Dangerous Encounters: There can’t be another way to describe some of the crazy stuff I do and some of the scrapes I get myself into. Thankfully, so far, I’ve been able to get out of every single one. I realize I may not always be so fortunate, and I have kids now, so I’ve toned it down a bit. Real quick here, I’ve decided to jot down a few of my more crazy experiences, and I’d love to hear some of yours!
As well as ducking from eagles on the flowages, I have also run from wolves – on multiple occasions. One of my favorite past-times is watching nature documentaries and learning the sounds that each animal makes, and what those sounds mean. One of the most-heard sounds are from wolves, and I can usually tell when they are “talking” to each other, when they are being territorial, and when they are protecting something such as food or young pups. You don’t have to see them to know that they are right in front of you. Learning different vocalizations is handy, since we are always out in the wilds of Wisconsin, looking for any and every critter out there. One of these times, my mom and I saw an interesting mound of sand with a den tunneled into the side and we decided to investigate, to try to see what lived there by looking at tracks. The wolf (or more likely, wolves) on the other side of the mound did not appreciate peeping toms, and let us know through the thick brush that we were not welcome. Snarling, growling, huffing, and one sharp bark later, we were running as fast as humanly possible back to the truck. On looking back, running from one of Wisconsin’s top predators probably wasn’t the best idea.
Another wolf encounter was on a bridge over a small creek. We were looking for a Great Blue Heron – cameras at the ready and walking as quietly as possible – when a wolf growled from beneath the bridge. It was the sort of growl indicating that it had food, and it wasn’t going to share. I can’t help but wonder what it was eating and, needless to say, my mom and I ran that time, too.
There was another time in Jackson County, when we saw what we thought was a coyote feasting on a deer carcass. We pulled off the side of the road to get some photographs, getting out of the truck for some better shots. Not smart, as we later learned that what we thought was a coyote (which is dangerous enough) was in fact a wolf.
Just… learn from our mistakes; don’t do anything you read about in these Dangerous Encounters stories.
1/1/18 Update: We now live right down the road from the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge; rich in wolves that often wander through our backyard.