View topic - Lone Wolf Encounter Killarney Provincial Park Oct 11 2020

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PostPosted: October 17th, 2020, 12:48 pm 
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I just returned from an annual 5 day solo trip. This time I decided to go to Killarney. It was truly restorative. Of the many wonderful moments I had — the beauty of Killarney in the fall, one incident will undoubtedly remain in my memory forever. I was stayiing on Muriel Lake, Sunday (October 11) . On my campsite, I looked up from my lunch to see a lone wolf looking at me. She (at least I think it was a female) was on my site, approximately 10 metres away, standing quite still. Once I got over my surprise, I told myself that wolf attacks on humans were extremely rare and the only ones I had ever read about involved packs, not lone wolves. Whether this is true or not, it helped me regain a sense of calm. We continued to stare at each other for a few seconds: She was big — well over a meter long. Her coat was thin and she was quite skinny. But her fur wasn’t matted and she didn’t look like she had mange. She showed neither fear nor aggression. I realized that this situation could not continue like this. She moved a few steps closer, as if testing what I would do. I could sense her intelligence. I made some loud noises. She remained still. Continuing to yell at her, I threw a stick, which hit her. She moved at a deliberate pace across to the other side of the site and stopped just beyond it in the bush. She turned back to look at me again. Again, her behaviour was calm... I threw another stick. This time, she loped off into the woods. After she disappeared out of sight, she let out a howl. I did a quick investigation of the site and found scat on the periphery. It seemed quite substantial, suggesting to me that she was not starving, making the encounter all the more puzzling. I stayed overnight on the site, armed with my Fox40 and a very large stick. The night was cold and clear. I built a bigger than usual fire. Actually, much bigger — the primordial fear was surfacing. I hung my food bag and got a good night’s sleep.

The next morning, I discovered another scat deposit. Midway between my tent and the food bag. She had come back during the night and presumably finding nothing of interest, left again. On the portage between Muriel and OSA, on my way out, I found another similar scat deposit. Perhaps it really was just that this was her territory and as a curious and intelligent creature she wanted to know just who was trespassing on it? Or had she been fed by ignorant campers and now would become a nuisance? I have searched online and have not found another account of such an encounter in the Park — only some reporting on a lone wolf that was stopping cars on the highway just outside the park back in 2017. This wolf did not look like the one featured in those stories.

have been canoe tripping in Ontario since the 1970’s. I have had all manner of experience, but this was my first one to one encounter with a wolf. It left me strangely exhilarated...

I would be interested in knowing if anyone else on the CCR site has had a similar experience or can shed any further light on mine.


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PostPosted: October 17th, 2020, 7:40 pm 
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I was once camping on crown land SW of Calabogie. It was a site that was only used by me, at that time, some 15-20 years ago. Late in evening, alone at a campfire, the wolf howling started. It was very loud and came from every direction. Was pitch black, so didn't see anything, but they seemed very close and continued howling for around 5 minutes.

It was considered a good omen then, as it is now.


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PostPosted: October 18th, 2020, 8:26 am 
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Backcountry night time wolf howling episodes aside there've been only 2 times I've actually seen them, the first was in an Algonquin PP campground in October years ago. Back then we'd have the place to ourselves just before a canoe trip. Those were the days. Anyway, it might've been Two Rivers and we saw only 1 other site occupied. The ranger warned us there was a wolf which was often seen travelling through the campground and to keep our distance from it etc. My son and I did indeed see it. The wolf trotted unhurried and unperturbed straight through the campgrounds without pausing. We hoped to approach it a little closer for a better look but it was literally here one minute and vanished the next. Afterwards I felt encouraged to think that HWY 60 and the frontcountry hadn't entirely driven off the wildlife leaving car campers with only chipmunks and chickadees looking for handouts.
It is a fine balancing act trying to maintain and respect wildlife behaviour unspoiled by human contact and our own activities. It seems the best way is for we bipeds to tread as lightly as possible whenever we're in their backyard.
Sounds like you had a Farley Mowat moment Hellbron. Cool.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2020, 11:42 am 
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I had a similar experience last month, except it was on a portage trail in Algonquin. I made a thread about it on Algonquin Adventures, you can see my story and some other people's as well: https://algonquinadventures.boardhost.c ... hp?id=3021

