A single beautiful gray wolf follows and hunts a bounding deer through fallen timber in this close encounter with the wild.
Hayes says that he heard the wolf howling just a few moments before the encounter.
The wolf doesn't seem to be super intent on running the deer down at this point. He/she is just kind of loping as he follows the whitetail, probably because of the terrain and all of the fallen timber that the deer is running through. I imagine the deer would have the advantage over ground such as this.
Hayes indicates that the deer nearly ran over him. The wolf seems to have lost sight of the deer and perches atop a fallen tree or two to get a look around, when Hayes says "Hey" to alert the predator of his presence.
The wolf remains unsure, but it seems that once it identifies Hayes it doesn't react with fear or alarm, but rather acts somewhat submissively and seems curious.
"I've been very close to wolves on numerous occasions, and have never felt threatened at all," he says. "They always act kinda like this one acted. When they figure out you're around they kind of act like timid dogs. You know, they'll put their head down and kinda just slink away as quickly as they can."
Since their reintroduction into the Yellowstone ecosystem in the 1990s, wolves have expanded their range to include many states across the northern part of the country.
A pretty cool encounter. Thanks for sharing it Clay.
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