Anyone know anything about (or seen) a wolf kill?

  • Hey Guest, For sale we have Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteel PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information or use the Pay Now button in the sidebar

Lou

Full Member
Feb 16, 2011
631
70
the French Alps
twitter.com
With all the talk about restoring the natural balance and predator reintroduction, I just thought I would ask anyone if they have any first hand experience with a wolf kill. Yesterday, my neighbour showed me where a red deer had been killed in our woods and I cannot find any other explanation apart from that it was wolves.

Just to explain, I'm in the French Alps and wolves have been reported in the area. One of the things that holds me back from saying outright it was a wolf kill though, is that it took place 5 minutes' walk from my front door just off a path through the woods where there is a moderate amount of (human) activity during the summer and winter months. However, there is also a 50 foot barn not so far off, which houses around 60 sheep (and their lambs) all winter, which tbqh smells pretty pungent right now. We are at the end of a small valley with very steep (and wild) mountains on three sides and the open end has a gorge that pretty much cuts us off from the main town.

Unfortunately, not much of the actual deer was remaining when I got to it, but my neighbour told me that there was a piece of skin a foot square and many pieces of intestines at the site the day before yesterday as his dog had tried to eat some of it. It did look like a frenzy had taken place though; patches of blood allover the place, bits of excrement and there was a large impression in the snow that was lined with red deer fur. There were footprints of fox and dog and some larger dog paw shapes all around but nothing I could say was conclusively a wolf print (we get some big dogs wandering around here). There was one trail off up into the forest that had signs of blood on it (I am going to go and check it out today). It looked like many animals had visited the site to check it out and in fact ten days ago I came across the fresh hind leg of a deer (from the hip down) on the path 100m away from the kill site, which looked like it had been carried there by a fox (from the prints all around it) and literally was dropped just before I found it (because the ski pisteur had passed through only half an hour before and groomed the snow completely clean and the leg was on top of that snow).

Anyway, I did some research on the internet and apparently wolves kill their prey by either biting its rear end or ripping some skin off its side and pulling out its intestines so that the deer can still run, but bleeds to death along the trail and finally falls down so that the wolf can eat it. This would I say correspond with what happened here. I can't think of anything else that would have killed such a large deer in such a way apart from a lynx, which we also have here so the jury is still out.

I'm not sure whether I will ever get proof one way or the other but I think it is important to at least be kind of certain, as the sheep and lambs will be coming out of the barn in a few weeks and there will be all hell to pay if any of them are killed.
 

daveO

Full Member
Jun 22, 2009
1,382
449
South Wales
Really hard to say, even with DNA evidence it would be hard to say what killed it. A wolf pack will kill and disperse a carcass in a different way to a lone wolf or pair of wolves. If you could track the kill and find evidence of the chase it might give you clues but otherwise almost anything could have killed the deer and scavengers could have done the rest. It would take something fairly strong to rip a limb from a red deer like that though so you never know. Time to get that trail camera sorted :cool:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Lou

Full Member
Feb 16, 2011
631
70
the French Alps
twitter.com
Yes, but then where on earth to set it up? it's a big forest out there ;-) Would they come back to the same place?

I just caught sight of the headline on the front of the local newspaper this evening in the supermarket - "The Wolf is coming back and the farmers are worried" so maybe its been reported already. The farmers get compensation from the government for every sheep killed by a wolf, so I think there could very well be some people around who could do DNA tests.
 

daveO

Full Member
Jun 22, 2009
1,382
449
South Wales
Grandma's house or anywhere where a pig builds a house that doesn't comply with building codes are all prime wolf spotting locations (OK I don't know).

If there was much left of the kill they might return but again it depends if it's a pack holding territory or lone wolves passing through. I take it you haven't heard any howling?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Macaroon

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,921
1,814
McBride, BC
Here, the wolves have their territorial trails that they patrol.
Big piles of tapered feces full of hair. Often right in the middle of a trail.
Rake away footprints in muddy places and set up your camera.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,270
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Could be a feast for multiple species. First wolf, then fox, then rats. Throw in feral dogs if those are around.
Plus the odd bird. Crow?

Boar like meat, but the hoof prints are very tell tale.

In Sweden wolves have taken dogs (pets) right in front of owners, on the outskirts of villages.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,921
1,814
McBride, BC
Road kill in the winters here is an enormous resource for predators and scavengers.
Has to be exactly the same everywhere else whether it's a natural kill or not.

