I have heard several hunter vs. wolf stand-off stories… Some I believe, some I question. I do not question the people who are telling me the story, they believe they speak the truth, but since they did not have first hand knowledge, and are retelling the tale… well, need I say more? Now, before you all get yourself worked up in a frenzy, I am not calling you a liar… it’s just that some of the stories sound just a little bit… “s..t..r..e..t..c.h.ed.” Here is one story I do believe:
My dear dad is trying so hard to understand why I admire, or even like wolves. He does not hunt, but in Finland, most people just don’t like wolves. I do not get into the story about the illegal “introduction” into Idaho and Yellowstone… he seems to understand that. He just doesn’t understand why I admire wolves!
He told me the story of a hunter in Finland. He was out hunting… something (no I did not pay attention to what!)… when he suddenly saw a very large wolf staring at him from 10 meters away. Instinctively, he pulled his rifle up in front of him and held it at an angle across his body. As he began to focus, he suddenly realized the big wolf was not alone. There were two more covering his flanks, and soon he realized he had been surrounded by the biggest wolves he had ever seen. He was sure he counted ten of them. He quickly turned and locked eyes with the big wolf up front, allowing his instinct to govern his moves. Neither moved for what seemed like hours, the hunter’s arms were feeling the weight of the rifle as it got heavier and harder to hold, but he didn’t even dare twitch as he and the wolf stared at each other. Suddenly, the big wolf turned and walked back from the way it had come. The hunter glanced around quickly and noticed the other wolves were gone. He looked at the leader one more time and the leader stopped, turned his head back to look at him… The hunter nodded, an instinctive act that he would have to ponder later, and the big wolf turned and trotted off.
The hunter was completely shaken by his experience, and to some, he was lucky to be alive. My dad looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to speak… Finally, I said “Incredible!” He was shocked!!
“The hunter said he was scared to death and will never forget this,” he finally said.
“How could he forget! He did everything right! He was surrounded by ten wolves, and he knew any one of them could have killed him for sure, but they let him live!!! INCREDIBLE,” I responded.
He looked at me the way father’s sometimes look at their daughters, frustrated, but with a hint of respect twinkling in his blue eyes…
“Isä,” (which is dad in Finnish) I continued, “the wolves took their time to evaluate whether this man needed to die. They determined that he was not a threat to them and did not need to die. When he nodded to the patriarch, he was showing his respect… his instinct did not let him down, and that is a sign the wolf understood…”