There’s nothing more exciting than calling in wolves and here’s some tips on how to get in on the action.
1. Find Them
Wolves have large territories—50 square miles or more—so you can’t just wander out into the woods and start calling. Locate a pack’s core area by wolf howling or coyote howling from roads and ridges, but don’t expect to draw them in that way since wolves are territorial, so they’ll respond to howls, but unless you’re already in their core area, they won’t come in to investigate.
Wolf howls should be loud, long, and guttural—almost mournful, but, you don’t need to get fancy. A two-tone voice call (hands cupped around your mouth) going from high to low will work. Howl three times at most and then wait and listen.
Because wolves generally live in denser cover than coyotes, you need to call louder than you would on a coyote hunt. Start with an electronic fox or coyote distress call on low volume and then gradually turns it up to maximum volume for a few minutes. Use coyote challenge howls, barks, and yips to simulate coyotes fighting over a kill, and, simulate a fight for 20 to 30 seconds, then waits about 20 minutes before challenge howling again. If you’re in elk country, bugles and cow chirps will also draw in wolves.
There’s nothing run-and-gun about wolf hunting. Setup a ground blind and wait all day. Wolves will come to a call from a long distance. They’ll circle your position, or they’ll just sit, wait, and watch. It can take hours before they decide to commit to a call. But when they do, they’ll usually come in quickly.
3. Stay Ready
When you see a wolf coming in to your setup, it sends chills down your back. You’re going to be nervous, so you need to be ready to shoot. Shooting sticks provide a steady rest when your heart is pounding, and they also make sure your gun is always in shooting position. Any movement will get you busted. Set up in an area where you can see at least 100 yards so you’ll have time get on an incoming wolf.
If you’re not sitting in a blind, hunt with a buddy positioned about 10 yards downwind of you. Predators, especially wolves, always seem to know where your back is, and you don’t want a big wolf sneaking up behind you.
Use Enough Gun When it comes to choosing a caliber, wolves should be regarded as big game, not varmints. Experienced wolf hunters recommend using a .30-caliber rifle and up. Wolves are solid animals with heavy, matted fur, and commonly weigh 150 pounds or more—about the size of a young whitetail buck.
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