What to expect if you encounter a wolf

What to expect if you encounter a wolf

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An ODFW intern encountered a wolf while out in the woods monitoring wolf activity. She breaks down wolf behavior and what to do if you encounter a wolf while hunting or recreating in the woods. For more information, please visit: https://dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/human_interactions.asp

In the unlikely event that you encounter a wolf, here is what to do:
- Make sure the wolf knows you are there.
- Shout or speak loudly so the wolf hears you.
- If seated, stand up and wave arms so the wolf sees you.
Wolves tend to avoid humans when they are alone or in a pack. Once a wolf sees, hears or smells you, it will most likely leave the area quickly.

If the wolf (or some other predator) still approaches or acts aggressively:
- Do not run, stay calm and keep facing the wolf.
- Pick up small children without bending down, put dogs on a leash, and leave the area.
- Shout, make noise, make yourself look larger, and throw any available objects.
- In the unlikely event that you are attacked by a wolf, fight back.
- Use bear spray or mace, it is very effective at discouraging any large predator.

Wolves generally avoid human interactions, unless they have become too accustomed to people. This can happen when people feed wolves or wolves are getting consistent food from campgrounds or dumps.


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