John Oens is a hunter who spends quite a lot of time in the woods. During one day in November, he had been out with his friends in the wilderness of Wisconsin. While he had been checking the traps he put in place, the unbelievable happened. He was going through his coyote traps when he saw that it caught something bigger than he expected. When the group made this discovery, they could not believe their eyes. Needless to say, this moment changed their lives forever.
In the middle of the woods, they found a huge animal stuck in one of the traps. This situation was not good whatsoever. As a matter of fact, it might even lead to their demise if they did not handle it properly. It is always difficult to deal with a wounded animal, but they had it even worse. It was not a small coyote. If those teeth sunk into their legs and or arms, it might mean the end for them. What were they going to do with the creature they found in the middle of the woods?
Facing The Wolf
Everything began as a pretty average day for John Oens. The avid hunting fan, however, had no idea what he was going to find when he inspected the trap he set up. Instead of a coyote, he found a large timber wolf. Its front paw got caught in the trap, and it was trying to free itself.
He knew that this was no laughing matter. He knew that it would not be smart to free the wolf by himself since it was possible that he would get attacked. John did not want his arm to be ripped off. This huge creature could turn on him at the earliest possible moment if it were in a foul mood. The young man knew that he was in a very precarious situation. There was no room for error here.
Drawing A Plan
There was no way around it, John was in a terrible spot. He did not want to leave the wolf on its own. The animal could die from bleeding or exposure or even chew its leg off. None of those scenarios pleased him. John had to look for a way to deal with such a complicated issue where no one gets hurt.
It was a good thing that the traps had been designed to get smaller animals. This one did not have any teeth and instead grabbed the paw of whatever animal walked through it. It was almost like a pair of handcuffs! It was hard for any animal to escape its clutches without any human intervention. John needed to reach a decision and find a way to help the wolf. There was no way he was leaving it alone.
A Dangerous Creature
Animals like coyotes or wolves might not get injured by the trap, although this did not mean they would be happy when they were caught. The wolf howled, not because of pain, but because of the situation it was in. No one likes to get trapped. The creature must have been confused on top of everything else.
It is true that wolves, particularly lone ones, do not attack humans very often in the wild. However, a trapped one is likely to behave badly. John needed to remember this if he planned to let the timber wolf out of there. Was the animal going to appreciate his help or will it lash out at him? He had no idea.
Illegal To Hurt It
Did you know that the timber wolf is on the Federal Endangered Species List? This meant that it was in danger of extinction! On top of that, it was illegal to kill it in the state of Wisconsin. It was out of the question to shoot the animal since it would lead to a fine and some jail time if he got caught.
There was only one thing to do here. John needed to let the animal go, although this was not the safest idea. He felt nearly as anxious and terrified as the wolf itself! The two of them stared at each other, and it was clear that both wanted the ordeal to end already. However, was John sure this was a timber wolf?
Coyote Or Wolf
A lot of people do not know the difference between a coyote and a wolf. They might be similar outside, although wolves tend to be bigger. Both animals share the same coloring and fur type. If you are looking at them from afar, you might also mistake them for dogs! Perhaps John just got his animals all wrong.
One of his friends raised this question. They started to wonder if this was a coyote or a wolf. The friends started to debate with one another. They wanted to figure out what animal it was before deciding on what to do. In the end, John felt convinced that it was a timber wolf thanks to its markings and size.
The Timber Wolf
Now, let us see just how different timber wolves are from other wolves. This animal is also known as a gray wolf. It is found all over North America and Eurasia. They are huge animals that can weigh as much as 100 pounds! They often have gray fur with white and black markings all over the body.
Timber wolves live under ideal conditions for quite some time. These creatures are also known to live up to 16 years. They are social animals that tend to be incredibly smart as well.
Men And Wolves
Humans running into wolves are nothing new. Historically, there are moments when things have gone wrong between wolves and humans. There are times when wolves wreak havoc on a farm and kill animals for the sake of it. Farmers are not at all fond of them.
Despite everything, wolves do not normally attack humans. Only rabid ones do. While there are cases of healthy wolves attacking humans, this is very rare. It only happens when they feel threatened. Most of the time, wolves stay away from humans because of fear.
A Risky Situation
Now that John knew it was not a coyote, he felt even more scared when he learned that it was a timber wolf. This is a situation that could turn very badly at any moment. He also had to risk his life to free it.
