My husband, Brad, was lost hunting at fourteen years old. Really lost. Feeling the heebee jeebees from behind, he turned to find a wolf staring at him on the trail — five feet away.
“And then what?”
“I raised my gun.”
“And then what?”
“It walked off.”
That was it.
If you want to see a wolf in Yellowstone, don’t get lost hunting. Stop at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone.
The animals at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center are unable to live in the wild, so are rescue wolves, bears, eagles, etc. Without the stress of hunting and protecting a territory, these animals can be viewed at their most relaxed states.
And you will also be in your most relaxed state. Believe me, when you see a wolf or grizzly in person, you won’t have composure to admire it’s coat and wonder what’s on it’s mind.
The Discovery Center does an excellent job of education, offering talks throughout the day, like the “Bear Spray Demo” we heard.
The naturalist demonstrated bear spray, shooting blanks from her holstered demo can so we could see how far the spray travels (not far enough for me). She explained that we should be patient if a bear charged us because, after all, it could just be a false charge. She also advised, “Do not run. A bear is a predator. If you run, a bear has to chase you.”
If you run, a bear has to chase you.
Finally, she showed how to windmill one’s arms, slowly backing away from a bear. She mentioned that someone she knew survived a bear encounter by doing this for seven hours until the bear turned and walked off. Got all that?
Meanwhile, the bears entertained us by playing in the habitat behind the speaker, wrestling, splashing and ignoring ravens who stand around criticizing them.