Late yesterday afternoon I took the dog for a walk. It was a gloomy, overcast day and it was starting to get dark at about 5 p.m. I was walking along listening to the snow crunching under my boots when I heard what sounded like a snowmobile revving up. Oddly, Wolf howls can sound very similar to the whine of a snowmobile engine. I knew to stop and listen as snow crunching under your pack boots can be very loud. The sound that I initially heard, which sounded like a distant snowmobile, was indeed a Wolf howl and it was soon answered by another Wolf. Then the whole pack joined in in a cacophony of howls, barks, and yips. Another few wolves called back that were in a different location.
The party continued on for another minute and then it was silent. A few Ravens in the area were excited too and were croaking back and forth to each other. Pretty soon they were flying in the direction of the Wolf howls. Perhaps they were hoping for some scraps. I waited for the Wolves to start up again – and they did for a little bit longer.
I’ve heard Gray Wolves, or Timberwolves, howling many times from that direction, which is to the west of Crane Lake. They seem to frequent the area around Rollick Creek over to Johnson Lake. Last spring as I walked the Franklin Lake trail I had a close encounter to what I believe was a young Wolf. (you can read more here)
Winter is a great time to see and listen for Wolves. It seems like they may be more mobile with the frozen water surfaces. They also take advantage of the snowmobile trails where there can be many a Wolf track on packed trails. This winter the deer may be having a hard time due to the deep snow. The deer have carved out many trails in the woods that they have packed down to make it easier to navigate the deep snow. I can just imagine a Wolf staking out those trails in the woods and laying in wait for an unsuspecting deer to come along. It’s also the breeding season for the Timberwolf so maybe they are a little more vocal now.