Photos & writeup submitted by Josh Dewitt.
Back on Thanksgiving Day, 2013, a friend and I were hiking the McGillivray Falls trail. It was getting late, so we figured we’d start heading back to Winnipeg. After about 5 minutes of driving, a big animal ran in front of my car. At first I thought it was just a white-tailed deer, but as it ran across the ditch, I saw its tail. I slammed on the brakes. I slowly got out of the car, and there it was, sitting on the other side of the ditch. He stayed around for at least 10 minutes, sniffing the ground, and wandering back and forth. He allowed many good pictures.
We were ecstatic! This is the first wolf sighting we’ve had in the park, they’ve eluded us for years. I myself have heard packs howling at Otter Falls, Big Whiteshell, and have found fresh tracks along the Pine Point Rapids trail several times.
Timber wolves are possibly the most elusive, beautiful, and mysterious wildlife in the Whiteshell Provincial Park. Wolves in the Whiteshell are a rare sight, although the amount of tracks in the winter are a strong reminder that they are around in good numbers. You are far more likely to see wolves in the winter as they cross the frozen lakes in search of a deer making its way through the deep snow. Occasionally you can hear their eerie howls in the wind, a beautiful yet haunting sound that can send chills down your back.
The wolves of the Whiteshell are the January ‘Wildlife of the Month’. Check back for several other ‘Wolves of the Whiteshell’ posts throughout the winter.
Have you captured the wolves of the Whiteshell on your camera lens? Be sure to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on Experience the Whiteshell.
Photos by Anne Klassen.