When dealing with wild animals, one must not show fear. His heart was pounding the entire time he prepared to let the creature go. This was terrifying, but someone needed to do it.
Help From Dad
At the time, John was actually accompanied by his dad and a friend. His father joined him on the hunt, and they knew that they could not leave the animal like that. They talked about it a lot. Of course, they tried to devise a plan to let the wolf free without getting harmed.
The best solution was also the simplest one. His dad went back to the truck to retrieve a gun and a board of plywood. They needed these in case anything went wrong. They hoped it would turn out fine.
Waiting For Dad
It seemed like the wolf was starting to feel more comfortable around these humans. While John’s father got the extra supplies, the two remaining men stayed with the wolf. It calmed down eventually. It must have been tired because it was panting the entire time.
John walked around it to take a closer look at the situation. He could not afford to make a mistake here. They needed to free the wolf without a problem because it might spell the end for all of them.
Thinking It Through
It had not been that long since they discovered the wolf in the trap, but it felt like an eternity to John. He tried to stay patient and calm, but it was difficult. After all, this was not your typical hunting problem.
He had not done anything like this before. He did not know if the plans were going to let them free the wolf successfully. However, he knew it was not going to be easy. This is where the rifle and plywood come in.
Plan In Motion
John began to put things into motion. He carried the plywood and headed for the wolf. The entire time, he held the wood in front of him like a shield. Hopefully, it could fend off the wolf if it attacked.
To his side, his friend filmed the entire thing. His dad was there with the gun in case the wolf decided to attack. They came prepared, but they did not know the outcome just yet. John kept coming closer…
Up to Him
He knew exactly what he needed to do, but he still felt nervous. His father had the rifle at the ready, but things could go very wrong. If the wolf dove for him, he might be dead before his dad could shoot.
When the wolf is out of the trap, it would either attack or run. They did not know what was going to happen nor did they have a way to predict it. They prepared themselves for all possibilities. John knew that he had to do keep going with the rescue.
In 3… 2… 1…
As he moved toward the animal, his dad tried to assure him by saying that his rifle was aimed at the animal. This was the only thing they could do to keep John safe if it leapt.
They did not have the luxury of time. John was as ready as he would ever be. He looked at his pal who was videoing the whole thing. There was nothing his friend could offer more than moral support. It was time to set the plan in motion.
On Different Sides
There was a helpful notch on the plywood. Their plan was to put that over the paw of the wolf. John then maneuvered the plywood and then lower it over its paw. This was basically the plan.
The notch fitted perfectly over the paw. John then looked at the wolf, who was biting and scratching at the piece of wood! It was aggressive and ready to attack. Would it figure out that John was trying to help?
The Veteran Hunter
John and his father have been taking hunting trips since he was a young boy. He was familiar with hunting wild animals, but this situation was a first for them. They knew the piece of plywood could offer him some protection.
As John carried out the trap, the plywood separated him from the wolf. However, it could only keep him safe while the wolf was trapped. Nothing was going to stop it from jumping at him when it was free!
What He Found
During his past trips, he saw many fascinating creatures. Wisconsin is home to many animals. There was even a time when he saw a Canada Lynx. There were plenty of animals to be seen in the woods!
The huge cat came as a huge surprise to him. Both the lynx and the wolf avoid humans as much as possible. It probably got caught while it was out hunting at night. John was impressed by its beauty.
Bobcat And Lynch
There are many similarities between the two animals he caught. It was not all that uncommon for animals to end up in his traps. There were many bobcats in the woods he visited, so it was bound to happen.
When humans and bobcats make contact with one another, it is often because the animal is rabid or sick. Usually, they begin to behave worse in such cases. They often eat smaller animals on top of that.
Telling Them Apart
Bobcats are more common sights than lynxes. They are both shy, so they will try to keep out of your way. If you meet a huge cat, how can you figure out what animal it was? Most people confuse the two.
You first need to check the ears. A lynx comes with long tufts on the tips of their furry ears. Meanwhile, the bobcat has short hairs on its ears. Aside from that, their tails are different. A lynx come with a black-tipped tail, whereas a bobcat will have black tips with a white base.
While it can be simple to move smaller animals like coyotes and raccoons, it can be hard to do the same for large animals. The timber wolf must have weight about 150 pounds! How could they move it?
