I’ve thought that my chances of seeing a wolf in my lifetime were pretty good.
I’ve been in wolf country fairly often. British Columbia, Montana, Alberta and Alaska are the places where I expected to see a wolf. I’ve heard them in Montana three years in a row and observed tracks almost daily while hunting. I’ve seen wolf tracks in Alaska, but not wolves.
Yesterday I observed my first wolf while driving west on Highway 89 on the south side of Lake Almanor. California !
I’ve had my share of inaccurate sightings in my life time-just ask my brother, Rob, who pays no attention to me when I look up and shout, “peregrine!” Only to realize a moment later that it was some other raptor.
However, when it comes to this wolf, it was a no-brainer, so before I start talking myself into thinking I was wrong, I’ll explain why I was right.
A wolf running across a road is a better view than seeing one running in the woods. The light was perfect, but in the woods, the shadows and trees could have made it difficult to be sure.
It didn’t look like any live animal I’ve ever seen before. It was a very large canine, and it loped across the road with long bounds. It was about the same size as the wolf I have mounted life-size in my office, on which I’ve had plenty of time to practice my visuals.
This black wolf (the one in my office) came from Alberta. And, it is a big one. The wolf I saw yesterday appeared to be just as large, if not larger, and it was gray.
I reported the sighting to CDFW and also at the Forest Service Office in Chester. Figured they’d be interested. They seemed so. I also placed a pin on my IPhone GPS and emailed the exact location to the interested parties.
I searched the edge of the road to see if I could find it’s tracks, but could not. If I hadn’t been on my way home, I would have invested more time in follow up searching, but you don’t really need tracks to know what you saw.
Hard to believe that nobody else has seen this wolf.
Apparently it is a lone male wolf, out searching for a female. The deer zone he was in the C Zone and there are currently plenty of deer for him to eat. Also, there are plenty of dead deer along the sides of the highways. I saw at least one or two every day while I was at Almanor.
It would be nice if somebody else sees the wolf to confirm my sighting, but if not, I’ll be the only one who knows for sure. And I’m convinced it could have been nothing else.