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Hunting wolves can be tough. Here’s how to pattern them

Image Via: Martin Cathrae

In season: wolves

A simple, step-by-step plan for scouting, setting up and calling

Wolves are among the most difficult big-game animals to hunt, but they can be patterned, particularly when there’s snow on the ground. And there’s no better time to hunt wolves than when it’s cold and they’re moving and hunting more frequently. Locate wolves by scouting prospective areas and looking for fresh sign. Also listen for howling, and watch for scavenging birds, which may indicate a fresh kill.

Martin Cathrae

Once you know wolves are around, set up a blind and lure them in by baiting (where legal) or by calling with rabbit-in-distress wails or fawn bleats. Some experienced wolf hunters use a doe decoy and an e-caller with regular success. Set your blind well back from your bait or decoy and ensure it’s well camouflaged. Winter wolf hunting is a game of patience, so dress warmly and remain vigilant—your only opportunity may be fleeting.

Ken Bailey

Ken Bailey

An all-around hunter, Ken Bailey enjoys pursuing waterfowl the most. Based in Edmonton, Outdoor Canada's longtime hunting editor Ken Bailey has hunted every major Canadian game animal, in every corner of the country. For many years, he’s shared his deep knowledge of game behaviour, and wide expertise with all manner of firearms with OC's readers. His work has been recognized numerous times by both the Outdoor Writers of Canada and the National Magazine Awards. Ken is a committed conservationist, dedicated to habitat preservation, sustainable harvests, and passing along our hunting heritage to the next generation. He's also an avid fly fisherman, and a pretty darn good game chef.