I shot a wolf today! Good Story, Bad Ending
Backpacked in about a mile and set a little camp near the ID/MT state line. We scouted around yesterday and didn’t see anything except for a few whitetails. I spent the evening glassing a giant mountainside that is comprised of mostly scree, slides, patches of alders and cliffs. I didn’t see anything there, but a few crows flying around a patch of aspens near the top led me to believe there were elk in there.
At first light I was sitting at the base of that mountain. After a while something caught my eye. An albino deer I thought. When I put my binos on it I realized that it was a snow white wolf! I ranged it at just under 400 yds, before figuring out how I was going to get a good enough hold to make that shot.
I had moved a bit to make the shot, and had the bipod resting on a log, the white wolf had gone up into the aspens, but my move revealed two more wolves feeding on a carcass that was in an avalanche scree field at 306 yds.. I was pumped. Then I head hooves coming right towards me. For a minute I thought they were elk, and that I would have a shot at them. Then I realized that they were horses, they came around the corner and saw me all set up for a shot.
They immediately got off their horses and part of that is my fault for telling them I was going to shoot. I got back in position, whispered to them what I was going to do and that they should shoot all the other wolves after I dumped one. The snow white one had disappeared and I feared that it would not come out again so I decided to take a grey one. I waited for a perfect broadside shot and when I had it, I touched off. Through my scope I saw a rock behind him explode and he lurched limping hard. I rechambered and by the time I was ready to shoot again one of the people who had shown up was set up on a tree and he shot. He hit the other one and I am pretty sure he blew it’s leg off, he was sure he had done better. I had one fleeting follow up shot on my wolf and I took it though I think I missed.
Sweet, I thought. We just blasted two wolves. The other wolves were howling up in the trees above and we waited a while to see if any of them might come out. Then we made our way up the mountain, which took a good hour as it was as steep as it gets. We got to their kill, 4by4 elk and we started combing. I found a little hair where my wolf had been standing.
We went in to the alders in different spots. Those alders were so thick that you could hardly move unless you were on a game trail. We searched for several hours and didn’t find either wolf.
In retrospect, I would have played dumb when the horses came by and waited for the white one to come back to the kill. They probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere and I could have had a better shot. Live and learn. I have never been more upset after a day of hunting.