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PostPosted: October 20th, 2020, 8:12 am 
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Joined: February 4th, 2008, 9:54 pm
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There is always a lot of excitement when a wolf comes around, but has anyone on this site ever had an experience that is even slightly negative with one of these creatures?
From what I read there has not been one fatal wolf attack in Canada in 150 years. Coyotes are another subject. There was one episode in Algonquin where a 10-year-old met a wolf on a thunder-box trail and turned ran for his life. The wolf, like all canines, apparently considered this great fun, and pounced on the kid , delivering a single puncture wound, from what I read.
I have had wolves around my campsite once or twice, had them howling nearby a couple of times, and been serenaded to sleep while being absolutely alone in Mississagi PP. At times they seemed playful, and I understand that they sometimes sneak up on those sleeping under the stars and steal things like pillows.

Has anyone actually had negative experiences?


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PostPosted: October 20th, 2020, 1:58 pm 
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Sounds like a great trip!

I've heard lots of stories of wolves on Muriel this summer. I stayed there in early July and didn't notice anything, but had family stay on a trip in early August and they had to deal with a family of wolves (mother and multiple pups by their description) howling through the day / night. They could see them across the lake and then found scat on portage to OSA. We also saw a video or two from August / September of wolves / howling on the lake. Seems like it's been occurring on the lake for a few months anyways.

Not sure if it's nuisance issue (e.g. campers feeding or anything). From my experience tripping in the park this summer - it was packed and lots of new / inexperience campers. As always, the closer the lake to the campground, the more significant impact. In our trip through the park, the harder to reach places showed much less impact. We spent a night on Killarney lake and it felt more like staying in a campground (aggressive chipmunks, raccoons and mice through the entire night). Muriel has always seemed a bit outside of the heavy usage areas - but maybe not any more.


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PostPosted: November 8th, 2020, 8:50 pm 
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Joined: September 22nd, 2016, 7:04 pm
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Location: Omemee
We had an employee killed by wolves in northern Saskatchewan at a mine sight about 15 years ago.
There was a right-up in MaCleans magazine.
Google it.
I think humans feeding them was a factor.
Loan employee didn’t have any food for the PACK.
Thanks for sharing, good story and why a lot of us love the wilderness.


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PostPosted: November 9th, 2020, 7:09 am 
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Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Odyssey, don't forget the wolf we saw on Summit Lake, he was kind of an omen that precluded getting mired in loonshit.

I have seem many wolves on canoe trips, snowshoe trips, hunting trips, even on evening bicycle rides. Many years ago, on a school trip, we had a big black wolf do the same thing the OP experienced. It came very close to the camp, and just sat there looking at us. If we walked toward it, it would shift, but maintain the same distance. Stayed around for a couple of hours, never felt threatened. In the same area, just a few years ago, I was running a fall trip with about 20 kids. The wolves started howling around dark, and continued for a long time. When I got up in the morning, there were wolf tracks all over the campsite.

They are known to take dogs around here, usually in the winter. They will lure a dog away from the house and then kill it. One year, on my daily snowshoe treks, a wolf was laying in wait for my dog. I was going down a hill with a stand of bush at the bottom. The dog would not go down the hill, so I went to the bottom myself, and a wolf sprang out and took off ahead of me. After that, I always carried a gun when snowshoeing with the pooch. I have no desire to shoot a wolf, but i didn't want Fido to become lunch either.

I've had many encounters up here, but haven't felt threatened at any time, although I can say that when wolves howl and they are very close to you, and you can't see them, it can cause the hair to stand up on the back of your neck. They are surprisingly loud at close quarters.


