Canadian timber wolves at Parc Omega, Quebec
Alternative facts – the beast we all have to face down today.
Patriarchy today is a wounded beast. And wounded beasts are dangerous.
Roller blading is a different beast than ice skating.
I had a beast of a headache.
There, one word, used in different ways, but we usually say ‘beast’ for something that we perceive as dangerous and associate with evil – like wolves, for instances.
I have wanted so much to come face to face with a wolf in the wild. Should have been easy, given that I find myself on a tree stand with my Sapua Magnum and a thermos in the woods off La Tuque most autumns, during deer and moose season.
But I have not seen a wolf in the wild yet. (The timber wolves in these photos live in comfort inside a wildlife preserve an hour’s drive outside Montreal that I drove to last weekend – Parc Omega.)
Wolves hate us, oh yeah. They look cute as hell – with all that fur and all – but make no mistake, they have it in for you and here’s why….
Before the early 1600s, native North Americans had co-existed for centuries with wolves – timber wolves, grey wolves, arctic wolves, black wolves – all kinds of wolves. They had learned to hunt in teams by watching wolf packs hunt. Unless wolves killed their livestock, they left them alone.
Europeans landed in North America with a kinda blood lust tinged with paranoia. 17th Century European culture saw wolves as evil – reps of the Satan – to be exterminated on sight. That’s how wolves have learned to loath us – for indiscriminately decimating their numbers. Today, if a she-wolf found Romulus and Remus abandoned, suckling them would be very far from her mind, trust me. She would throw a fookin baby rib roast party.
Over the centuries, wolves have taught themselves to recognize our smell and developed so keen a sense that they can detect our presence from two miles. So, unless you have found a way to mask your smell, there’s very little chance you are ever going to catch sight of a wolf in the wild.
There are of course all kinds of products in the market that promise hunters complete concealment but I haven’t found one that works. Of course if you are lucky to be downwind a wolf won’t detect your presence, but then the wind is a fickle beast and keeps shifting direction without notice.
My hunting partner, Michel, noticed that he could go undetected if he followed the trails that were frequented by ATV enthusiasts who bump around the countryside in those All-Terrain Quads. Quads leak oil and gas along the trail, besides belching exhaust. He surmised that the lingering gas smell masks the human smell. He got a majestic six-foot specimen last winter. Weighed in at 100lb, he did.
I probably never will see a wolf in the wild, as I have decided to give up hunting. It’s physically too demanding at my age and I don’t wish to injure my back at this late stage in life. A slipped disc could ruin my bounding sex life, y’know. (I am yet to try out all them positions in the Kama Sutra). Hauling the carcass of a 300lb elk through the brush and then bending over and skinning and cleaning it, cutting it into four massive chunks and then hefting them onto the back of your pick-up truck – it is back breaking work, even with the help of a hunting partner.
I did hear a wolf wail once, though. I was camped in Michel’s shack on the banks of the Lac Memphremegog. It was one long howl and his voice kinda cracked after a while – somewhat like a yodel. Eerie, gave me the heebies. I was snuggled up inside my sleeping bag when I heard the wail and I missed catching his silhouette on a knoll, against the moon’s Sea of Tranquility. We were zapped on some sterling shiraz cabarnet and dozing off, listening to Dire Straits’ “On Every Street”. You wouldn’t get me out of that sleeping bag even if it was your Scarlett Bowdi (Scarlett Johanssen) in flesh, wailing.
Just as well. You don’t walk out of your shack in the Canadian wild, in the dead of the night, under any circumstances. There are more black bears than wolves in the wild and if you thought wolves were crazy, you have no idea how kooky bears are.
Anyway, I was enlightening you on the history when you waylaid my thoughts…..
The decimation of wolves had been going on unchecked when, around the 1930s, Canadian conservationists began to see a worrying pattern emerge. With the wolves gone, the population of rabbits, deer, elk, moose, whitetail and wild boar exploded. Perpetually hungry, they had one single mantra – “When do we eat? When do we eat? When do we eat?”
The bastards threatened to defoliate our farmlands with their grazing and lay the countryside bare and the Canadian government realized that the wolves had been serving a purpose after all – conservation. A decision was taken to reintroduce them into the wild. The sprawling Parc Omega – with it’s surrounding countryside and rolling hills – is one of those establishments that is involved in the process of maintaining the balance.