If the snow is too deep, the Eagles and Ravens have to wait until the wolves & coyotes & Fishers & cougars & Lynx & Bobcats
get it dug out. The wolves are reluctant to come out to the highway so they wait until somebody else drags
great pieces off in the forest ( much less snow, too.) Our wolves will kill coyotes, given the opportunity.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,921
1,814
McBride, BC
So you decide that you will sled into a "No-Go" zone which is restricted for Mountain Caribou Habitat.
We identify you from our huge set of trail cameras.
We seize your $20,000 customized sled, We seize your live-in sled trailer ($25,000) and we grab your
hopped-up new 1-ton truck ($80,000+)
We buy you a Greyhound bus ticket home until you court date.
Adois, Stupido.

This is not enough. We still have to beat the crap out of trespassers, every winter.
They just can't take NO for an answer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BJJJ

Lou

Full Member
Feb 16, 2011
631
70
the French Alps
twitter.com
I've not heard any howls so if there are any wolves around there must be only one or two of them? And I remember another neighbour down the valley did tell me that she heard a lone wolf had attacked a dog near to her home.

In some ways, I don't want to have conclusive evidence that it was a wolf/wolves, not that I would ever hope to get it, as you say @daveO because the question is now, do I continue to go out before dawn and sit in my spot (which is very near to the kill site) thinking that every movement in the bushes is a wolf waiting to pounce on me? Totally irrational I know but I think as a society these fears are so deeply ingrained in us that its hard to shake them off and esp. in the UK (unlike America and Canada) we have got used to the idea of tramping around the forest knowing that we will not be attacked by anything of animal origin. Maybe we have become too blasé about it. Perhaps it should become a little dangerous out there again. I know that I now have got a heck of a lot of respect for those woods and of course I know that a wolf is not going to randomly jump out and attack me. It is just very, very interesting how all of a sudden my relationship with that place has changed, I hope in a good way.

Mentioning fairy tales again, I always loved Little Red Riding Hood as I thought the REAL meaning behind the story was to actually to let yourself be tempted off the path by a wolf. How exciting is that? Maybe they have a lot to teach us when we do decide to stray a little, live our lives with a little bit of danger and face our fears. And how amazing would it be to come face to face with a wolf in a kind of Tom Brown jr. situation where you could just observe it getting on with its life? What a story that would make.

Notice how I am trying to convince myself that it is still ok to go out there ;-)
 
  • Like
Reactions: santaman2000

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
583
UK
So you decide that you will sled into a "No-Go" zone which is restricted for Mountain Caribou Habitat.
We identify you from our huge set of trail cameras.
We seize your $20,000 customized sled, We seize your live-in sled trailer ($25,000) and we grab your
hopped-up new 1-ton truck ($80,000+)
We buy you a Greyhound bus ticket home until you court date.
Adois, Stupido.

This is not enough. We still have to beat the crap out of trespassers, every winter.
They just can't take NO for an answer.

Not quite sure where all that came from but I for one would love to see the trail cam pix of wolves using sleds (standard or customised) and “hopped-up” trucks (presumably GMC Suburbans!) to hunt Caribou! ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Macaroon

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,603
3,863
Mid Wales
So you decide that you will sled into a "No-Go" zone which is restricted for Mountain Caribou Habitat.
We identify you from our huge set of trail cameras.
We seize your $20,000 customized sled, We seize your live-in sled trailer ($25,000) and we grab your
hopped-up new 1-ton truck ($80,000+)
We buy you a Greyhound bus ticket home until you court date.
Adois, Stupido.

This is not enough. We still have to beat the crap out of trespassers, every winter.
They just can't take NO for an answer.

? just ?
Did you get out of bed the wrong side? :)
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
583
UK
I've not heard any howls so if there are any wolves around there must be only one or two of them? And I remember another neighbour down the valley did tell me that she heard a lone wolf had attacked a dog near to her home.

In some ways, I don't want to have conclusive evidence that it was a wolf/wolves, not that I would ever hope to get it, as you say @daveO because the question is now, do I continue to go out before dawn and sit in my spot (which is very near to the kill site) thinking that every movement in the bushes is a wolf waiting to pounce on me? Totally irrational I know but I think as a society these fears are so deeply ingrained in us that its hard to shake them off and esp. in the UK (unlike America and Canada) we have got used to the idea of tramping around the forest knowing that we will not be attacked by anything of animal origin. Maybe we have become too blasé about it. Perhaps it should become a little dangerous out there again. I know that I now have got a heck of a lot of respect for those woods and of course I know that a wolf is not going to randomly jump out and attack me. It is just very, very interesting how all of a sudden my relationship with that place has changed, I hope in a good way.

