When Clayton archery hunter Rick Pearce found himself surrounded by six wolves last Friday, September 7, he was glad he had a couple of wolf tags. The wolf pack was aggressive enough that he wishes he’d been packing a larger pistol for added protection.
Pearce was hunting elk with his bow in the upper Squaw Creek and Bayhorse drainages last week. He’d been bugling and using a cow call for over an hour. About dusk, wolves started howling. Pearce kept calling elk.
Five wolves heard the dinner bell and came to within 70 yards of his position. The alpha female had two pups that started circling, one to the left and one to the right. “I knew they were flanking me and didn’t want it to go farther,” Pearce told The Challis Messenger.
Then, a sixth wolf Pearce hadn’t seen before sneaked in behind him, coming within 40 yards. Pearce could hear the large animal, probably the alpha male of the pack, panting behind him.
“It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up,” Pearce said.
Pearce made a 70-yard shot with an arrow, which hit the wolf in the right front leg and passed through the rib cage. The wolf went down, then made its way into some timber. Pearce followed the blood trail. The wolf got up, growled and lunged at him. Pearce finished him off with his .22 caliber pistol.
As Pearce got his ATV to retrieve the carcass, the other wolves kept circling, staying within 60-70 yards.