s where the packing really evolved for me. Like, I’d always pilgrim packed, just bags. And you doing that sort of PIL deal,

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Pilgrim pack, I’ve never heard, I’ve never, I’ve never heard it called that, but strap a couple fanny packs somewhere on the saddle. Lash. Just lash and hold. Yep,

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Exactly. Hey, the classic one is those orange bags, you slip over a stock saddle. Yeah. And then just shove stuff down in there, you know, like, that’s a classic. But anyway,

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Probably probably hitting home with a lot of people listening because people are still doing that. I think so,

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Yeah. They’re, they are, you know, and, and us as packers and back country guys, like, you just kind of smile at ’em, you know, on the trail. And I mean, not judging them, but, and they’ve

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Done that.

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You never see us with something as bright orange, you Yeah. We’ve been there. Yeah. Well been there at one point. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s where I really learned a lot about the packing end of it. You know, I had the horsemanship with Colts and with, with riding horses and, and getting one to ride handy, you know, but you don’t need that back there. You want ’em to go left or right forward or stop, you know what I mean? It’s not like you’re asking a lot outta them. You wanna be gentle and stay in line and stand when you load ’em. And, but that’s where you really started, you know, whipping out some canvas manny’s and stuff like that. And learning how to really pack classy, you know? Wow. And so I, and that would be, then I guided a hunt. The first hunt that I ever guided for Ron, we killed a 3 55 bull.

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And I think it’s still to date the biggest bullet he’s taken out of his area. The, the mine fork doesn’t grow big, have a lot of antler growth. I dunno if the country’s so rough or mineral content, what the deal is. But you know, I would say an average bull, there’s 2 70, 2 80, you know, and for whatever reason this bull, he was a stud. I mean, he was a nice bull. But yeah, for a kid that was pretty good. It was actually a really, one of the hardest hunts I probably had. We, we, we hunted all week. Well, first night in camp, so Ron was booking these hunts. That’s when the outfit was pretty tough. And she was booking ’em for cheaper. And then there were just one guy in camp, like they were supposed to, the hunter’s supposed to help cook. And so it was just me wrangling.

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I had 12 head of stock and wow, this guy didn’t really help cook at all. Geez. Like he was supposed to. So I had to cook and then, and then guide as well. So we’ve hunt it all week and didn’t see an elk, didn’t see an elk all week getting skunked. I’m like, son of a gun, you know? And at lunch on the last day, he is like, man, let’s just go back this, this sucks. You know, like, hey, like that is the worst attitude. I mean, it’s September hunt, hunt your last day. Like you did your first, you just never know. And that evening, it wasn’t about an hour and a half later I spotted this bull, you know, they’re up on their feet, feet Anyways, I was like, man, I don’t know if we can get there, but let’s give her a whirl.

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You know, we went and killed this bull down in this hole, and I had meat meals with me because it was the last day. So I packed him back to camp. We got back to camp about two o’clock in the morning, and then we get up at like four or five to start saddling and get loaded to head back out, you know, and that was a fly in camp. And he actually, we were clipping along, I was stretching mul out so bad, trying to get him to the air strip, but we missed a flight by maybe 45 minutes, you know? But he killed a pole lifetime, you know? Yeah. It was like, kind of worth it, you know? But it was pretty exciting. We killed a bear that week too. It was pretty neat, but pretty good m there. But anyway, so that’s when I was like, man, I like this stuff.

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This is cool. I mean, this is what I wanna do. You know? And, you know, naturally after that year, I knew I wanted to buy, buy an outfit and, but I just knew I didn’t have enough knowledge. So, you know, for about the past 10 years, I’ve just kinda worked, worked for a lot of different outfitters and learned a lot from each one of them. You know, a little bit here, there, here and there, you know, that type of deal. Different styles, things I do like or don’t like, you know? And, and anyways, so yeah, we then, I finally just bought one here this last year. So we’re diving in, diving

00:18:50:02 –> 00:19:23:06
In, well back up slightly to, you alluded to it just a bit ago, about your start in, in hunting wolves. You obviously went through the reintroduction in the mid nineties and then talked about your first, first winter in the back country trapping. And then, I guess, I dunno if it was the, the feds or the, the fish game that, that approached you, I guess, about doing some trapping in there. Tell us about how that started. You kind of said you fell into it by accident, how that got your start, and then obviously between, between that point and then now where you have an area and, and we’ll get into, I guess, wolf hunting.

00:19:24:04 –> 00:19:39:07
Yep. No, for sure. So, you know, I was, I, I spent several winters back there, and then I got a job at the county, which naturally is a good job, you know, but I was just miserable. I, it wasn’t, wasn’t for me, you know? And it’s like, man, I wanted

00:19:40:19 –> 00:19:42:10
Benefits and a regular paycheck. It’s terrible.

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I know,

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I know. It seems crazy, right? But you’re in,

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I know, a great job, but yes, yes. I was like, this just isn’t me. Yep. You know, and so I, I was just trying to figure out a way to make it happen. I’ll be darned if I didn’t just get a random phone call. Yeah. And they said, Hey, you know, this is kind of what we’re looking for. Are you interested in doing this? We, we understand You spent several winters back there. You have the means to do it. Heck, I had six heads standing right there in my corral at home, you know, and you bet I need about, they’re like, well, how much time do you need? Like, well, I need about 48 hours here. I need to get shoes on and, and get my stuff gathered up. But everything’s pretty well ready to go. Wow. And so, yeah, within a few days, and I was in there, I don’t know if they knew what to expect, you know, I had, you know, I’d lived there with, I knew all these olds personally, and I, but I had never to that day tagged one. And so they, they, they’re like, okay, here’s a kid that’s not gonna go get himself killed. You know, he’s, he spent winters back there trapping bobcat. See at the records, there’s how many bobcats he tags a year. You know, like, so he must kind of know what he’s doing a little bit.

00:20:52:14 –> 00:20:56:04
This is the state, the Idaho fish game. Is that who’s approaching you? Yep.

00:20:56:08 –> 00:21:17:22
Yeah. Yep. Yep. So I went in there and it was kind of nice ’cause I never got to deal with, like, I, well, I got stay in some cabins and I, I never got to deal with planes. I never could afford ’em, you know, it’s about four 50 a trip. And so like, well, we’ll fly in horse feed for you cube, geez, all your gear, you know. So I was like, all right, right on. So empty, just

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Salt and pepper, salt, salt and pepper. Ketchup. Yeah. Salt, pepper,

00:21:20:24 –> 00:22:08:02
Ketchup, you know? And so I’m like, awesome. So I, you know, I, I went and was picking stuff up from the airstrip thing. And I, that morning I’d went up to these hot springs and taken a bath, and I seen this nice line track, and I had my knives with me. And anyways, I didn’t run it because I had planes coming, you know? And so I was sitting there, I just, just finished, I just grabbed my last load and I was kind of going through stuff. And I was at this cabin, this fishing game cabin. I had everything toed and stuff just out on the front porch, you know? And, and I’ll be darn if I, my dog started winning something and here comes this deer running, running by with a, his tongue hanging out. I thought, oh man, that lion, you know, he’s probably trying to get that deer.

00:22:08:05 –> 00:23:09:12
So I start calling dogs, this will be a fun one. It’ll just pop him up, you know? And anyways, I’ll be darn of his thing, black wolf right on its tail, you know? So I was like, holy smokes. And I, so I raised heck with him there, you know, I, I shot that one, and then I, now this is a, this was a mistake, a young dumb mistake. And that’s for anybody that’s out there listening thinks you don’t, you know, everybody makes mistakes. So if you make a mistake, this stuff’s normal. But anyway, so I had all my extra ammo and totes that I had flown in, right. So I had just, when I rode down to the middle fork, I just had my mag full, I thought. And so I, at this point, I only had three rounds in there. And so I go up to this little knob right above the cabin there, and I held, and the pack answered me. And then here they come down to strangers, and there’s a horse cell coming down, or a horse trail coming down the drainage. Geez. And so here they come. What

00:23:09:12 –> 00:23:11:00
Do you got? What are you shooting? What, what are

00:23:11:00 –> 00:23:20:24
You shooting? So I was actually shooting an old 2 22 and Winchester model 72, 22. And I, I love that gun, but I, I like hitting wolves with a 30 caliber bullet, because it, it rolls ’em. Yeah.

00:23:20:24 –> 00:23:24:06
You know? Yeah, exactly. Because they’re, they big out now. Shoot 30 out six you. Yeah.

00:23:24:15 –> 00:23:30:22
Yeah. Now I shoot a 30 out six, you know, but this was just a 2 22. I liked it because I could shoot a bobcat or a coyote, and I wouldn’t, you

00:23:30:22 –> 00:23:30:24

00:23:30:29 –> 00:23:51:20
Right. And so, anyways, I, here they come and, and so I didn’t know, I guess it was two, I had two shells. So I shot that one wolf, and then I went up there, and here they come and I’m watching ’em. They all just kinda disperse through these willows. The mouth, the canyon starts opening up, there’s a bunch of willows, and they all just kinda disperse through there. And I’m like, man, this is neat. I’m just kind of watching ’em, you know? And it was like, all right,

00:23:51:23 –> 00:23:54:10
What are your dogs, what are the, what are the dogs doing?

00:23:54:11 –> 00:23:56:06
They tied up at the cabin. They’re

00:23:56:20 –> 00:24:01:01
In a sense, they’re probably, yeah, they’re tied up the cabin. So they’re raising, heck, you can only imagine. They’re, which

00:24:01:01 –> 00:24:02:01
Helping? They’re

00:24:02:01 –> 00:24:03:19
Helping. It’s helping me out. Yeah. Yep.

00:24:03:21 –> 00:24:03:28

00:24:04:03 –> 00:24:42:25
But, so yeah, so I, I, I dial in on this one and squeeze her off and click. I was like, oh, no. And right when I, it dry fired, you know, it, the primer must have been shot or something. And so right when I went and click that wolf, he just stopped and looked at me right at me, you know, and he is probably 110 yards, gee thought, oh no. Now I’m gonna booger him. You know? Well, I had my old cat of hula dog, Ruby, my side dog was just right there with me. And then I went to rack another shell. While that was the only ones I, I was out then. That was my dumbest mistake of this. I didn’t have full mag and all my ammo. I didn’t have ammo in my pocket. It was all down in totes, you know? And

00:24:42:25 –> 00:24:46:04
How many wve, how many wolves are you talking are right there? How many you think

00:24:46:13 –> 00:24:54:09
There was? Nine. Oh. So I start crawling up over this little ridge on my hands and knees. Well, they start coming to me. You

00:24:54:09 –> 00:24:56:09
Kind of feel naked, kind of feel naked. Yeah,

00:24:56:09 –> 00:24:57:10
You do. You do. Yeah.

