28 Nov 2010, 11:29am
Homo sapiens Wolves
by admin

Idaho Wolf Encounter

Note: Here is a report from a friend of mine. This horrific event happened yesterday evening. This is what we will be faced with, on top of the destruction of our wildlife. I am sure that similar encounters will happen with increasing frequency. — Scott Rockholm

by Karen Calisterio, November 27, 2010

Tensed, Idaho — About 4:30 PM, I, Karen Calisterio, and my husband, Ed Calisterio, arrived home from Coeur d’Alene to find our driveway too deep in snow to drive our car in without risking getting stuck. My husband decided not to take a chance and went to a friend’s house nearby (about 3 1/2 miles) to borrow his plow to clear the driveway.

I was tired and wanted to go on home while he did this, so I said I would just walk up to the house while he went to get the plow. Our driveway is about 1/3 mile long from mailbox to house. I had walked up our driveway before and had my snow boots on and a warm coat so figured I would be fine.

I was carrying my large canvas purse so checked the mailbox, put the mail in my purse and started up the driveway. I was about a quarter of the way up the driveway when I heard my phone ringing in my purse and tried digging for it but couldn’t find it in time to answer it. From my call log on my phone that call came in at 4:33 PM.

After standing there for a few minutes fumbling through my purse to find my phone, I found it and noted the missed call was a friend. I figured I would just call them back when I got to the house, as it was getting dark. I decided to put my phone in my pocket so I wouldn’t have to dig for it again, in case Ed needed to call me for any reason.

As I started up the driveway again, I saw, what I thought were two dogs at the crest of the driveway before it turned to go to the house. At first I thought it was my two dogs, but they seemed too big to be my dogs. I thought well maybe, because I was looking uphill at them and it was getting dark, they just look bigger.

However, they just stood there and didn’t bark which I thought was odd behavior for them. They usually bark at everything. I called out to them but they didn’t respond like my dogs normally do, and they still didn’t bark. But they started walking toward me.

Then suddenly I saw two more coming with them and instantly said to myself, “Oh shit, I don’t have four dogs — these are wolves.”

I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and called my husband in a panic and said, “Get back here fast. There are wolves in the driveway and they’re coming toward me.”

He said to keep my phone in my hand, don’t panic, and that he was turning around to come back. This call was placed at 4:37 PM and lasted 27 seconds.

For a second I started to turn and run back down the driveway, but then I said to myself, “I don’t think I’m supposed to run.”

Then I started crying, saying to myself, “I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to do.”

I turned back around so I could keep watching the wolves and walked backwards as fast as I could. They kept coming toward me, but they didn’t appear to be running. It was getting dark fast.

At 4:39 I tried calling a neighbor but he didn’t answer. At 4:40 my husband called back and said that while he was rushing to get back, he slid into a ditch and was stuck at the bottom of the mountain, but had help coming and would be there as fast as he could get there, and to stay calm. This call lasted 11 seconds.

The wolves then went into the bushes. I couldn’t see them anymore and I couldn’t tell where they went or what they were doing.

At 4:41 he called me again to make sure I was still okay, and I stayed on the phone with him for 30 seconds. My phone was nearly dead and I was trying to preserve all the battery I had.

It seemed like an eternity and I was scared to death that the wolves had circled me in the surrounding bushes. I had a long wool coat on and remember thinking, “I wonder if that would protect me from their sharp teeth.”

I prayed and I cried. At that point I really thought I was going to be eaten alive.

At 4:43 I finally reached another neighbor by phone who said she would be there as fast as she could get there. I stayed on the phone with her for 43 seconds.

She left her house immediately, and I could see her lights coming, but it seemed like an eternity.

I started moving as fast as I could to the end of the driveway, hoping the wolves would be afraid to attack me if they heard her coming.

At 4:49 PM my husband called me back, but it went straight to voicemail. At 4:53 I called my husband and told him that the neighbor had got there and that I was safe.

She has 4-wheel drive and was taking me to the house. He said that he was on his way up the hill with the friend who was bringing the plow, but said he’d have to go back down and get the car after they plowed the driveway and made sure I was okay.

As my neighbor was driving me up the driveway to the house we could see all the tracks in the headlights. You could clearly see how far they had advanced toward me before going into the bushes.

When I got to the house I found my dogs to be under the house. It took quite a bit of coaxing to get them to come out.

When my husband and another friend got there, they plowed the driveway on their way up but saw the tracks going off to the side. My husband got his 4-wheel drive pickup and went back down to pull the car out of the ditch, and a neighbor drove my car home.

It continued snowing. We went down with a flashlight and guns and tried to see if we could tell where the wolves went or where they came from, but the snow had covered most of their tracks. There were tons of tracks going in all directions, but not well defined, mostly indentations in the snow at this point since it had continued snowing. I was hoping to be able to tell if when they went into the bushes they had circled me or if they had taken off.

Our hayfield is a frequent wintering ground for area elk as it borders forest land. Just a few days before Thanksgiving, we had counted about 40 head of elk in the field next to our house at dusk. We also have a large pond on the lower side of our driveway where the deer and elk water. We think it was the elk herds in the area that may have drawn the wolf packs in.

This was the most frightened I can ever remember being. I will never walk to my mailbox again. If I have vehicle problems again, I will never leave my car.

2 Dec 2010, 3:59pm
by YPmule

This story is eerily familiar - nearly the same thing happened to us last October. This will be happening more and more as wolves move into marginal habitat where people live. Habituated wolves on private property.



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