Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Trapping in Alaska: First Wolf of 2013

Syndicate

Syndicate content
Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!

Live Hunt Blog Posts

Categories

Recent Comments

Archives

Live Hunt
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

January 23, 2013
Trapping in Alaska: First Wolf of 2013 - 9

If there is an epitome of trapping, it is the pursuit of the wolf. There are few creatures as intelligent, wily, and powerful as the wolf, and here in Alaska I have the unique opportunity to play my cards with them every winter. Last season I only managed to catch one, but this year is off to a good start.

A pack of wolves—the same pack from which I caught the black one last year—returned to my marten trap line a few weeks ago. I saw their tracks at the beginning of the season, but I wanted to pattern them, and nearly eight weeks passed before they were back. One of the challenging things about trapping wolves is the mental side of it. I knew that these wolves would probably come back, and had a good idea of where they should return, but I had my doubts. I waited to see what would happen, and when they did come back, it was in the exact spot where they jumped on my trail last year. The next weekend I set out about 18 snares and a handful of Alaskan #9 legholds, and spent a lot of time at work daydreaming about how things would go down.

There was a spot in their trail where the wolves split up to go through a small stand of trees, so I snared every secondary trail, hoping to snag at least two right off the bat. I knew that if I could catch either the alpha wolf, I would have a good chance at catching the whole pack, as they would mill around if the leader became snared. Several weeks went by with no action, and last week we had a spell of warm weather and some freezing rain. Something told me I had to get up there to reset and check my gear, but I couldn’t get the time off from work.

Saturday morning I was winding up the trail when I saw the unmistakable tracks that told me they were back. This time, the pack didn’t use their normal route, but had gotten on my snowmachine trail lower on the hill. I still was optimistic, though, and as I rode into where my first sets were, I stopped. There was nothing in my first set of snares, but when I looked up the hill I saw a wolf standing, caught in one of my legholds. I quickly checked each set, until I reached the one that had nabbed him. It was a snowmachine trail set, just like the one I did a video on how to trap a wolf last winter.

It turned out that he was the only one I’d caught, and he was one of the pack’s young sub-males. Still, it was a wolf, and although I’ve been in my fair share of exciting woods experiences, there is nothing like seeing that you’ve actually caught a wolf. It didn’t work out like I’d hoped, but wolves are like that. They often will do what you least expect them to, and getting just one to step on a 3-inch pan in the middle of miles of wilderness is an accomplishment for any trapper. I still have a couple of months to try my wits against the rest of the pack, which is now smarter, but that’s what really makes wolf trapping fun. Stay tuned, and I’ll keep you updated on how the the remainder of the season unfolds!

 

Comments (9)

Top Rated
All Comments
from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

thanks huntfishtrap, he was around 70lbs, although that's just my guestimate. his hide ended up going 6 1/2' long which isn't huge, he was likely last year's pup

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Congrats Tyler, as far as I'm concerned, any wolf is a trophy! How much did that one weigh?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

thanks JM, I got into it when I was a kid before they banned trapping in CO, then after we moved back up here I got into it pretty heavy after I got out of high school and had some time (or could get away with skipping class in college) haah!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JM wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Congrats on the first one of 2013. How old were you when you started trapping Tyler?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Thanks guys, and to answer your question rob,AK has no set time limit on checking traps. I believe this is mostly due to logistics. for most trappers it would be impossible to check their sets every day due to their remoteness and the money and time it takes to check them. The vast majority are very responsible, and check as often as is reasonable, which for me is usually once or twice a week. thanks for the question. i'd be happy to pass on any knowledge I have, but you ought to look into getting a copy of the Alaska Wolf Trapping manual, it is an excellent guide, detailing everything from gear to bait to different sets for different situations.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MazPower wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Very cool! Congrats Tyler.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GoldToyBox wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Congrats on a great prize! Not that many understand how difficult it is to trap a wolf.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rob wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

What is the lenght of time that Alaska allows you between setting the trap and having to check the trap?
Good work, come down to Montana and show some of us how that's done.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BiggBucks wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Congrats on a great wolf! Looking forward to more posts about your trapping season. Some day I hope to trap a wolf here in Idaho.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from BiggBucks wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Congrats on a great wolf! Looking forward to more posts about your trapping season. Some day I hope to trap a wolf here in Idaho.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rob wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

What is the lenght of time that Alaska allows you between setting the trap and having to check the trap?
Good work, come down to Montana and show some of us how that's done.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GoldToyBox wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Congrats on a great prize! Not that many understand how difficult it is to trap a wolf.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MazPower wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Very cool! Congrats Tyler.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Thanks guys, and to answer your question rob,AK has no set time limit on checking traps. I believe this is mostly due to logistics. for most trappers it would be impossible to check their sets every day due to their remoteness and the money and time it takes to check them. The vast majority are very responsible, and check as often as is reasonable, which for me is usually once or twice a week. thanks for the question. i'd be happy to pass on any knowledge I have, but you ought to look into getting a copy of the Alaska Wolf Trapping manual, it is an excellent guide, detailing everything from gear to bait to different sets for different situations.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JM wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Congrats on the first one of 2013. How old were you when you started trapping Tyler?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

thanks JM, I got into it when I was a kid before they banned trapping in CO, then after we moved back up here I got into it pretty heavy after I got out of high school and had some time (or could get away with skipping class in college) haah!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Congrats Tyler, as far as I'm concerned, any wolf is a trophy! How much did that one weigh?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

thanks huntfishtrap, he was around 70lbs, although that's just my guestimate. his hide ended up going 6 1/2' long which isn't huge, he was likely last year's pup

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)