00:24:57:22 –> 00:25:00:10
One bullet, nine wolves coming for you. Right.

00:25:00:17 –> 00:25:02:21
Slippers and long johns to you. That’s what I’m picturing.

00:25:03:17 –> 00:25:04:03
Yep. Yep.

00:25:05:14 –> 00:25:05:21

00:25:06:05 –> 00:25:53:07
I get over the ridge and I, I don’t care. They’re really coming to me. I’m like, just want my ammo, you know? So I get outta sight and then I book it. I’m throwing a rooster tail behind me, you know, and running for the cabin. Anyway, we go down there and Yep. Running for the captain. And I have all these totes out on, on the porch, and I’m just throwing them. I’m like, just emptying. Where’s the animal turning upside down. Yeah. Yep. And ’cause everything going into it, I just went in with a mad dash, you know, just kind of threw everything. I was like, oh, I’ll organize it when I get into in the camp there, you know? Anyway, so I find them, and I just dumped the box right out on the porch, grab a handful and shove it in my pocket. And I grab some more and start shoving them in my mag. I, as I go back up to this ditch line. And they were all howling at this point. And that’s, you know, that’s pretty exhilarating. Get ’em in. Oh,

00:25:53:12 –> 00:25:53:21

00:25:53:24 –> 00:26:09:23
You know, where they’re a hundred hundred yards or so, just hoing at you like that. So I go to shooting and I ended up shooting two more of them. And they were pretty surprised. My boss was when I called and says, man, you’ll never believe what I just did. And he’s like, what? I was like, I just killed three wolves.

00:26:11:10 –> 00:26:13:10
The, the day of the fly in. Pretty cool.

00:26:13:16 –> 00:26:17:26
Wow. Yeah. They’re like, really? You didn’t, I’m like, yeah, crazy, huh? They’re

00:26:17:26 –> 00:26:19:25
Like, yeah. They’re like, we hired the right guy.

00:26:20:11 –> 00:26:29:23
Did they, what was the, what was the goal? What were they trying to do? What did they, what’d they ask you to do? Kill any, kill, kill as many as you could. Was there a number? Yeah. What, what did they trying to do? It was

00:26:29:23 –> 00:26:48:25
Kinda more of an exploratory Yeah. To see, you know. Yeah. They said, just try to kill as many as you could. And, you know, the old stereotypical deal that, oh, they’re almost impossible to kill and this and that. And then I had some pretty good luck there. I mean, it was what year? But a lot of it was, I just knew ’em, you know, I knew those wolves, all of ’em personally.

00:26:49:04 –> 00:26:55:25
So when you were, back, when you were guiding a little bit and, and camping all over the wintertime, like you were in wolves on a regular basis?

00:26:56:21 –> 00:27:00:10
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yep. Yep. And I was just living with ’em. And

00:27:00:10 –> 00:27:04:08
There was no season on at the time, or, yeah, most of that time there would’ve been, right.

00:27:04:13 –> 00:27:15:10
The one year there was no season. I think 2010 was, I think we could hunt ’em in 2009, 2010, they went back on the list. And then 2011, they That’s right. They let us,

00:27:15:10 –> 00:27:18:17
11 and 12 is when we started. Yeah, that’s right. Yep.

00:27:19:05 –> 00:27:23:24
Yep. So, you know, and they were a little bolder back then, for sure. I mean, they Oh yeah.

00:27:23:24 –> 00:27:35:07
Oh, they were ni naive. Whatever they chased, they killed and whatever. How was another wolf in their minds? And so, so was this a winter project? Like how many did you end up with? Like, what was the

00:27:35:24 –> 00:27:38:18
Well, I, a month I ended up with 13.

00:27:39:07 –> 00:27:40:26
That’s pretty darn good. Wow.

00:27:41:09 –> 00:27:45:16
Yeah, my goal was 25, and I was, I think I’d hit it, you know? Wow.

00:27:46:22 –> 00:27:46:29

00:27:46:29 –> 00:28:49:02
Because I was pretty, I was pretty obsessive. I mean, I would, you know, you get a, did you, you, you feel a grind back there. Like you gotta be a self-starter in the winter. And, you know, it’s colder, it’s darker. You don’t get any sunlight. You’re, you know, the bottom of those drains don’t see any. Yeah. You know, it’s such a, the middle fork’s such a deep, narrow corridor. And so I, you know, I guess I always had that competitive mentality, like, you know, like when you, you dashed the last 200 yards of a race, you know? And so I started setting my alarm for like two or three in the morning. I wanted to be riding by four. And so I put on some miles, you know? Wow. And I’d get up real early every morning and, and just be out there, out there with them and, and whether I was traveling or hunting and, and, you know, I just put in more, and then some days I wouldn’t get back till 11 at night. You know, there was one day, heck was skin. I didn’t get back till like two or three in the morning. Wow. And because I would try to skin ’em right there if they were warm and thaw, because that’s a real battle and a self turn of thaw, frozen wolf out in a wall tank, you know? Yeah. Yeah.

00:28:50:27 –> 00:28:54:14
Wow. And so do you see any people when you’re out, when you were out living

00:28:54:14 –> 00:29:45:25
Out there? Very rarely. Yeah. Very rarely. You know, that, that year things, you know, that’s, I ran into a guy, a do gooder that really wasn’t a big fan of me, but was a big fan of the wolves. And he, you know, I seen him, he was kind of harassing me, following me around. And the foresters finally flew in and picked him up and escorted him out. But, you know, and then, so he was writing articles and stuff and, you know, was the fire, you know, and, and anyway, they, so then, you know, because everything blew up and I was having some success that people were finding out about, because I didn’t tell anybody. But my, there’s a guy in the office there that works with that guy or something used to we’re buddies. I think he must’ve been leaking some information, you know, but it’s considered public information.

00:29:46:02 –> 00:30:36:29
But so heck, they would, I mean, they had like a Facebook hate page, and they’d be like, oh, yeah. Killed another one. You know? And I don’t know, it was like, man, I’m not telling anybody. So I don’t know how they’re finding out. But I, anyhow, so there was a couple guys, there’s one group of guys that came in thinking they’re just gonna run into ’em, you know, they’ll just be swimming into ’em, up to their eyeballs. But that’s not really the case. You know, just get, you’re clear back there. They’re the same as the wolves out here. Anybody can go hunt ’em like this. The biggest thing is, is getting to know them personally. I mean, you know, they have different little rendezvous spots when they make their, their rounds. That’s like a comfort zone. It’s kinda like a living room, you know? And I mean, they have a real dominant rendezvous spot that’s usually located right about where their natal den is, and that’s about the only den they’re gonna use every year.

00:30:36:29 –> 00:31:17:01
It’s usually at about the center of their territory. Oh, okay. So you figure out their territory, and then you figure out where their RV spot is, and then focus on that. Because that’s, it’s like a, you think of it like a bicycle wheel, you know, they’re gonna run the perimeter, and naturally that’s gonna push the game to the inside and to the outside. Well, they can’t go to the outside. And the neighboring pack is around the perimeter as well. So they’re trying to push that game to the inside, which naturally is closer to the natal den. So the games always run to the inside down to it. And then there’s tracks going here, here, random tracks that don’t make any difference. Those are the spokes to your bicycle wheel. And then you got the hub and the center, and that’s where, that’s where that rendezvous spot’s gonna be.

00:31:17:03 –> 00:32:03:28
And so every track, there might be random tracks going to and from, from the boundary to the center, but they’re all running through that rendezvous spot, you know? Hmm. And that’s where most of your vocalization is from and stuff like that, you know? And, and so you kind of try to piece that puzzle together. And if you get to know ’em personally like that, that’s when your, your options for success really go, you know, get higher. But, you know, that’s the thing is you, I mean, these wolves out around town, I, there’s, they’re a little bit different. I don’t think they’re as local, but they, they have the same tendencies. They’re the same, you know, a wolf is a wolf is a wolf. And so, I mean, it’s like they’re, they’re still gonna have those same natural instincts with, with their RV spots and, and with their, you know, territory perimeter and stuff like that. You know,

00:32:04:21 –> 00:32:38:08
You mentioned it earlier, how have you about the, maybe the naivety have wolves have never been hunted back there, or even there in the Lehigh Valley where you live, or where you’re Yeah. Closer to town. But how have you, what do you see as some of the biggest changes, I guess from, let’s just say 2000 10, 11, 12, when they first started being hunted with quotas, with support hunters? Until now, and then we’ll maybe get into, you know, you know, how to combat that. What are tactics, what are, how do you try to, right. How do you try to kill a wolf?

00:32:39:07 –> 00:33:33:07
Yep. No, for sure. So there was, let’s see, let me figure out this here. It was probably 2006. My brother and I went, and it was the frontage area hunt. We spotted, well, that’s not spotted. He needed to fill his tag. We kind of grew up on elk and stuff. And so, and my mom didn’t want us to go hunting. We were supposed to go to my grandma’s for Thanksgiving. We had a use tag that ran a little later. And anyways, so we did what we shouldn’t have done. We went and killed this rag horn bull out on this face, and we’d no more than shot shot and just walked up to that bull. And all the old started hauling across the canyon. And I think there was like eight or so in that pack. And so we, we got ’em spotted, glassed him, you know, well, they started howling, kind of gathered up and then came running. Geez. And I think just at your

00:33:33:08 –> 00:33:36:16
Shot, like, just the, they knew something died.

00:33:36:16 –> 00:34:17:04
Yeah. Just from the shot. They knew they were gonna get a, you know, have, be able to eat something, you know. So that’s one thing in particular that they used to used a dinner bell, you know, shooting dead. And, and then they just weren’t scared of you. You know, I had ’em come that first winter, there was 14 in that pack, and I had ’em come into my, my camp one night. I always had dogs with me. And anyways, they came in and, and all of ’em were just howling, you know, 20 you’ve see in the snow where they’re about 20 yards away in the morning. And one of ’em circled our, our tent, like three of my strides from it, you know, and just blew bold. And then the next day I saw one on the trail and I figured he’d blow out, you know, head out, run off.

00:34:17:28 –> 00:34:58:06
And I, I don’t know, I just spotted him right away. Just one of those deals, you know, eyes just went to him and he was kinda uping the rocks and he was just kinda sniffing around, milling around. And then I kept riding. And heck, I rode, rode to about 60 yards from him. He just looked at it, you know, geez, just watching us ride by. And so they used to be so much bolder, you know? I mean, I ran into ’em another time on the trail and, you know, you couldn’t hardly get ’em to move outta the way. They just stand there and watch you, you know, and especially if you have dogs, I’ve had ’em do that too, where they’ll come circle your horses and dogs, and your dogs are right underneath your horses and meals, and they’re just kind of, they didn’t do not like your dogs, you know? Right. Yeah.