Mentioning fairy tales again, I always loved Little Red Riding Hood as I thought the REAL meaning behind the story was to actually to let yourself be tempted off the path by a wolf. How exciting is that? Maybe they have a lot to teach us when we do decide to stray a little, live our lives with a little bit of danger and face our fears. And how amazing would it be to come face to face with a wolf in a kind of Tom Brown jr. situation where you could just observe it getting on with its life? What a story that would make.

Notice how I am trying to convince myself that it is still ok to go out there ;-)

According to Wikipedia (so feel free to check other sources), between 1952 and 2002 there were 8 human fatalities due to wolf attacks in Europe and Russia and 3 in the US.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_humans

To put that into context, each year in the UK, several hikers (not farmers) are killed by cattle.

Clearly fear of certain animals is hard wired into our consciousness from the days when we were nomadic herders or sheep farmers but I still find it curious how deep these fears run.

The odds against being killed by a wild animal are several million to one yet we worry about going into the woods. In contrast, the chances of an early death due to lung, liver, heart disease, diabetes etc. etc. are significant yet people still merrily smoke, eat and drink stuff in quantities that they know is killing them and don’t do the exercise they know they should and which would give them the endorphins they seek.

Ironically, the latest version of the Little Red Riding Hood tale is aimed at flogging posh chocolate.


My only encounter with wolves was when wild camping in the Negev desert in Israel. A pack wandered past our camp at dusk and sat in the dark for about an hour, 50-100 yards away just so you could see a quarter circle of eyes in the torch light. An eerie experience but they did not appear threatening. :)
 
Last edited:

daveO

Full Member
Jun 22, 2009
1,382
449
South Wales
Notice how I am trying to convince myself that it is still ok to go out there ;-)

Do you get other large animals like bears and lynx out there? I've got more change of being run over by a car here, I'd take a risk of bear or wolf attack over that any day.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Lou

Full Member
Feb 16, 2011
631
70
the French Alps
twitter.com
Yes we have lynx but no bears (yet - they are close). The risk of dying in an avalanche here is high too, this week a man died in one on the mountain whilst out snowshoeing, his wife was injured but okay. Sadly, it has become normal news.

Funny, I went out before dawn this morning after having a long conversation with myself ... and once I was out there it all seemed totally fine, I think when we are tucked up in our own houses, the 'outside' seems a lot more frightening. I kept thinking that I wish I had not seen so many horror movies when I was younger esp. American Werewolf in London.

I really don't understand that advert. Hate it that the wolves look so digitized. I like that chocolate though ;-)
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,603
3,863
Mid Wales
I kept thinking that I wish I had not seen so many horror movies when I was younger esp. American Werewolf in London.

Yep, that and Dog Soldiers has a lot to answer for when it comes to uncomfortable solo camps :)

It sounds like it's a tracker's paradise; do you know any good trackers that could take you out and give you an objective opinion? I'm always surprised at how much an experienced tracker can read into the sign.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,850
1,062
64
Florida
....I really don't understand that advert. Hate it that the wolves look so digitized. I like that chocolate though ;-)
They look amazingly like the wolf/malamute mix I had years ago. That was another dog I cried over when I had to have her put to sleep (she was 17 years old then)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,270
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
In Europe, I think the only time you might get attacked by a wolf bear or any other animal is if you venture between a mama and her young.

The latest attacks performed on me were hens protecting their fairly newborn chickens.
Happened last time about a month ago.
We have feral hens and cockerels in Cayman, offspring after Hurricane Ivan ‘freed’ some caged birds.

Our Ching-chings ( Greater Antillean Grackle) are another vicious bird that attacks us.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

daveO

Full Member
Jun 22, 2009
1,382
449
South Wales
I really don't understand that advert. Hate it that the wolves look so digitized. I like that chocolate though ;-)

I think they're playing hide and seek and she just lost because she sucks at hiding. It reminds me of a scene from The Secret of Kells actually. The mint version of their chocolate is good, I had some last week.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels for sale.

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.