How four women staved off a pack of wolves in the Telkwa Mountains

Sonja recounts a close call with wolves

Across the Valley - Sonja Lester

Across the Valley - Sonja Lester

There have been some FB posts about wolves attacking dogs up on the bluff area behind town. I spoke with Conrad Thiessen of Fish and Wildlife.

Apparently, there may be a den up in the area, but they don’t have collars on the wolves, so there is no hard evidence.He also commented that wolves have a very large area of territory.

He did say that a pack will lure dogs any time of the year so if a dog doesn’t come back quickly to voice commands it is a good idea to keep it on a leash.

Several years ago, four of us took a helicopter up to the Camel Humps and enjoyed the views from the top of each hump.

We were eating our lunch at the scene of the emerald-green Glacis Lake and its drainage stream far below us.

Across to the ridge off the other side of the drainage we heard howling and saw dust rising.

On the opposite steep wall and into our view came a pack of wolves in V formation.

It took a moment to realize that the lead one was a mountain goat.

When it got down to the flat of the canyon bottom it turned and faced the pack.

It was already hamstrung and was making its last stand.The wolves’ howling changed to in-for-the-kill.

Sandy Steciw had the only pair of binoculars and we were offering to buy her lunch all of next week for a turn with them.

It was also our pee stop because it was open tundra ahead.

Once across the open, Marg Davey told us to look – there was a wolf at the tree we peed at.

As well two, shepherd-coloured wolves began scenting us but a big white one above them had us in view.

I shot my bear banger at the shepherd-coloured pair and it went off above their heads as if I knew how to use it.

The white one paused and continued to flank us and then so did the younger ones that could have been siblings.

We grouped on the side of a scree slope looking as large as we could and hollering.

Sandy told me that I looked like a mountain goat because I was wearing white shirt and white shorts.

I pulled on my warm up clothes.

We also decided that we sounded like marmots because we used a whistle so began a group roar.

The wolves turned back to let us know they weren’t really interested in us.

And likely to join the others for dinner.

I called the CO the next day and he said that the dominant get to eat first and the subservient get second call to dinner.

He also said a mistake farmers will make is to shoot the biggest in a pack because when the alpha female is killed all of the subservient ones will come into heat.

As we were making our way toward Hunter Basin Gail Wilson had a great time writing and laughing about a headline for the paper.

How four women staved off a pack of wolves in the Telkwa Mountains.

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