00:34:58:14 –> 00:35:16:17
Do you find them traveling? Like you got ’em like maybe a summer, summer range, winter range. They following the feed, they’re following elk and deer to Yeah. Winter range. Oh. And all that. And so when we’re talking about this hub and the spokes and the wheel, I mean, is that moving, you know, where to, they’ve got their summer to an extent summer range and then winter range?

00:35:17:18 –> 00:35:39:11
Yeah. Yeah, to an extent. I mean, they’re naturally gonna follow the game, but that hub’s gonna be located on the edge of a winter, winter ground’s usually, you know? Yeah. And naturally in the winter. But they’ll do, I’ve seen ’em push through snow. It’s like, what are they doing these crazy buggers? And it’s like, the only explanation is they had a tree they had to go piss on, you know? That’s the, the only, you’re like, what I mean, doesn’t make sense. It’s

00:35:39:11 –> 00:35:41:10
Marking territory and that’s it. Yeah.

00:35:41:15 –> 00:36:22:29
Wow. Yep. And in springtime, they naturally get really territorial and, and they gotta do that stuff. So especially when the snow harden is up, they’ll, they’ll cover, you know, they’ll travel up over the top of the divide. It’s, you know, and you get a lot of random singles and doubles. Especially right now, the, the pet breeding pair should be breeding right now. And you know, like for example, you know, one of these last wolf hunts, we, the first morning of the hunt, we, we, I knew, kind of knew where they’re at, and we just, dumb luck ran into ’em on the trail. And they just stood there 228 yards looking at us. And the hunter shot at ’em. And so we boogered him real good. Well then last morning of the hunt, we see this smoking hot wolf track. I’m like, man, I, I bet I know where he is going, you know?

00:36:22:29 –> 00:36:55:17
And, and it looked like a male track. And so we, we follow it clear outta my area. And I was like, well, you know, it’s like four o’clock in the afternoon. I was like, I guess that’s it. We’re pretty well, yeah, those were, we put all the rigs in our ba in that basket for that one, you know? And, and then we, we drove, you know, came, came to come up to, I was like, well, let’s just go stay, leave the stock end of the road here, and we’ll go stay at my house tonight, the cook and pack up our stuff and bring it out, you know? And so anyways, that wolf, he hit the road shoot, he went another like 14 miles up the road to open up the road. Wow. Just travel.

00:36:55:22 –> 00:36:59:11
You think it’s like a young male just looking to venture out or? Yeah.

00:36:59:18 –> 00:37:31:00
Yeah. He probably got kicked outta the pack and he’s just kind of out looking for a mate, you know, their whole life is life. It’s all reproduction, it’s all they care about you. There’s studies that show that the whole pack will feed the pup and the bitch as well. Like regurgitate, you know, for the, for the alpha female, when she’s too heavy to be hunting or eating, they’ll all come back to that, that dening site and feed her. Wow. And I mean, they might, you know, they, it’s just a ran, it might be a two year old wolf that’s still part of the pack, and it’ll come back and regurgitate for her, you know? So their whole life is reproduction. That’s, yeah.

00:37:31:00 –> 00:37:31:26
And not necessarily

00:37:32:26 –> 00:37:33:17
Tv, you know.

00:37:33:26 –> 00:38:09:04
Well, and un and unlike a lot of other species, it, it’s not about them individually reproducing, it’s about their, the pack, you know, they, they fall in line Yeah. Strength with their, within their h hierarchy, they get alpha male and female and they fall in line, so to speak. To a point. Absolutely. I’m sure those, you know, adolescent males, when they get to a certain point, they’re the ones that are like, all right. I, you know, I don’t know what triggers it, but, you know, at some point they’re the ones that are like, I, I’m outta here or I’m kicked outta here. ’cause the alpha male’s, like, I don’t want deal with you anymore. I’m gonna run you out while I think I can still run you out and get outta here, type thing. Yep. So, wow.

00:38:09:11 –> 00:38:43:13
No, I know. And that’s, you know, and I’ve seen, and it’s not even, it doesn’t even have to be an adolescent, you know, like we shot a buddy of mine and I, we, we were running cast just for fun. He’s a neighbor and outfitter, and we were down on the river road there, you know, and spring a guy can see a lot of kills and, and stuff. So it’s kind of fun. I mean, grass is starting to green up down there and, and, but you see an awful lot of kills. And so you can ruin a cat pretty frequently, you know, you don’t always know what you’re running, but it’s a good time to train on dogs. And so we see, we we’re checking this kill, and here’s this white wolf we run back to, we, we walked up there without a gun. That’s another ring.

00:38:43:13 –> 00:39:16:23
You should always walk up to a kill with a gun. Anyway, so we run back to the gun or truck and grab a gun. And so he shoots this wolf, and it was a seven year old male, white male. And his sucker, we skinned him out and his throat, and I mean, he, he’d got his tail whipped. I mean, he looked like Q was in rough shape. Wow. And it wasn’t his kill, it was a cat kill a few, a couple kittens had killed the cell. He was just scavenger, you know, just trying to survive it. He got, that’s a seven year old male that got bumped out of the pack, you know, and was just trying to live on his own, you know.

00:39:17:04 –> 00:39:19:17
So how old’s old for wolves?

00:39:20:21 –> 00:39:21:07
What’s that?

00:39:21:17 –> 00:39:24:06
How old is old? You know what I mean? Like

00:39:24:15 –> 00:39:56:28
Yeah, I do. Yeah. I don’t know. I would say, you know, the oldest one that I killed was a, he was a 12 year old male. And, and everyone that’s saying these are 200 pound animals, they’re, they’re full of it. Yeah. You know, like you kill a four or five year old wolf that weighs 65, 75 pounds, you know, and like this 12 year old wolf, you, you look at him and I mean, you think, oh my gosh, this is one of those ones that would leave one of those tracks. It’s like, holy smokes, you know? Yeah. Coffee kid. And yeah, just unreal. And, and I weighed him and he weighed 137 pounds.

00:39:57:08 –> 00:40:00:29
That’s a giant Wow. Yeah. You know, healthy. Was he healthy? I mean,

00:40:01:07 –> 00:40:17:22
Oh, he was healthy. Yeah, he looked good. He was healthy. Yep. And you know, I mean, there’s nothing absolutely nothing wrong. I, me, he had good teeth to him and, and everything and, but that was, I, that’s the oldest one that I’ve had my hands on. Yeah. And he looked good. He looked like he was stealing his prime. You know, when you, when you

00:40:17:22 –> 00:40:25:19
Go, when, when you go a gun and in a pack, like, are you, are you hoping to kill the alpha male or, or female? You kill the, like, yeah,

00:40:25:22 –> 00:40:30:05
You wanna kill the female, you kill that female and their whole world goes into a tailspin. And then you

00:40:30:05 –> 00:40:35:12
Get, so what does that do? Behaviors. But what does that do? Do they stay? I I mean, they don’t know what to do. So they stay. Yeah,

00:40:35:12 –> 00:40:58:07
They’ll hang around usually. Yeah. Yep. They’ll hang in the vicinity usually. And they, you know, you, if you kill a pup out of it, they’ll just check out. I mean, but, and you’ll blow ’em out the country. But yeah, you kill that female and I mean, you’ve got a few days of pretty awesome random hanging around fighting. Yeah. Like, they’ll hang around you, you find yourself in situations where you’re in, you know, you get in between ’em and they’re hound and, and yeah, it can be an awful lot of fun.

00:40:58:09 –> 00:41:01:00
How can you tell the female? Like how can you, how can you tell?

00:41:02:05 –> 00:41:23:11
Well, it’s, you kinda gotta watch ’em for a minute, you know? I mean, just by their behaviors. She’s kind of the one that runs the show. And usually if you watch ’em for a minute, you can tell. But, you know, especially, and then you see those pups are obviously a little bit smaller in size and watch how they’re, how they’re acting, what, what wolf they’re looking up to and, and stuff. That’s

00:41:23:11 –> 00:41:24:20
Usually their mama. Oh, I gotcha.

00:41:24:24 –> 00:42:15:23
Yeah. It’s just the same as dogs and, and pups, you know, and, and same with puppies playing and rolling around. I mean, I’ve seen those wolves, but they’re goofing around, rolling in the snow, play, fighting, and, you know, and then, I mean, just how they act towards their, towards their mom. Yeah. They’ll, and so that’s the one I naturally, I mean, would like, because I’ve seen ’em do some odd stuff and have a lot of success after, you know, after you take her out and you’re, and it can be pretty good. Yeah. They’re definitely pack animals, you know, you use that to your advantage, whether you’re trapping or hunting. Really use that to your advantage. That that’d be, when I hear somebody trapping one wolf, I’m like, well, what, what, what went wrong? Why? Why’d you want me catch one? You know? Was it loner that was out just rolling around or what? Like, ’cause I mean, they’re packed animals. There’s no, you should be gang setting and, and catching four or five of ’em, you know? Yeah, yeah.

00:42:16:17 –> 00:42:55:16
Well, let’s talk about that. I guess in terms of methods, you know, from, you know, maybe early on when they were more naive, maybe it was just, you know, getting in the middle of them, you know, I don’t know if you actually howled them in to locate ’em, it feels like that, you know, the more that we’ve gone up or friends or other people going up, that’s becoming less and less effective. Oh yeah. Just because of the education aspect. So talk about methods that you, you maybe you’ve had to evolve to, you know, whether it be, you know, calling trapping spot in stock or just getting lucky, tracking them to try to get to those round de glass and sitting on your butt and just glassing. How do you, how do you hunt, hunt wolves today in Idaho?

00:42:55:16 –> 00:42:58:06
You, yeah. Do you hunt tracks and then hunt ’em? Or what are you doing?

00:42:58:14 –> 00:43:42:23
Yeah, I mean, a little bit of everything you can, you know, like say for example, if they’re, if they’re running an area and they’re crossing these canyons, they’re gonna cross pretty consistently just like a cat, you know? And it’s because of terrain, at least in our terrain, because it’s so much rougher. And so you can kind of dial ’em in that way. I mean, you can walk canyons and say, oh, well they crossed this, they crossed here, they crossed here, they didn’t cross this one, so they must be up either on this ridge or they went out the top, you know? Yeah. And, but honestly, the, the biggest, and I mean people ask this all the time, what’s the secret? The secret is getting to know ’em personally. Picking a pack, targeting them, talking them and being a predator. I mean, that’s the biggest thing being know a predator.

