Surviving a Wolf Attack

After the recent film The Grey, and other similar thrillers where our heroes are stalked by ravenous wolves, it’s only natural that when we think about being in the woods with a wolf pack stalking us, we get a little antsy. Well, I have some good news for you: in the last 100 years, there have only been two documented incidents of fatal wolf attacks in North America. That tells me that the chances of it happening to me or you are pretty low. Even so, it’s always good to be prepared because you definitely don’t want to be that one fatality over the next 100 years. So, what do you do if you’re attacked by wolves? Oliver Starr, who has raised dozens of wolves and did field work for wolf rehabilitation in Yellowstone, answered this question on Quora. He suggests that one would have to work pretty hard to be in close proximity to wild, healthy wolves, especially since they are generally cautious to fearful of humans, and because their territories are typically extremely large. But, he does have a few suggestions for surviving a wolf attack.
  1. Don’t run.Wolves hunt prey that is on the run, and typically if their prey doesn’t run, they don’t pursue the attack. And, you wouldn’t want to look like running prey, now would you?
  2. Don’t stare the animal down. Wolves see this as a challenge or a threat. Avoid eye contact.
  3. Don’t turn your back on the animal(s).
  4. Get big and scary. If you have anything available (shirt, jacket, arms, etc.) raise it above your head. Shout at the animals and, if you can do it without being vulnerable, throw a few stones at them.
  5. Back away slowly. If possible, position yourself with your back against a wall/fence and move toward an exit if you’re in an enclosure.
  6. Be careful not to fall or act scared. This could encourage an attack by looking vulnerable.
If things get really bad… curl into a ball and protect your face. Obviously, the best protection is to be mindful of your location and avoid predatory wildlife whenever possible, but keep this inventoried in your “How to Survive…” bank. If you ever chance upon a wolf or two (or seven), hopefully you’ll emerge unscathed (and maybe even get to make a movie about it!).
SurvivalSurvival tips

11 comments

INCORRECT FRED

INCORRECT FRED

Wolves don’t attack any more ferociously than other predators do. The only difference in there are more of them. The good news is that they are generally more scared of you than other predators would be, unless they’ve been food habituated. I’ve been around wolves all my life. They are very skittish animal. That said, you can still carry some bear spray if you don’t feel safe. Definitely carry it in areas where wolves have been habituated.

RICK

RICK

MAYBE ONLY 2 FATALITIES IN 100 YRS. BUT BEING ARMED I’M SURE MADE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING DEAD MEAT AND TALKING ABOUT IT. 2 ATTACKS IN NORTHERN WISCONSIN JUST THIS FALL THAT REQUIRED SHOOTING AT LEAST ONE BY THE HUNTER. THEY ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE HERE IN NW WISC.

Corray Smith

Corray Smith

Bear spray works on anything with lungs. If you are ever in a situation where wolves are trying to take you down and they are within range give them a blast of bear spray and they will get the message they don’t want to mess with you. Wolves usually surround an animal and while the ones in front try to take your attention away the ones in the back will try to sever tendons to make it so you cannot run nor stand up. They do this with any animals they are trying to take down for dinner. Be quick to spray the wolves in back and then turn your attention to the ones in front or viseversa. Always carry a gun if in areas where these larger predators are present. These two items can take care of most any situation you may find yourself in.

RAPTOR555

RAPTOR555

One should NEVER enter areas suspected of wild animals unless armed. Entering these areas unarmed is idiotic.

stratbastard

stratbastard

If one is out in an area where a wolf encounter is possible WITHOUT a gun, that is just Darwin at work.

Bill joe

Bill joe

have to agree with ole’ Fred on this one

David

David

Never venture out in areas where there are wolves or mountain lions unless you are armed. After watching a pack of wolves take on a grizzly bear in Yellowstone over a kill, the only alternative for a human being would be to shoot a few and hope that would end an encounter. Here again, try not to be out in this kind of situation alone. I would much prefer to photograph these magnificent animals at a distance using a telephoto lens then to push my luck getting close to them. Unfortunately when you’re out in the wild you might not have an option. Better to be prepared.

Therese Schroeder

Therese Schroeder

They hybridized the introduced wolves in my area with Timber wolves from canada..not normal wolves weight is over 200 lbs they are now giving out tags to kill these monsters . If you go hiking carry a gun..a lady in Idaho bow hunting was almost killed by one of these but she had a gun with her and killed it instead.

AnnJo

AnnJo

There may not be many wolf attacks, but there are a fair number of aggressive dogs out there, and all of these techniques are pretty much what you should do if you encounter one of them, too.

Fred is correct

Fred is correct

Very true, Fred! Although I would add that most semi-auto handgun rounds should take care of wolves. I wouldn’t feel under-equipped with a 9mm (bears are another story). 10mm would be what I would go with overall.

Fred Meyer

Fred Meyer

The best reaction to getting that close to a grey wolf is to use your high caliber rifle or your 44 magnum hand gun and kill it. Looking big and all that other stuff will get you killed and eaten. Oh, I forgot. Wolves kill for fun too.

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