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PostPosted: November 9th, 2020, 2:26 pm 
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Yes Rob, the Summit L wolf was pretty special and one canoe trip I'll never forget. That was the 2nd sighting for me. We really hit the wildlife jackpot there, sighting wolf, bear and moose. That's a trip I could do again.
I am not fearful of wildlife though I do take precautions. Domesticated dogs are another matter. I've had some bad experiences with out of control "pets".


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PostPosted: November 9th, 2020, 7:08 pm 
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Back in 2018 I was on a solo trip in Killarney and came across fresh wolf scat on the portage from Johnnie Lake to Log Boom lake.


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PostPosted: November 9th, 2020, 8:02 pm 
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Back in the late 90's we heard a pack of wolves howling right across the lake from Campsite 144 on Nellie Lake. Right after sunset in mid August.


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2020, 11:09 pm 
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Joined: May 11th, 2003, 2:57 am
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Location: Burlington On.
Once went in to Lake Eustache in Algonquin to see the deepest lake in the Park which is surrounded by 100’ cliffs.
At the permit office they said no one else had gone in there up to that point that year and the last portage is 2500m.

On the way out I was ahead of Brian on the port and when he came out he was white as a ghost. I asked why and he said a wolf had been following him for quite a while and had no fear. he was quite concerned until I said you lucky guy do you realize how rare it is to see a wolf in here. His demeanour changed and he gave me more details like how the wolf was paralleling him through the woods, and it was wearing a collar.

When we reached the base there was a university group there to study wolves and Brian was the celebrity of the moment with this sighting to report. He enjoyed a moment of limelight


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PostPosted: November 19th, 2020, 6:20 am 
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Joined: June 16th, 2011, 2:10 am
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Location: Ontario North
We have wolves on our property quite often , at night they run around howling on the few acres
of clear land behind our house , during the day they're much more reclusive and they stay in the forest

We're equidistant between Killarney , APP and Lady Eve

Cheers ....... Vinny


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PostPosted: November 19th, 2020, 11:54 pm 
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Location: Southern Ont.
Had a nice size wolf swim across the river in front of me when I did the Partridge R. in 2008...I had just pulled the boat over a dam and paddled not more than 30m when he splashed in the water right in front of me. Not a huge wolf, maybe 100lbs so still a decent size...just a hilarious curious bugger as he was wagging his tail & trotted beside me for about another 30m or so in an old burn area. Fumbled for my camera but i was in continuous C1 water so I couldn't get a shot off. In 2015 me & 2 buddies did the Missinaibi from Mattice to Moosonee and had a small pack swim across from us just below hellgate. had a howl party pretty much right beside my tent on Hap's route #10 on the Matabitchuan R....

Worst urban experience? Had a coyote turn & snarl at me while walking a well used trail here in the Doon area of K-W.

Worst experience with wildlife was hiking the Grand Campment trail from the end of rabbit lake road, down to Lake temiscaming. Done that trail 3x now and the 2nd time I did it I could have sworn I saw a big-a** cat following me. Hairs on the back ok my neck were up for 3+ hours. Cougars are another factor to consider in central/eastern Canada tripping...they're back.


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PostPosted: November 21st, 2020, 8:41 am 
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We have heard wolves in Killarney back in 2016 while staying at Fish Lake and Little Bear Lake.

This October while hiking the La Cloche Silhouette Trail we had a more thrilling encounter. We had a very poor weather day and after staying at Topaz Lake for the night we moved to a flat spot on the trail leading to the site so not to inconvenience the next group that reserved Topaz Lake. At around 6 am we heard something large but light on its feet walk near the tent. We then heard a low howl very close to us followed by more movement outside the tent. There was some whimpering and growling very briefly around us and then they left. We either thought coyote or wolves, though we have yet to hear any coyotes in the park. The only sign they left was a single large paw print close to where we had the tent. Very exciting and left both our hearts pounding. Still have yet to get a visual of a wolf in Ontario after over 10 years of backcountry trips.


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