00:43:42:23 –> 00:44:25:13
When I say that, I mean an opportunist, same as them, you know, they have tactics, they go at it when they go to kill an elk or a deer or moose. But every situation, I’m sure is a little bit different for them. And that’s the same as it goes for us pursuing them. You know, you get, and, and you gotta learn from, from those situations. And I mean, it’s, you know, you find some that are kind of similar, but I mean, yeah, you might, you might find an opportunity to call ’em and that’s great. Or, or you know, try, very rarely will I track ’em unless I’m trying to dial ’em in, because I mean, their feet keep fed. They could be 30 miles, you know, they could cover 30 miles last night pretty easily. Yeah. And so tracking is usually lowest success rate, unless you’re trying to learn something about them.

00:44:25:13 –> 00:45:15:00
If you’re gonna track them, backtrack them, and that’ll, that’ll tell you where your rendezvous spots are. If they bed down someplace, remember that spot. Yeah. And when you’re through animals are in the area next time, glass that spot because that’s a comfort zone. That’s a, a sub rendezvous spot. That’s a place that they’re comfortable. So, I mean, when it comes in terms, like, if you’re wanting to consistently be able to hunt ’em and know ’em, like backtracking them to find out, you can find out an awful lot from an animal or, or something from backtracking and from where they’ve been, you know? And so that’s the biggest thing is get to know ’em personally. Be prepared to do some calling. I, I’m always switching it up. Anything high pitched that’s different than they’ve ever heard before? I’ll try that. You know, I mean, they get wise to me.

00:45:15:03 –> 00:45:49:28
My wolves that I’m hunting right now, they’re wise after these last two hunts So I’m gonna have to pull some new, new tricks outta the bag, you know, and try to, but I try to go silent. I mean, the, you know, if they’ll howl on their own. I mean, even like, I mean, I’ve, I’ve been trying to change up my tones and pitches and my howls, you know, because I know they get to know me personally, the same as I’m getting to know them. I know which one’s howling. I know when the female’s howling. I know when the P’S howling. You know what I mean? Because I’ve been hearing ’em so much lately and watching ’em through Glass, Helen answer me. And it’s like, you get to know them personally. Well, they do the same, you know, they get to know your smell, you know, they get to know your how.

00:45:50:27 –> 00:46:36:04
So sometimes you, you’re better off just going silent. Don’t just go out and be blind calling. I hate blind calling every once in a while. Do it with a hunter. ’cause you, you gotta kind of spice things up. If things are, you never know. You might call in a coyote, you might call in a bobcat. Heck, you know, it changes morale of a hunt if, if you’re not into ’em, you know? But it’s amazing how fast things can change. The biggest thing is to get to know them personally. So put in your homework, you know, find those comfortable comfort zones. And that’s usually from backtracking or, or you know, figuring out where they’ve been, what they’re, what they’re doing. Piece together the puzzle. And then each scenario, you know, if they’re hunting, I mean, like, for example, when they’re hunting is pretty obvious. ’cause they’ll be all in one track, you know, trailing down a trail and then say there’s a pack of six of ’em and five of ’em are gonna split, split off and go up out on the space.

00:46:36:07 –> 00:47:21:01
And there’s usually always a big track in the bottom. My opinion is, this is my personal opinion, that’s a catch dog. And so they’re, the rest of ’em are, I think the female and the pups go up flank stuff, run ’em down off the hill, and a big dog catches ’em in the bottom, you know? Yeah. And, and then you’ll see ’em, you’ll see ’em do that, and they come back down, join up again together. So go make another drive. And that was, yep. That was an unsuccessful hunt of run. And a lot of times when you see that, there’ll be a random deer track, just boogieing. I mean, somewhere that’s like 15 feet in between strides, you know? And I mean, like, obviously he got bumped, like something, you know? Yeah. You see that all the time. I seen one the other day that had a blood, he was bleeding too, so it must, must have, he got away and then he went and jumped the river from the river and they didn’t get him, you know?

00:47:21:16 –> 00:48:01:26
But anyway, so that, and, and with your game, how they change, you know, if holes are in the area, they’re probably gonna be either in the bottoms or in the cliffs. And, and they’re, I think the, the game kind of goes to the cliffs for shelter. I mean, that’s, you know, they get ’em out in the open and they’re done. They don’t stand a chance, you know, but they get in the cliffs, I think they can travel a little better as far as getting away. And, you know, I don’t know. Most folks that have hunted, especially if you’ve run dogs, you understand this fact that from a batch of cliffs, you can see for miles usually, but you can’t see 50 yards in front of you. You know? So I think that kind of helps too. When, why, why your game goes to those places when they’re starting to get dogged. You know,

00:48:02:29 –> 00:48:41:29
If you’re, if you’re trying to locate wolves and you’ve, you’ve covered the country, you’re trying to cut tracks, whether it be from horse, mule, you know, road, whatever else, and you’re trying to locate ’em and you decide, all right, I’m, I am gonna try to, how I, you know, just mix something up, what time of day or what type of, how, when, when is, would you think is the most likely that you might get a response? And I realize that’s all individual based on what frame of mind the wolves are in right then. But is there, do you never call during certain times of the day because wolves never, never will answer or never. How That’s not typical? Or is it like, you know, early morning, no late evening or, or do you find it, it doesn’t matter.

00:48:42:09 –> 00:49:26:28
Yeah, I, that’s the beauty of it is you just never really know. ’cause they, I mean like those wolves we shot at on this first hunt, they followed, we, we, it was the first day of the hunt. No, the second. And they followed us out. We didn’t leave camp till daylight. And then they dropped down behind us and followed us out, like yeah. Teared down to the river. And then they went and killed a deer mid-morning we went up by, came back down and seen his roll tracks on us and they were eating on the steer at one 30 in the afternoon and we shot at ’em, you know. Wow. And so you just never, the next day we were into ’em, they were howling all day. We were in between them and had some opportunities at a couple, had some stuff like, not,

00:49:27:08 –> 00:49:32:02
When you say howling all day, they were just to each other, they were eating or fat sassy.

00:49:32:02 –> 00:50:20:24
Yeah. What it was, was that fe that female was really trying to call this pup. There’s this black but was across the river. I see. And she was trying to call him over there. Now we, we, I couldn’t, you know, you see illegal to shoot across the river. So we just kinda had to watch that pup. But the female, we had her at 268 yards and she was just, it was obvious what she was doing. She was just howling to him. And he’d answer, you know, and anyways, but we might’ve been able to intercept him. But I was trying to get that female with, I was pretty hung up on. And the, the one guy had a great opportunity. She’s sitting in one spot for two minutes, Fallon and, and 268 yards. And he couldn’t kind of, an older gentleman couldn’t, couldn’t see her. And then when he did, he couldn’t find her in scope and stuff like that, you know? And, but anyways, and then she turned around and walked off. You know, we’ve, but

00:50:21:21 –> 00:50:25:29
Yeah, when we’ve hunted them, it’s, you gotta, you gotta be on your a game. Like it’s not something you do.

00:50:26:06 –> 00:50:28:23
There’s a very tight window on stuff. Yeah.

00:50:28:25 –> 00:50:32:23
People struggle holding it together. Like they just, I don’t know if it’s just something about

00:50:32:23 –> 00:50:34:08
The, it’s something about ’em. They get excited. Yeah.

00:50:34:10 –> 00:50:35:11
You know, well for our,

00:50:35:16 –> 00:50:44:02
And it is exciting. It is. You know, but be prepared for that man. Like, go into it to where you can go into kill mode and get ’em killed. ’cause if you get an opportunity, it’s not gonna last forever.

00:50:44:11 –> 00:50:44:29
Right. It’s a

00:50:44:29 –> 00:51:37:26
Tight, those same guys that, that day that we found ’em on the kill, now I’ve, there’s been twice that I’ve killed wolves with one shot, multiple wolves. And it’s been one’s betted and one was not, but on a kill. And this particular situation with these hunters, we had that opportunity. They were on this kill and they, they got so excited, man, I’m gonna shoot, I’m gonna shoot. I’m like, no, just, just wait. Like those, they’re gonna line back up, get ’em your scope and wait until there’s two line back up. Wow. And kill two of ’em with one shot. You know? Now that doesn’t happen every day, you know? No, but it, that particular day it happened, you know, it was just the way it worked out. So you gotta, you gotta be able to gear down when you need to and you gotta be able to step up, shoot when you have to. Wow. You know, I mean, it’s usually a pretty quick, I mean, that killer instinct needs to come out and there’s pretty good chance you’re gonna screw it up. That’s just the way it goes. Yeah. You gotta, you know, and if you do, I mean, keep you pushing forward, you know, I mean, you gotta keep at ’em, you know, have

00:51:37:26 –> 00:51:41:25
These long distance rifles change the game a little bit, you know, I mean,

00:51:41:28 –> 00:51:44:08
Oh, they made it worse. I think

00:51:44:14 –> 00:51:47:26
You think more people just fling lead don’t, don’t get more people

00:51:47:26 –> 00:52:28:05
Dunno how to shoot them. Yeah. I mean they, in tur its aren’t made for sced and I’m a wilderness area. Yeah. So, I mean, I don’t have one. I, I want one, but, you know, I shoot, shoot my dad’s old 36 chest model 70 and I can shoot it to 500 pretty comfortably. But just, you need to have a gun that you’re like, you’re very comfortable with that you can shoot 300 yards. And I mean, I honestly, it’s, it’s kind of a pain in the butt. I’ve got to where I just really don’t like the long range guns because of the most people that go and have a gun made, they’ve shot it from a bench a handful of times, but they don’t know how to use it. Right. They don’t know how to kill with it. Right. You know, they’re, they’re a long range gun.

00:52:28:05 –> 00:53:07:25
They’re not a hunting rifle and a hunting rifle can take a beating. You know, it’s, you don’t, you’re not messing with your TURs. You’re not, it’s not like a heck, a lot of those scopes, the smallest power six. Yeah, well, when they’re at 80 yards or, or something, which happens, people can’t find ’em in their scope. They can’t, you know what, it’s kind of a pain in the butt. Yeah. And they, I don’t know, I’m just not as big of a fan of ’em. I think they’re cool, especially with guy. I’ve been, have a few guys that can use them efficiently and, and can, and can change ’em real quick and do some, you know, some pretty cool stuff. But, but you need to, boy, it’s tough, you know, I mean that’s, if you’re not comfortable with it, with that gun, I would, I’d leave it at home

00:53:07:26 –> 00:53:09:07
Bench. Well, much more.

