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24

So, first of all there is no alpha male! An alpha male only exists in captive wolf packs but never ever in the wild. Further reading about this topic here for example. The pack you've encountered was a family of three (more likely in January) or two generations. The average pack consists of a family of 5–11 animals (1–2 adults, 3–6 juveniles and 1–3 ...


16

Given that the active ingredient is capsaicin which is used in self-defence sprays for all types of purposes, bear spray should be effective on anything with tear ducts, soft tissue, sinuses, eyeballs, etc, (and will totally dominate a bean burrito**). The discriminating difference between "bear spray" vs "self-defense" spray, vs. law enforcement "occupy-...


11

The answer is yes, but it may require equipment, which is not just the human ear. The publication quoted below is from Montana State University Disentangling canid howls across multiple species and subspecies: Structure in a complex communication channel. (It is not clear whether this work is part of the Canid Howl Project which welcomes contributions of ...


11

That snow clearly isn't fresh and has been slowly melting and refreezing for a few days. The thing is, prints get larger as the snow melts. I own retrievers that weight about 34 kg (75 lb) and I've seen their prints appear that large after a few days of mild temps even though they're significantly smaller than the average North American wolf. So whatever ...


11

Here's the Wolf Safety guidelines and procedures for British Columbia Parks, and here's backcountry advice around wolves from the Predator Conservation Alliance, they basically say that wolves don't normally pose a threat, keep 100m distance, use bear spray if necessary.


10

Actually, electric fences with an attached alarm are pretty common when camping in Svalbard (lots and lots of polar bears). Yet, this unfortunately has the sole purpose of buying you some extra time to get your rifle and can only be considered the last of last resorts. Additionally the failure rate seems to be rather high. In any case I don't think you'll ...


10

Are you sure this is a good idea at all? If you need an electric fence to keep animals from your camp, then (in my opinion!) you must have done something wrong. As for wolves, did you ever hear of a single case where wolves would attack a camp site? Bears are a different beast, but again: I suggest doing everything to prevent the situation, not to solve it ...


8

*Are wolves a legitimate worry-worthy threat to back-country travelers?* The short answer is no. I can honestly say I have a lot of experience around wolves. I live in Alaska and have encountered wolves here many times, as well as in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada. Wolf attacks are extremely rare. What are my odds of encountering ...


7

According to @mojzis' link, there is a chance of wolves: So perhaps the most useful recommendation would be to speak to locals in each area you travel to, to understand what areas are considered safe, and whether they have local guidelines on food storage, proximity to open areas, gun permits etc. And of course that guidance would hold for any such area.


7

Chemically, if you can use it, I see no reason why it wouldn't work on any similar animals - though practically it may not be as effective. In terms of cougars for instance, this seems to imply it'll work if you can get it out and use it in time, but because of their nature the chances of you being able to carry out the task successfully are dramatically ...


6

It happens fairly often, and usually the purpose is to reintroduce the animals to places where they used to be but were wiped out. This is know as species reintroduction/restablishment. Species reintroduction is the deliberate release of a species into the wild, from captivity or other areas where the organism is capable of survival. The goal of species ...


6

I think you're told (i.e. we're taught) not to run from wolves (they can out-run you). If I take my dog for a walk and we see a cat, then the dog's behaviour depends on the cat: If the cat stays where it is (watching the dog) then the dog walks past it If the cat runs away then the dog will chase it I think that the wolf will use your behaviour to decide ...


5

I've spoken to trappers. Wolves are a non-starter. Even in a trap, they try to get away, not attack. One trapper said that the only time he's been bitten by a wild animal it was a muskrat. While wolf attacks are rare there ahve been several attacks by cougar/mountain lion of late. In each case the person was alone. All the bear incidents I've read ...


4

The other answers sum it up great for the most part: it will work on other mammals if you have a chance to use it. It's pretty strong stuff, and while I could imagine something like a bull elephant in musth shrugging it off, in general it will work. It will not work on birds though, as many a mailman using pepper spray against defensive geese and turkeys ...


3

You should have some deterrents, such as bear spray or air-horn. Wolves will generally not harm you though they can often approach you (at least here in BC) and in this instance, the recommended advice is to make them believe that you are a threat to them, by shouting, banging, etc.. Bear spray can be used as a last resort.


2

Keeping your eyes on the wolf in a way that he could observe might also have been helpful. Because he was very thin (poor thing) he might also have been very weak. He might have been waiting for a moment when you were “off guard” so he could have the advantage of surprise. You did not give him that. (I just read somewhere that domestic dogs are highly ...


2

They stop my horses and cows just fine. My chickens, not so much :) In all seriousness, small critters will just get through, and could be as much of a nuisance as a bear. Also, I'm not sure I'd want to test an electric fence against a bear. Remember, part of the effectiveness of the fence is the shock that deters - but bears can be pretty persistent when ...


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