Apr. 14, 2019

My what big teeth you have!

A hailstorm had passed thru, dropping the night temperature to freezing. The crescent moon offered little in the way of light as it tried to peek thru the ominous cloud cover. The puppies, now 4 months old, were in the dog run for the night with their mother.

Nate and I had just crawled under the blankets when all three dogs erupted into a cacophony of vicious barks and snarls. There was something frantic in the way the pups were trying to bark.

My mind meld with them resonated, "hey humans, there's something REALLY big and scary out here in the dark and it's getting close! Come save us!"

Nate was first out the back door and had grabbed his bow as it was sitting conveniently nearby. I heard him yelling toward the barn, "get outta here!" Then, "grab a gun!!"

I grabbed my .45 handgun that is always on hand and ran down the stairs, pulling my sweatshirt on backwards over my head. Cursing under my breath as I struggled to turn my shirt around and get out the door, I considered getting a shotgun out of the gun safe. The frantic barking of the dogs and the urgency in Nate's voice to bring a gun, I opted to head out the door with my trusty handgun and flashlight, praying it wasn't a grizzly we'd be tangling with.

"What is it?" I asked as I caught up with Nate, now by the barn, scanning the dark woods with his flashlight in one hand, bow in the other. He stood there in his pajama bottoms, bare chested, ready to confront whatever had scared the dogs. I stifled a chuckle, seeing him bathed in the faint moonlight, chasing after monsters in his pajamas.

"A wolf I think," he responded. "He is huge! He was coming toward me when I yelled at him to go away."

He pointed toward the woodline, "he went that way. "

We walked up the hill and toward the trees, scanning the woods for movement. A flash of eyes caught the light from my flashlight. "There he is," I whispered.

Standing directly in front of us about 10 yards away, was a massive wolf, darker than night, squared off to us, head lowered, looking like he was deciding how we would taste. His eyes were transfixed on us. He was magnificent. He stood there, paws slightly apart, in a partial crouch, aggressively standing his ground. He was huge, my guess, about 150 pounds of lethal shadow, ready to tear us apart.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Nate draw back his bow and fire.

The wolf spun off to the right and bounded down the trail. A yip followed within seconds. He'd been hit. The chase was on. Flashlights scanning the ground as we entered the woods, we searched and searched for a blood trail, but it was too dark and too dangerous to continue. We decided to resume the search in the morning.

Morning came with no more trouble thru the night. I found the blood trail about 50 yards from where Nate had shot him. We followed the scant drops of blood for about a mile into the woods. The blood got lighter and lighter, until it just disappeared.

A flesh wound, nothing lethal. Hopefully the wolf will not return now that he associates pain with our property.

He was stalking our pups and was not afraid of humans. We will spread the word thru the area that there is an aggressive wolf nearby. This is the life we live in the remote Alaskan wilderness.