00:53:09:08 –> 00:53:09:23
So, you know,

00:53:09:28 –> 00:53:31:12
You factor in things usually do happen fast, you know, they have for us when we’ve done it and, and the fact, the excitement factor that, hey, our whole lives, these things have been illegal. They’ve been endangered species your whole life. And now all of a sudden you’ve got one in your crosshairs and you’re like half questioning yourself. Can I really shoot this thing? Is this look real? I I know we did. The moment gets bigger than it should be. Yeah. Right. And all those things, that’s the biggest thing,

00:53:31:14 –> 00:54:13:17
The reality of it. That it, it’s happening. Like, most people know how hard they are to hunt, even when they hunt and they’re like, then it happens and it’s so quick and they’re like, oh my gosh. You know? And it’s like they just fall apart kind, you know? Yeah. It’s, I mean it’s understandable, but it’s like, I mean, just like, like my buddy, you know, that and I actually booked him through you guys, but he, he, man, great guy. And it was, he, we talked about it. He’s like, I just couldn’t believe it, you know? ’cause we were just riding down the trail and just happened to literally just run into him face to face. They were trotting up the trail. And I, I was riding a three-year-old colt and there’s absolutely nothing to tie up to. And we were above a bad spot in the trail.

00:54:14:02 –> 00:54:45:28
And so he bails off and yanks his rifle out. I’m like, and I hand him his sticks. I have a packing, he behind me and I hand him some shoot sticks. I was like, man, buddy, you, you kind of gotta be on your own. I got a hold of stock so we don’t end up rolling something off. I mean, stuff can happen pretty quick that way, you know? And, and you can go to kill the stock, you know? And I don’t want that to happen. So anyways, so he plops down and was just really excited and didn’t set sticks up and had a pretty good controlled 228 yard shot for shot, you know? And, but even he said, he is like, I think I just got really excited. Like, I couldn’t believe it happened. If

00:54:45:28 –> 00:54:59:25
They say that, I’m like, I know, I know. It’s, if they say that and admit that they were really, really excited. Yes. I mean, it was, it was a slap the trigger and they were looking before it even gun went. I mean, yeah, if you know you do that, it’s Yeah. You didn’t have a chance. Yep.

00:54:59:29 –> 00:55:21:28
No, no. When they first, when they first became legal to hunt, you know, it, it was, everybody was talking about it and it was just the kind of the thing to do. And there was a lot of people hitting the hills. It feels like it’s slacked off a little bit. But what are you seeing for opportunity populations of wolves and then hunter numbers? Like what do you, what do you like, what’s the Yeah, I think the state of the union, the nuno speak,

00:55:22:09 –> 00:55:22:22
Wor off

00:55:22:27 –> 00:55:24:26
For wolf hunting in, in these days. Yeah.

00:55:25:14 –> 00:56:14:14
Well, everybody wants to kill one. They think it’s cooler than high, but the, the men like the mental end of it, most people are defeated ’cause they realize how hard it is. And they’re like, oh yeah, I hunted them really hard for a while and didn’t even just saw some tracks, you know, and stuff like that. And, and, you know, and that’s, and because they’re hard, such a hard animal to understand, and there’s some things that you’ll just never really understand. They’re just a bunch of mani dogs run around. They do things sometimes. It’s like, this doesn’t make any sense. You know, it’s, they’re, they’re one of those 3000 piece puzzles, you know what I mean? They’re like impossible to do on some of this stuff. And, and so I, yeah, I don’t think as many people are putting as much work into it. And as far as wolves in general, their populations, it was a smorgasbord at first.

00:56:14:24 –> 00:57:00:06
And they really ballooned. You’d see a lot of packs of 12, 14, you know, that type of deal. Now I think they’ve leveled out to be around six, five or six, you know, know there’s, there’s a study I read once on that they did on coyotes in Wyoming, where depending on the amount of food around would be, would determine the amount, like the, the litter size that a female would have, and due to protein intake, which makes sense on how many eggs she’d produce. And I think the same concept falls in with wolves because you used to see where there’d be like five, six pups being born and now there’s like two, three, you know? And I mean most, I mean, most of your pups from last year, there’s usually, you know, a couple in each pack. That’s it. Not, not a whole big old group of ’em.

00:57:00:06 –> 00:57:49:20
You know, now whether they, whether it has to do with eggs being produced or how many actually survive, that’s, I don’t know that, but I know that it seems like things are, have kind of leveled out a little bit rather than that balloon effect after they were reintroduced to a SSGA sport buffet and no predation on them. And I mean, they’re without, if we didn’t have guns, they’d be top dog. I mean, they’re, what they’re capable of is unbelievable, you know, and, and they’re so smart. They figure that out, you know, on, on how, how to efficiently kill. I mean, they’re, they’re pretty ma if you think about it, how they can consistently take down a big game animal and, and they’re healthy about it. Like, and stay healthy. That’s the thing is to them, if they get their teeth kicked out or get kicked in the ribs or stomped curb stomped, that could be life and death for them.

00:57:49:25 –> 00:58:43:01
Yeah. So our, and that’s every think our dogs, you watch our hunting dogs work around a lion or a bear. And how often I get a dog overhauled versus a wolf that, I mean, killing a big game animal once a week, you know, and that’s healthy. I mean, if it, yeah, if it breaks a rib, that could be, I mean, that could be life hauling. That could, it could be a, you know, so it’s just amazing what they’re capable of. But I do think they’ve leveled out. You don’t see any as much sport killing anymore. Usually. I mean, they’ll clean every little piece of hair up, you know, and, and you don’t, I mean, I don’t know. I think that their population leveled out. I do think the, but I will say, and at least in the state of Idaho, trappers are starting to figure it out. Like, there’s a couple guys this year that were tagged out by December, like had caught all 20 by December. Wow. Trap. Yeah. Yeah. Impressive.

00:58:43:15 –> 00:58:45:24
That trapping or snaring, what, how are they doing it? Like

00:58:45:24 –> 00:59:25:26
They do pr doing both. A little bit of foothold and a little bit of snaring, you know, just wow. Trapping ’em. And that was from North Idaho and I, and you know, in their populations, there may, may have something different going on than what I’ve observed, you know, but, so when I talk about this, this is kinda what I’ve been seeing here in the frank, you know, but, wow. Anyways, yeah, that, so those guys, they’re, they’re getting drilled in. That’s legit. And that’s impressive. That’s cool. But as far as hunters, yeah, they’re, they’re dying down. You know, you get more accidental when people are out al hunting everybody. Yeah. Everybody buys a, a wolf tag and then, you know, that’s all part of that. You gotta just, I mean, if you’re out there in the hills, it’s gonna happen eventually where you run into a crazy deal.

00:59:26:02 –> 01:00:03:06
You know, my buddy, he was, we were just talking about this the other day. I was, I was hunting up or to my friends and, and he, he was like, we went up to one range. He’s like, yeah, I couldn’t believe it. He is like, we went and set this camp up and I was just going out on this knob to get service so I could text my wife and let her know we made it all right and set our camp up and stuff. He’s like, there’s this little group elk, we’re all bunched up and, and here’s this lone wolf. And I scared him off. And he’s like, then I went back up there and he was still there with a group of group elk, you know, he is like, heck, if I’d have known I’d had my rifle phone and killed him, you know, but, so be ready.

01:00:03:08 –> 01:00:30:02
Kind of, you know, I mean, always be observant of what around, like if there’s elk bunched up, for example, or there’s birds really watch for birds, even when they’re batted down, there’s gonna be a bird around. Anybody that’s called coyotes understands this. Even with deer and elk. Like there’ll be a magpie around deer and elk, almost. Like if there’s a magpie somewhere, really get to looking because there’s something there. Whether it’s a coyote or a deer and elk or something. Yeah. Always watch your birds. Your birds give stuff away. I mean they, they’re the eye in the sky type deal, you

01:00:30:02 –> 01:00:36:19
Know. Have you had, what’s maybe some one of your most in interesting encounters when you’re out there hunting them?

01:00:38:18 –> 01:00:51:16
Interesting. Probably, well, I had, I don’t know, probably one of the most memorable one Christmas day I caught five and I caught four and shot one.

01:00:52:13 –> 01:00:54:10
And So you’re trapping ’em shooting?

01:00:55:01 –> 01:01:20:26
Yep, yep. Well, the one was just hanging around. I had, I had the female and male caught and a couple of different ones foot, foot held and then a couple of ’em snared as well. And so it was just a puppet that was hanging around. I shot it, you know, and, but that was pretty fun. A good day. And you talk about a lot of work, like when it come, when logistic wise, when it boils down to it, you got one pack animal behind you and you got like five, you know, 500 wol

01:01:20:26 –> 01:01:21:12
Talking 80

01:01:21:22 –> 01:01:27:24
Pound wolves that deal with, you know, and you’re like, oh crap. Took me a few days just to pack ’em back to camps, trying ’em out.

01:01:28:01 –> 01:01:34:07
That’s the definition of pil pilgrim packing right there. Wolves off, dragging on the tar, actually, I man them

01:01:34:07 –> 01:01:35:12
Up and barreled them on the

01:01:35:12 –> 01:01:35:28
Side of a hill.

01:01:36:09 –> 01:01:40:26
Alright, I’d like to, you got any pictures of that? That might be a good picture we’d like to see.

01:01:41:05 –> 01:01:45:12
I actually do. Yeah. I actually have a, they’re Manny though. You can’t, you gotta know what they’re, yeah.

01:01:45:17 –> 01:01:52:18
What, yeah. You know, the ones we killed were like full of worms and just kind of, they’re just nasty. Like, tell us a little bit about that. Are you

01:01:52:26 –> 01:01:54:19
Big cente looking nasty things rub

01:01:54:22 –> 01:01:54:29

01:01:54:29 –> 01:01:56:10
Things coming out of those things? Yeah.

01:01:56:13 –> 01:01:58:20
You know, a guy should, yeah. I, I,

01:01:59:14 –> 01:02:03:14
I mean, because you’ll, it’ll, they’ll, they get inside you don’t, they like, if you’re

01:02:04:08 –> 01:02:04:17

01:02:04:17 –> 01:02:05:19
An open cut or something,

01:02:05:19 –> 01:02:28:17
They’re pretty nasty. Yeah. But I don’t know, I mean, I guess I’m the wrong one to ask that. ’cause I, and I’m not ad person, my hygiene’s good, but shoot, I, I can’t tell you how many, how many I’ve skin on the trail and I got blood on my hands and I’m like, just kinda wipe it off on the snow and then eat my sandwich and, you know what I mean, like, call it a day and have cuts on my hand and stuff. And so I, I mean, I’ve cut my hand skinned them before.