Wolves really are wild. They are a wholly different beast from most other predators. You can get a bear or a cougar to stand on a stool or ride a tiny three-wheeled bike in a circus, but try that with a wolf and he’ll tell you to go fuck yourself (ie: if you have a richard that is long enough).
And don’t assume that wolves won’t eat human flesh. Given a choice maybe they would prefer something else – maybe venison or boar or rabbit or something – but if they’re hungry, human flesh will do just fine, thank you. And wolves are hungry all the fookin time.
God forbid, but if you find yourself surrounded by a wolf pack for the first time, I swear you have no idea what you’re getting into. Picture this………..
The day had been dull, with no game in sight and you’re cramped, crouched on the tree stand. You’re tired. You need to take a leak. You also need to check why the fucking motion-sensing Spypoint you had installed in a wedge on the poplar 50 yards away isn’t transmitting. It’s still in warranty, thank God.
You leave your 7.62mm Nosler M48 leaning against the tree stand railing and you climb down to the ground. Very soon you are 50 yards from your tree stand and your Nosler and the light is failing. The voice inside is telling you, “ars–le, you shouldn’t be here”.
But you’re cocky. You have brought along your Colt Python even though handguns aren’t allowed on a hunt. Your ass could be in deep shit if a ranger caught you with one.
But everybody brings along his own trusty little life insurance on a hunt, okay? So here you are, your Colt out and you are pointing it at the closest m—-er f—-er. You think you can blast your way out of this jam.
You’ll empty your magazine, maybe kill a few, but wolves are relentless. That won’t stop them. Wolf packs count at fifteen plus animals. They’re a disciplined, tight-knit fighting unit. You’ll down a few but they’ll just keep on coming at you.
You are a novice at this. You’ll look directly at them, unaware that they are looking back at you – specifically your eyes. They are staring at the pupils of your eyes. You are staring at them, trying to tamp down the panic and they’re watching your pupils and noting how they dilate. With fear.
That’s another thing wolves know to recognize in you – fear. Never ever look a wolf in the eye. Look away, wear sunglasses, whatever, I am not kidding. Wolves are unstoppable when they sense fear.
Then they’ll begin the game. Oh yes, for wolves it is just as much the game as the actual kill. They like to play with their food. They’ll circle round and round, the diameter of the circle tightening gradually. Soon they’ll be brushing past you, deliberately bumping against you and grinding their butts against you. They’ll be playing with you, their lips curled slightly up, giant canines barely visible, a low guttural hum of a snarl escaping from between their teeth.
Wolves have a strict code of discipline. They’ll wait for the ‘chief’, the alpha male, to make the first move, have the first bite, take out the first chunk of flesh, maybe from your calves or thighs. I have a toe-fetish. Purple nail polish on well-formed evenly sized toes turn me on. Wolves too love toes, but in a strictly culinary sense. They don’t give a flying f–k if you had nail polish on.
After they are sick of bumping and grinding against you, it’ll be a slow descent into hell. Since they really think human flesh sucks, they don’t like the idea of being forced to eat you out of hunger. They resent having to eat you. Add to that the fact that you might have killed one or two of them with your Colt Python before the magazine dried up and they’ll be mighty pissed. They’ll make your death take a long long time.
But here are some tips in case you find yourself encircled by a wolf pack……
Whatever you do, don’t try to make a run for it and don’t even turn your back on them. Do not look them in the eye because that will give them the opportunity to watch your pupils and discern if you are scared. If you have a flashlight, turn it on them. Make slow, unhurried, deliberate moves. If there’s a tree nearby try climbing it. Wolves don’t climb trees.
If there is no tree and no flashlight and you’re a schmuck who stared them in the eye, all hope’s not lost just yet. Tell them you never ever hurt a wolf and they are making a big mistake stereotyping you as a big, white male human hunter. In case you own a dog, tell them you own a cousin of their’s whom you treat with utmost respect. If you’re Italian, tell them that two of your long lost ancestors suckled their female ancestor three thousand years back. Tell them anything but make your voice sound deep, like a baritone. Wolves are scared of bass.
But wolves are relentless. After all your pleas, they still may not let you walk away. Carry a cyanide capsule at all times, bite into it. You’ll like the taste. Potassium Cyanide tastes like sweet figs.
And don’t be sad. Think of the plus side – all those big-breasted angels wearing flowing chiffon and nothing else underneath, up there. I understand that in heaven everything goes. It’s the heavenly version of a Hugh Hefner party at the Playboy Mansion. Think of all those boobs you can watch for all eternity.
So, take it easy. Wolves are nice, wolves are good……