It is a skilled hunter or just simply a blind squirrel that finds a nut?
This hunt will make you double guess and double check your confidence in your hunting skills. Wolf hunting can quickly test your patience. It truly is a marathon and not a race.
The phrase “trust in your guide” and “your odds are better in the woods” are probably the best advice you can have when hunting. Having a quality guide that has and will be studying the activities of the wolf packs you are hunting is crucial to a successful hunt.
Sitting on active baits that are well established for several years is a great way to pursue your trophy. Keeping a consistent food source that generations of wolves depend on keeps the packs checking in on these areas. Figuring out when to make the move is the next step. From studying wolf activity, wolves almost always are on the move feeding during a storm. Especially a snowstorm. If you are on bait during a snowstorm there is a much better chance of seeing a wolf in the daytime. Use of trail cameras over the years helps create a pattern. In snowstorms, much of the time we have baits hit between sunup and midafternoon and at last light. All this info will increase your odds but still is not a guarantee. Another note is where you will be for your hunt. I can categorize this into two types of wolves, suburban wolves, or wilderness wolves. The difference being suburban wolves will be more use to human activity and smells in the area. While hunting “off grid” in the wilderness you can expect to take a couple more steps into making sure you sneak into your hunting area. Usually requiring snowshoeing in from further away from your vehicle, covering your scent more and even wearing camo that matches your area. Wolves defined as wilderness wolves will be on the lookout all the time while suburban wolves are more relaxed to the human activity.
The idea is to be successful and harvest a wolf. My experience is, it takes patience and lots of time waiting, and waiting. Sneak in way before sunup and sneak out way after dark. Sitting for long days waiting for a wolf to show itself can be mentally draining. Prepare for this by finding things to pass the time. One would be surprised at how long you can play with a deck of cards. Of course, when you are not expecting anything to happen, usually going to the bathroom to quote “caught with your pants down” there is a wolf working its way to the bait.
My drive to stay in the game is truly the thought of the reward of a successful hunt connected with a trophy I am looking for. Usually, this mindset finds me needing a vacation when I return from a hunt and sometimes empty-handed eating “tag soup” along with losing more weight than a buck in rut.
My overall thoughts of a wolf hunt: any day outdoors is better than a day at the office. Being blessed with the opportunities with colleagues, friends, and family to make lifelong memories. Not to mention a supportive wife that allows me to follow my compass to adventures that have been truly breathtaking.
A wolf hunt can be long and boring with little action. Days sitting scanning for the entire day for any sign of action. Then, snow shoeing in one early morning you see fresh wolf tracks crossing paths to your stand and your mood completely changes. Game on! Looking back, the only things I can say were skilled were my thick-headed self-saying “I can wait this out” and my shot. Being a guide myself and as any good guide or outfitter would say, the hunter needs to listen, be patient, be in shape, stay positive and have a good aim. This is what my hunt came down to, several days of waiting it out. I did indeed shoot mine in a snowstorm confirming my theory of wolves moving in storms and I shot mine right at 2pm confirming my timeframe of wolf activity. Texting my buddy at 1:45 that he should prepare to assist in retrieving my wolf in 15 minutes and to send him a selfie at 2pm of myself and a wolf down in the background just puts icing on the cake which confirms my drive. Stick it out and you will get rewarded.