01:02:28:25 –> 01:02:30:16
Your immune system’s probably pretty

01:02:30:16 –> 01:02:43:06
High, you know? Oh, I don’t, it probably is, you know, but you should technically probably put on some rubber gloves and, you know, don’t put a chew of Copenhagen in right after you’re right in the middle of skin one, you know, that type of stuff. And I dunno, you know what I

01:02:43:06 –> 01:02:44:02
Mean, common sense.

01:02:44:05 –> 01:03:30:25
I, I dunno. Yeah. Common sense. But it, I I do know I’ve cut my hands, skinning them and I, I seem pretty healthy still. They are definitely nasty. I mean, they’re eating on raw meat and flesh all the time, and naturally they’re gonna be pretty disgust and critters, you know, and they stink and they green belly’s so bad, you know, that’s, you know, I read a deal on ’em. They have an acid in their stomach called acetone to break down the bones. You know, they, I mean, it’s pretty easy. You can see a kill from this last summer. And if it’s cat kill, obviously it’s probably gonna be buried and the, the skull’s not gonna be eight. But if it, if wolves have either come across it or it was a wolf kill, there’ll be a few bones here and there, and there’ll always be a skull cap because they’ll eat the nasal nasal cavity in the brain and, you know, there’s nutrients and stuff in there they need.

01:03:31:09 –> 01:04:16:04
And so that as in their belly, this is why the green belly is so quick. I mean, it can be negative 15 and their stomach will be thawed. It’s to break down those bones and, and it actually produces condensation too. So a wolf will very rarely drink. And if you think about it, I, I can’t think of a time that I’ve seen track stop at a creek and drink. They always just blow over the top of ’em. And unless it’s like, you know, I mean they have an empty chase or, or a lactating bitch or something, you know, then they might, but yeah. You know, ’cause most of your dens are usually around springs, you know, but anyways, they, yeah, they don’t, that, that acid in their stomach can be pretty nasty and it stinks, you know? I mean they’ll, you know, if you shoot one, you, you wanna take it in town and show your buddies, it’ll be green dog by the time you get to town,

01:04:16:11 –> 01:04:39:08
You know, they’re, they’re pretty ripe. Yeah. Yep. Interesting. You talked about the sport hunting that they’d used to do versus now. And you know, when we first went up there, we saw a lot of that just, they, they killed and ate very little bit, very little, those reproductive organs and, and then went on about their business and they’d leave it there in the road. Oh yeah. It’d be on a paved road. There’s a cow elk claim there. Oh yeah. Just crazy. Yep,

01:04:39:27 –> 01:04:46:25
Yep, yep. No, I know it. Yeah. And I think it just, you know, just like a dog and a chicken goop, you know? Yeah. I

01:04:46:25 –> 01:05:03:28
Mean, they kill ’em all and they’re just eat a few and Yeah. Go. Yeah. Huh. Well, are you hunting, I mean, you know, are you, are you hunting strictly off horseback or do you have where you’re using sleds or other, you know, trucks Sleds. Forwarders, yeah. Other stuff too, or how are you doing it? Yep. So

01:05:03:28 –> 01:05:40:07
I have a, with clients, so I have my base camp and I think I have a hunt booked in March. I’m gonna try to get in there. It’s real high. I have a snow crawler I built, it’s a four runner, you know, with big 40 inch chi rock tires. And, and you know, I put, you know, Chevy one ton axles under it and Wow. 63 inch lease springs on the back and 48 on the front and the winch front and back and dual cased. And geez, you know, it’s pretty amazing. I can go in about three foot of snow and air, you know, it has onboard air. I can air down the tires about two pounds, pressure. And, and then it’s amazing where he goes, like it’s on tracks, you know,

01:05:40:11 –> 01:05:41:06
Is that thing for sale?

01:05:41:23 –> 01:05:50:08
Oh, you see, you’re, you’re talking trucks to the wrong guy, to the truck junkie that’ll see something driving down the street, I mean, every day of his life. He said, that’s a good little runaround truck. It’s a,

01:05:50:10 –> 01:05:52:01
I don’t know if I could sell it. It’s a,

01:05:53:01 –> 01:05:53:18
It’s a four runner.

01:05:54:01 –> 01:05:56:02
I cut the back off and I put a bed on it, a

01:05:56:02 –> 01:05:56:26
Four runner with a bed

01:05:57:05 –> 01:05:58:18
Dog boxes. Yeah. So

01:05:58:27 –> 01:06:00:19
The four runners they say are unbelievable. I’m one of

01:06:00:19 –> 01:06:56:10
The Toyota mega cab. Wow. They’re pretty awesome. Wow. I’m the only one with the Toyota Mega cab around, because I put, I, where I cut it off is about 18 inches behind the back seat so we can put our packs and stuff in there, you know, and anyway, looks like a little mega cab, you know, a little crawler, but it’s pretty cool. And I, a lot of people are Bob telling ’em, you know, but I extended the frame, actually, you know, it’s a little bigger than some of the Toyotas, but it, I made it for a commercial like hunting rig. Yeah. I mean, cat hunting rig. Someplace that I can comfortably take hunters. ’cause I’ve, I’ve guided, I’m for just about everybody around, I’ve guided for people with crawlers that are little, single cab Toyotas. And you talk about uncomfortable all day riding around there looking for a cat track, you know? And, and so I want one that was comfortable and we can crank the heater up in, listen to some music, look for tracks, and have a place to put our stuff so we’re not tying ’em on the top and getting snowed on and, you know, and I mean, it’s nailed it.

01:06:56:13 –> 01:07:00:26
It’s nice. Yeah, those four runners. So you’ve probably, what year is it? Probably have the lockers.

01:07:00:26 –> 01:07:01:19
It’s in 96.

01:07:01:29 –> 01:07:03:13
Okay, so you got lockers. So,

01:07:03:25 –> 01:07:50:18
Yep. It’s got lockers front and back and I think it’s 5, 3, 3 years, if I remember right. Wow. It’s got, you know, Dana 60 axles and then, and they’re mechanical lockers. I mean, there’s times where air lockers are nicer. Like if there’s not enough snow on you’re side, he and you don’t wanna break loose, you know? But, you know, the thing is is I’ve always fought whenever I’ve been around Air lockers, it’s always been a fight, you know, but especially with cold temperatures and stuff and, you know, and so anyway, yeah, it’s a pretty sweet rig. So I’m gonna try to get in there. There’s another pack of wolves up there. They’re all grays. I’ve seen ’em a few times. Had one guy hit one, another guy missed one. I actually howled one into about a hundred yards from our base camp there, the hitch rails.

01:07:50:18 –> 01:08:22:02
I was just loading mul to go into camp and it one howled way off faint. And, and I thought it was a person ’cause it was pretty short howl. And anyways, they answered it well, it answered me right back. Well, I just started covering it up like you would’ve bull elk, you know, and that sucker came, right, I mean, right into our 10 30 in the morning. We’re sitting there kind of talking out loud, just loading mules. And he come right, right down to our hitching rails and he missed them at a hundred yards. But, and then he went two days later and shot a bucket. 590. I mean, the guy’s a good hunter something every year.

01:08:22:03 –> 01:08:24:16
There’s the wolf factor right there. There’s that

01:08:25:04 –> 01:08:25:19
Does something.

01:08:25:21 –> 01:08:27:22
Even he said, he’s like, I just got excited. The

01:08:27:22 –> 01:08:28:19
Wolf factor. Yeah.

01:08:28:20 –> 01:08:41:10
Well they’re, they’re quite a trophy in and of themselves, but, so sounds like you’re doing a little everything. You’re, you’re still, you, you know, you’re running a machine even into camp where you’ve got mules and whatever. Yep, yep, yep.

01:08:41:15 –> 01:09:36:01
No, for sure. That’s, yeah. And, and I would, here’s another piece of advice for folks out there. Even if you’re hunting frontage area pack, go silent. I mean, even if it’s a road that you can drive up, get a set of cross country skis or something. Yeah. And I mean, if you’re, it doesn’t matter if somebody drives by you, but those wolves know. Yeah. I mean, you’re running around on a snow machine, they know in this country and you’re not gonna see ’em, you know, or side by side, you’re not gonna see ’em. But if you’re, if you’re silent, whether it be riding a horse down a gated road or riding a snow machine, or snowshoeing or I mean a snowshoeing or cross country skiing, just whatever it is, if it’s silent, you’ll have way, way better luck. Yeah. You know? Yeah. Way better luck. So, I mean, say for example, like a road that’s open to drive, but there’s tracks all over every day consistently. They’re coming down for some reason they’re just hanging out around there, park down at the river and walk,

01:09:36:06 –> 01:09:39:07
Walk up a ridge or something. Or up the canyon drainage. Yeah. So

01:09:39:07 –> 01:09:45:24
Are you, you, are you done with the government work or is that still going on while you’re, while you’re guiding, guiding clients as well? Or just guiding?

01:09:46:25 –> 01:09:55:06
Just guiding. Yeah, that was pretty much a one time deal. Okay. They, I don’t know, fish and game ain’t got a bunch of trouble over that deal. We were a bunch of big old

01:09:55:06 –> 01:10:07:02
Hides, you know, you’re too effective. And all of a sudden this guy’s killing stuff. And I got hate mail, I got blogs out and you know, I got people following ’em. We got liabilities gonna get, you know, not coming outta the back country one of these times. Yep.

01:10:07:13 –> 01:10:23:08
The funny thing was when they said, well we can’t, can’t keep you on this is blowing up and all this. And the funny part was when I was like, well, I’m already back here, can I just stay back here and keep doing it? Oh yeah. That was outta the funny thing is yeah, once I got back there, I just wanted

01:10:23:08 –> 01:10:23:16
To do it

01:10:24:01 –> 01:10:25:02
Consumed by and kept at her.

01:10:25:17 –> 01:10:35:17
Yeah. Yeah. But so are you guiding elk and deer? So now it’s more, you know, it’s predator control now, like it’s helping your area. Yeah. It’s, are you seeing a difference? Are you seeing a difference?

01:10:36:15 –> 01:10:43:18
Oh yeah, yeah. No, we’ve, we’re, we’re knocking down a little bit and definitely they’re not really frequenting my area as much, which

01:10:43:20 –> 01:10:44:16
It’s helping your nice.

01:10:44:16 –> 01:10:45:10
Because I have some cotton hunts

01:10:45:10 –> 01:10:48:02
Coming out, coming, helping your up elk populations and, and things like that.

