So this is interesting. The leadership in Banff showed their caring and strength by asking people to stay home and not visit. This from a town that is built on and relies deeply upon tourism. So far people are respecting that and a curious thing is happening. The animals are taking back place. Cougars, packs of coyotes and herds of elk and deer are roaming the streets. As we push into spring it will only be a matter of time until the bears join the fray.
Thank you everyone, for respecting, abiding by and promoting staying at home. And when you must go out, please don’t be like these wolves, give others space. It’s for the health of all of us.
Ok, so it wasn’t quite like this, but our reaction to seeing an enormous wolf 125 yards from our golf cart wasn’t nearly as smooth, organized or as cool as when we saw a black bear (see that here). The elk and deer are back in town for the fall season and with them follow the larger predators. A young elk nearly side swiped one of our carts as we enjoyed a morning on the Stanley Thompson golf course. A moment later I looked to my right and saw a beautiful male wolf circling around us. At first the sheer awesomeness of it took me aback and I immediately reached for my iPhone to talk a snap. It was only after I realized it was looking for that elk calf and now potentially was sizing us up as a meal that I got worried. Amidst some screaming and panicky back and forths in the golf carts, we did get our act together. There is lots of literature out there for what to do when one encounters elk or bear but precious little about wolves (probably due to the fact that it is incredibly rare to get close to one). What follows then is our field tested advice on what to do when meeting a wolf on hole three: Immediately get together. Make lots of noise. Get into your golf carts and drive side by side AWAY from the wolf. Brandish a three wood if convenient.
What is it with me and animals around here in the early morning? And this after narrowly missing coming across a grizzly bear on a trail (another runner hollered at me to not go any further down a path). Yeesh.
The transition from city life to mountain life has at times been a little… rocky. We’re getting there though and it certainly provides good fodder for storytelling. The following sketches chronicle a few of the experiences we’ve been having. Enjoy.
(I’ve since realized these are probably ravens but they’re still friggin’ massive…)
(The coyotes here are extremely healthy, due in large part to the fact that they have an abundance of bunny rabbits on which to dine.)
(I saw my actions and comments as supportive and encouraging in an effort to get him through a tough run. He evidently saw it differently.)
(On another run when I rounded the corner and came across these three beauties. The literature advises you to stop, hold your position or to back away. I let them cross and then continued on. Apparently they’re docile now. Spring and fall they turn into right buggers.)