01:10:48:08 –> 01:11:49:28
It’s, you know, I haven’t had this area long enough to be able to see that difference, but in four years we’ll see the difference. Well, and you mentioned, I’ve seen that personally, you know, that I’ve, I’ve really mucked some mos out and some other areas and four years later, man, the calf crop that grew up was amazing, you know, and the sorry thing is, it’s kind of always job security, like, give it a few years and they’ll be back, you know, but, but the guys just gotta keep on it and, and keep ’em checked down. Yeah, you definitely do see a difference. You know, it makes all the difference in the world just over the overall harassment of, of cows when they’re either, I mean, conceiving or giving birth, you know, I mean those Calvin grounds must two boilers bear pretty tough on, on your Calvin grounds, you know, and guy just has to keep, keep the predators in check and, you know, there needs to be a balance type deal and, but the wolves are definitely the most efficient. So the guy targets them the hardest and whatnot. And, and keeping, you know, that’s like, even with my hunts, I’m not really booking for that much. I’m just wanting to not lose money while we’re, you

01:11:49:28 –> 01:11:54:16
Know, doing what you hope managing them. Yeah. Get lucky here and there and, and kill one. And like you said,

01:11:54:20 –> 01:11:57:12
If, if it means if I could run a few more elk concept, it’d be great, you

01:11:57:12 –> 01:12:09:19
Know? Yeah. Well, and, you know, run some line hunts without always worrying about an un molested pack just running in on your pack of hounds and wiping ’em out. Have you had any, any instances like that with you and your buddies? Oh yeah, I’m sure you have. Yeah,

01:12:09:19 –> 01:12:13:11
I’ve lost a couple. Yeah. If you haven’t lost dogs in the state of Idaho, you haven’t run dogs.

01:12:13:29 –> 01:12:15:04
Yeah, it’s gonna happen.

01:12:15:04 –> 01:12:53:12
I mean, that’s just the fact of it. You know, I had ’em come right into my camp one time and take a pup three month old pup. I was headed into the root ranch and the chairman of the basin to, I used to run their bear hunts for ’em every spring. And so it was a three day pack trip in, and I was just bike camped, just rolled out in a manny, you know, in a mummy bag. And, and they came in about one o’clock in the morning and, and ran off with one of my pups. And then they came back in. And so I had like nine, well before that happened, that nine dogs, they ran off with him and it happened to be, had to be my kid’s favorite, you know, and all that. Anyways, but, so I was like, man, I had a guy there with me, a friend of mine.

01:12:53:13 –> 01:14:01:08
He’s like, he just couldn’t believe it, you know? I was like, man, he’s, he’s gone. Like, we’re not gonna find him, trust me. But, so I pulled the rest of my dogs right by me. I don’t let ’em, my ho are pretty well mannered. Like when I say outta the kitchen out on the hill eating our lunches, they go lay down like 10, they’ll go to a treat 10 yards away or something, you know? And anyways, they, but so I pull ’em out, I don’t let ’em sleep on my sleeping bag with me. Like they were off by my tack just drove up all together and not, I don’t leash ’em or cha I mean, they, they handle better in most people’s pats, you know, but they’ve all grown up in wall pants and stuff. But anyway, so I pulled ’em all over to me and, and then this big white bugger come around and, and I sat up and went to holler and I had my pistol in my hand. And anyway, I, when I got up, I tore my sleeping bag and hopped up and I knocked my light off in my head. And my dogs were naturally, they just rat packed it because it was, they were being protective of me at that point. And so they, they’re all just rolling around with this wolf. And I’m hollering at this other guy. I’m like, man, gimme a light. Gimme a light. You know? And, and I’m kicking dogs and I’m kicking wolf and kicking everything, you know, just trying to, trying to kick everything. I wanna suck.

01:14:01:16 –> 01:14:04:04
I dunno what you’re hitting because it’s pitch black. Yeah. You’re just,

01:14:04:11 –> 01:14:35:02
Yeah. But I couldn’t shoot, you know, there’s some eight dogs rolling around with this thing. Well, there’s a couple pups that we’re kind of, but there’s probably I think 67 adult dogs that were rolling around with this bugger. Wow. You know, I was like, man, like, hey, then I knocked my headlight off and couldn’t, didn’t couldn’t see what I was shooting. And even if I could’ve, I don’t think I could’ve shot it because it was just too much going on, you know? Yeah. And, but it was crazy. It was crazy. Wow. When you run off of the pup, you know, it sucked. It was Kay eyeing going out across the meadow and when it quit Kay eyeing it, it wasn’t, it sounded like it wasn’t because they dropped him.

01:14:35:15 –> 01:14:51:05
Right. Right. He died. Yeah. Yeah. Well, how many, how many, how many wolves have you, do you keep track of? I don’t know if you want to say it, but how many of you guys killed or client, client kills your kills, you know, to all told, been been a part of? Well,

01:14:51:05 –> 01:15:35:00
I’ll tell you guys, I can share with you what, like, what we’ve had this year with, with clients opportunities and kills. We’ve had two hits, haven’t recovered ’em. And, and we’ve had 15 shots fired between the fall hunts and these winter hunts. And most of them in that 300 yard range, at least the first shot, you know. Wow. Sometimes, you know, after you shoot the first shot, you might as well keep blazing. Yeah. Oh yeah. But, but yeah, so that’s, I would say, I don’t know. This area I got is pretty, it’s, it’s good at elk and deer hunting, but it star sure. The predators haven’t been managing it since they were reintroduced. So they’re pretty comfortable and we seem to be having a lot of opportunity with them. They’re definitely getting a little wiser.

01:15:35:20 –> 01:15:40:18
Do you feel like a 50, like a 50% chance of, of shooting? Do you feel like you

01:15:41:11 –> 01:16:34:11
Or Yeah, I would say for the fall, elk hunters had 80% opportunity at wolves. Wow. And, and that was without trying. And then our wolf hunters this winter have had 100% opportunity. Come on with, yeah, there you go. So that’s can’t beat down. I mean, it was really good. Hold it together and you’re gonna get a shot probably. Yeah. Just hold it together. Exactly. Yep. Unbelievable. And I mean, they are getting wiser, but yeah, we, I don’t know, we have, seems like we’ve had plenty of opportunity and lots, lots more than I have guiding wolf hunts for anybody, any other areas. But I, and I think it’s, ’cause maybe our country’s a little milder, like I’m used to the middle fork. I don’t know. People are familiar with that, but it’s, it’s rough, you know? Yeah. And I don’t know my area, heck, it seems like the trails are in the right places and you get around on them and, and you know, they, yeah, that seems to be pretty good.

01:16:34:11 –> 01:17:09:12
And there’s that other pack, like I said, I wanna really target the spring. I need to get them muck down and, and I kind of, I feel pretty familiar with ’em. Yeah. I kinda have an idea maybe where their, their RVU spot’s gonna be and, and whatnot. And so hopefully it’s been a pretty mild winter so far. If it stays like this, we’ll hopefully be able to get in there pretty early and, and as soon as we can. And, and you know, and the reason I can’t go in from the bottom, that dang kind need the forest source to blast the trail. It’s slid in rockside, you know, so we can’t, it’s, we’re basically, we’re just waiting on weather to go up over the top, you know, to get in there.

01:17:09:19 –> 01:17:13:23
What’s your season? Is it, are you running that August 30th to June 30th up there?

01:17:14:19 –> 01:17:15:13
Yeah. Is that,

01:17:15:22 –> 01:17:17:10
Is that roughly And, and

01:17:17:17 –> 01:17:17:29
I think Yep.

01:17:18:11 –> 01:17:22:18
And it never closes down anymore. They used to be a real strict quota system. Yeah,

01:17:23:02 –> 01:17:26:14
Yeah, yeah. They did. Now we can kill up to 20 if you’re trapping

01:17:26:29 –> 01:17:27:11
Per person.

01:17:27:20 –> 01:17:38:16
So I mean 10, 10 rifle if a guy would just to come Yeah, yeah. 20 if for an Idaho state resident to come through their, their wolf trapping class and the trapping class and stuff, you can technically kill 20 wolves in there. Yeah.

01:17:38:21 –> 01:17:44:17
So they’re not too worried. Like at first they were worried we were really gonna put the hurt to ’em, but they’re not worried about that anymore.

01:17:45:13 –> 01:18:02:06
No. I think they’re on the works of opening up even more, you know, just to where it’s, you know, ’cause I mean, there’s only a select few that are gonna kill their, their 20. I mean, there’s been a few guys do it and that’s it, you know, and, and so it’s pretty, you know, there’s not that many people in reality that are gonna be able to do it. Yeah.

01:18:03:02 –> 01:18:11:00
Yeah. Getting me fired up, Carter, maybe we better back up to, oh, this late winter. Might have to do it again. Yeah. It’s been a couple years since we’ve done it.

01:18:11:11 –> 01:18:25:26
Geez. It does get me fired up. It’s just been quiet people, I don’t know if people aren’t killing ’em anymore or trying, or if it’s just kind of a moot point nowadays. Like we know it’s available and it’s not that exciting, but it’s freaking way exciting to me. You know,

01:18:26:26 –> 01:18:31:01
It, it’s, when you do get into ’em, it, it is unreal. It’s unbelievable. There’s

01:18:31:01 –> 01:18:32:05
Nothing like it now. But that’s

01:18:32:05 –> 01:18:51:29
What I think most people have put some effort into it that and then they don’t. It’s not, yeah. You don’t have the payoff. It’s like an like hunting elk in Archer, you know, in the rutt, you know, you hear ’em screaming and you’re seeing elk, you know, with wolf hunting, the difference between hunting deer, elk versus wolves is if you’re seeing those fresh traction last night, that’s your action. That’s like glass group elk over. It’s good

01:18:52:05 –> 01:18:54:19
Of canyon. That’s right. You’re on them. You’re on them. You have

01:18:54:22 –> 01:18:55:29
To hear one. There’s another, another.

01:18:55:29 –> 01:19:27:10
It’s exciting factor. Yeah. Yeah. The exciting factor for some people that don’t fully understand wolves, that’s that’s your action until, until it happens is then when it happens quick, it’s a lot of people get discouraged because they screw something up and then they’re like, oh man, this sucks. They’re so mad at themselves and you know what I mean? And so just kind of, but the reality of it is most people have put in a lot of effort and never seen one. They’re like, man, it’s like, like I, my buddy the other day that we were just hunting for fun, he’s like, they’re just like hunting air, you know? Like, well, yeah, not really. And

01:19:27:22 –> 01:19:28:23
No, they’re not. They’re,

01:19:28:23 –> 01:20:27:28
But they aren’t, you know, and then, and you kind of gotta nowhere where look like, you know, that, I don’t know if I told you guys, but I bought it a black one. We just were hunting for the weekend, just goofing around. And I seen a magpie and this is like hands down, I just act like it was a normal deal, but it’s hands down probably the best spot I ever had in my life. And it was a legit two plus miles away. And I see something odd on a ridge and, and I whipped out my spot in S scope. Well here’s this black wolf lane there with this head up. I’m like, you guys aren’t gonna believe this. There’s a wolf lane right over there, you know, off their spotting scopes. And at that, by then he had put his head back down, curled right back up. And they’re like, no, that’s a rock. Like, all right, you just keep watching that rock’s gonna move here in a minute. Sure enough, he stood up and trotted, you know, it was like, I don’t know, you know, you just gotta know washing birds, you know? I mean, that’s it. But that was like excite, that was the excitement. We, we couldn’t get, we tried to get on, we didn’t get,

01:20:28:00 –> 01:20:41:26
That was a success. That was an awesome day, man. Wolf find. Yeah. That was good. You actually, you see a track that’s a plus. You happen to hear one. Okay, that’s pretty awesome. You don’t see it. You actually see one, but it’s two, three miles away. That’s an incredible day. Oh,

01:20:42:18 –> 01:20:43:08
Unbelievable. And,

01:20:43:08 –> 01:21:00:02
And you’re not even close to making something happen, really. You know what I mean? It’s, you gotta kinda keep yourself motivated on a wolf hunt because it’s a grind. I think Jason and I, we got, I guess, a little bit lucky. I know I did. You know, and the first trip I went up, Jason, you did two,

01:21:00:07 –> 01:21:02:13
Dude, the first trip I went out, I didn’t know what I was doing,

01:21:03:02 –> 01:21:30:24
You know, and killed them. And then, you know, my brother, who probably because of those experiences we had, he wanted one more than anybody, us or anybody. It took him like over two years, like 19 days up there, over about five or six trips we’re from Utah. And finally, you know, finally we got into a pack of six and had to melee. And anyway, just, you just gotta keep after it. There’s no right way. There’s of course some wrong ways, but there’s really not one right way to hunt wolves. You just gotta keep after it. Yeah.

01:21:30:29 –> 01:21:40:11
Yeah. That’s exactly it. It’s just the time. And, and honestly, there’s a lot of, as much as you think you understand that pack and know that pack, a lot of it is right place.

01:21:40:21 –> 01:21:43:26
Just luck. Yeah. You know, you gotta be out there to have something happen.

01:21:44:21 –> 01:22:00:17
Yep. Exactly. I mean, you, you just don’t, they could be 10 miles away or they could be right there. You just never know, you know? And, and, and that’s what catches people off guard is when it does, when they are right there, you know? Yeah. And then before you know it, you bump ’em and they’re a long ways away again, you know.

01:22:02:01 –> 01:22:14:29
Well, we sure appreciate your time. You know, if we take, if we take much more time, you might, your wife might go in labor, so Yeah, you might. That’d be alright. That’d be, yeah. We, but we sure appreciate it. Oh,

01:22:14:29 –> 01:23:05:02
You bet. No, I appreciate it. No, if, if you wanna just check us [email protected], that’s spelled just like, like a heart. And then x, we’re also on Facebook and Instagram. Our rate’s on wolf hunts right now, our 3,500 for five day hunt, you know, we’re also booking, we have some room, another spot for a cat hunt and, and wow. Our elk and deer, elk and deer hunts as well. And, and bear Well, if we’re needing bear hunters, this, it still hasn’t been bear hunted in a few years. So I’m really excited about that. I think we’re really good bring Yeah, we run those as a combo too. So like say I’m gonna, I’m gonna bait with either meat or, or dog food. So the chances of a wolf maybe coming in on a, on a bait, you know, and, and you can legally shoot him off a bait. So Yeah, it should be should be pretty fun bear season. Yeah. But yeah. Or even if guys hunting, I’m always that,

01:23:05:12 –> 01:23:13:18
Well between, between bobcats, lions, wolves, cotes, bears, maybe your area’s just best for predators and you’re just using deer and elk to feed the predators,

01:23:14:12 –> 01:23:17:14
Right? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. It’s a Yep.

01:23:17:19 –> 01:23:47:05
You’re into, you’re into the predators. I love it. There’s not a lot of guys out there that can pretty much do it all. Of course, you got, you’re the envy of a lot of these lion hunters too. ’cause ’cause we don’t have wolves to hunt down here, you know? Yeah. And what a, what a special opportunity. It mean they’re the trophy of a lifetime when I, they are, I killed a couple. Bronsons killed a freaking giant. And it, when you kill one, you feel like, I mean, it, it rivals a 400 inch bull or a No, it does giant mealer or anything. It does.

01:23:47:26 –> 01:24:01:23
And the overall management satisfaction too. Like, you just think to yourself, man, I wonder we just made a difference. You know? Yeah. Like, like we just made a difference there. And then, and then just the over Yeah. It’s like the impossible happened. It became possible. Yeah. Yeah. You know?

01:24:02:00 –> 01:24:02:08

01:24:02:12 –> 01:24:04:05
Just the fun factor of it. It’s unreal.

01:24:04:29 –> 01:24:09:18
Unbelievable. Any, any, any, any desire to kill one with a bow or anything crazy?

01:24:11:23 –> 01:24:12:12
I, yeah.

01:24:12:21 –> 01:24:13:25
I’ve had guys come up, I’ll

01:24:13:25 –> 01:24:59:05
Tell you, I’ll tell you an archery story on one was a guiding for a neighbor outfitter here that has a frontage area. And we heard a, heard him how his opening day of, of Archer season and the, dang, I, I guess just the first day jitters, I forgot my, my pistol in camp. And so we hear these wolves howling, and then we hear ’em killing a calf, like a bovine calf here at Squalling, you know, in the state of Idaho you can tag a predator with your, with your outstate LP deer tag. And this guy, he says, man, I’d love to kill a wolf over a bull. And he said, well, this is really unlikely, but we can give her a whirl. And we snuck up to about oh, 45 yards from ’em. They were just sped down, they’d already fed. And, and anyways, I was like, man, shoot him, you know?

01:24:59:25 –> 01:25:45:26
He was like, I’m not gonna shoot him. If I shoot the one, the rest of ’em are gonna come get me. And I’m like, no, no, just shoot him. You know, shoot. And he is like, Eddie, he starts talking out loud. I’m like, shut up and gimme your bow and I’ll shoot him. You know? Anyways, he didn’t, he didn’t end up shooting. And, and, and this is the dumb thing. This is the hound one point of view. So then I hear some branches breaking, well, this sow and two cubs had heard the same thing. Heard that calf falling, well, they were feeding on it, on this calf. And so I run up there and I hear, I hear these branches break. Well, she’d wf, when those wolves got up, she’d wf these cubs up, up a tree. And so naturally as a hounds, what I do is I pick up a big old stick and take a run at her. And that was a stupid deal. That was one of the dumber things I’ve done in a while. And anyway, she got the base of the chain wheeled around and cracked that stick right across her head, you know? And at, at that point, I knew I was in trouble. I was like, oh no,

01:25:46:20 –> 01:25:52:07
I got, I got a guy dies by a bear. He got a hunter backing you up with the bow, but he’s really not got the bone anymore. He running. Well

01:25:52:11 –> 01:26:00:25
Here’s the, here’s the funny thing was is he’s like back like a hundred yards without even having an arrow knock. And I’m on the saddle of this branch. I’m like trying to run her up a tree, you know?

01:26:00:29 –> 01:26:05:28
So we wolf scattering bears, Wolf’s bears and a pistol back at in the wall tent.

01:26:06:15 –> 01:26:08:11
Yep. Yep. I was like, come

01:26:08:13 –> 01:26:08:19

01:26:08:29 –> 01:26:12:20
I turned around. I’m like, thanks for having my back, man. He’s like, you’re absolutely,

01:26:12:25 –> 01:26:14:14
She finally took off. Or did you,

01:26:14:26 –> 01:26:17:04
Or did you She finally run up the tree. I finally run her up

01:26:17:04 –> 01:26:17:12
The tree,

01:26:17:28 –> 01:26:22:16
But my stick was getting shorter and shorter and I thought breaking on her. Well, you can’t, I remember I made a mistake. Yeah,

01:26:22:21 –> 01:26:28:22
Yeah. You can’t back off. You’re not gonna run from her. Like you gotta, now you’re there, you’re gonna stand, stand your ground. That’s

01:26:28:22 –> 01:26:34:26
How it was. I was like, oh man, this is so stupid of me. I’m retard anyway. And he’s just like, you’re crazy.

01:26:35:20 –> 01:26:37:12
Yeah. Well, I thought I had, yeah. That wasn’t

01:26:37:12 –> 01:26:38:17
The brightest thing I’d done my

01:26:38:17 –> 01:26:45:18
Life. No, but you also thought you had, you had some sick sharp sticks behind you and the guys took, took off. So gee.

01:26:45:21 –> 01:26:59:13
Yeah, he was not, he didn’t have my back, but no, you know what? You hear guys shooting him every once in a while with a bow and they’re calling elk, you know? And I mean that very, not very often, but every once in a while, and it would be, that’d be like the most

01:26:59:23 –> 01:27:00:00

01:27:00:05 –> 01:27:07:12
Unbelievable. I don’t know, like that scenario. Yeah. Like where we, we heard him killing something we snuck in there and if he would’ve stuck one, that would’ve been crazy, you know?

01:27:07:20 –> 01:27:08:29
Yeah. Black one with a bow.

01:27:10:04 –> 01:27:21:14
Yeah, no kidding. But to target it and not to be a goal, that’s pretty unrealistic goal. Yeah. You know what I mean? Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I mean, it, it could happen though. Maybe. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but boy,

01:27:22:11 –> 01:27:31:13
Well Gus, we sure appreciate your time. We’ll let you go. You bet. Just a wealth of knowledge there. So yeah, we’ll go from there. Good luck with that, with that new little kid you got coming.

01:27:32:07 –> 01:27:34:01
Thanks guys. Appreciate it. All right. Talk

01:27:34:01 –> 01:27:34:28
To you later. Alright.

01:27:35:04 –> 01:27:35:24
Yep. Bye

01:27:36:01 –> 01:27:48:00
Bye. If you’re interested in one of these wolf hunts, bear hunts, line hunts or, or anything, give us a holler we work, work with, with many different outfitters and looking forward to getting you on a hunt of a lifetime,

01:27:48:20 –> 01:27:53:01
Give us a call. 4 3 5 2 6 3 0 7 7 7.