Among the animals you will find in the Wisconsin woods, timber wolves might be the most dangerous. They are hard to trap and release. Many people will tell you that it is not possible to do it safely!
Meeting A Wolf
Wolves do not normally attack humans, but this does not mean they are not dangerous. Do not ever assume it will turn tail and leave you alone. If you see one, you should stay still and wait for it to leave.
It is important to avoid looking it in the eyes. Do not turn your back on it since it will chase you. Instead, wave and yell! You can also scare it off by throwing a branch or a rock at it.
Releasing The Wolf
At last, it was time for him to let the timber wolf go. He was ready to do it at last. With only the plywood separating them, John was going to find out if he was going to live or not.
The wolf did not have the best reaction to the plywood. He freaked out and bit it, which told them it was scared. Using his free hand, John released the trap. He needed to do it carefully, but it was difficult.
Free At Last
Finally, he managed to free the wolf’s paw! It took the wolf a moment to spin around and then take off. All three men were glad that John was safe and that the wolf was free. What a relief!
Everyone was happy that they resolved the situation without hurting anyone. They congratulated one another. His friend filmed the whole thing, and they were shocked to see the reaction the wolf made.
A Last Look
In the video, they saw what the wolf had been doing at the time. As it ran off for the woods, it took a moment to look at John. Could it have been trying to communicate its gratitude?
John did not see it pause when it happened, although the video showed him the evidence he needed. It was a good thing he ended up making the right choice. He was glad that the wolf was alive and free.
His True Feelings
True enough, John released the timber wolf from the trap. It also showed how he felt about timber wolves. It seems like he knew that they could be as annoying as the coyotes who messed around there!
Timber wolves often attack small wild animals and livestock. Sometimes, they do it to frighten and agitate pets. John knew this because he knew cases of wolves going after domestic animals. However, he respected the fact that he was in the territory of the wolf.
A lot of people wonder why it is so hard to keep wolves and coyotes out of farms. Wasn’t it easier to build a fence to keep livestock and pets safe? Unfortunately, they can also dig and jump. Yikes!
Aside from that, there is usually too much space to cover everything with very high fences. Wolves can jump as high as six feet. They are also smart enough to get around fences and other obstructions.
John is a trapper, which means he employs animal traps. They often use bait to lure animals and catch them. The easiest way to do this is with the use of urine or its scent.
When trying to get a coyote, trappers prefer to use food and other bait instead. Meat and dog food are commonly used. The baits also attract wolves. They have such a great sense of smell that they can smell food from miles away.
John is also a trapper. He was trying to catch coyotes one day to keep them away from pets and farms in the area. However, he is used to catching other animals now. Apparently, his baits attract creatures other than his target!
In the photo above, you will see that he once caught a red fox. To avoid injuries, he used a piece of plywood to free it as well. It might be a much smaller creature, but it is known for its infectious bites.
And Badgers Too
With the previously mentioned animals, it is not unreasonable to think that John has caught everything he could. Who would have thought that smaller mammals tend to be more aggressive?
He once caught an American badger, creatures known to be ferocious enough to fight black bears. John had to be careful when he dealt with this animal. They are violent and fearless, so they are dangerous.
A True Pest
Badgers can be huge problems for humans living on farms. They often ruin crops, kill pets, and harm other animals. There are a lot of them in Wisconsin, and John knew how much destruction they cause.
Farmers and trappers try to control the badger population by setting traps for them. While they are furry, they are not pet material. They have dangerous teeth and claws! They also smell horrific.
Tips For Trappers
Are you interested in trapping animals? There are a couple of things you should always keep in mind regardless of whether you want to get rid of destructive pests or enjoy doing it for sport.
Trappers need to get a hunting license, so make sure to obtain one before anything else. Next, you must be careful. Your hand or foot might get caught in a trap if you are not careful!
Fur Trading Industry
These days, people approve of faux fur than the real deal. Is the trapping industry still operating right now? And more importantly, are people right to think that trapping needs to be banned?
You should know that animals are not only hunted for fur. In fact, nearly the entire body is used. After selling the fur, the carcass is then used as animal food, bait, and even compost.
History Of Trapping
The history of the fur trade and trapping is a lengthy one. The fur industry has been in operation since the 1700s! This was the time when trappers took their wares to the east to earn more money.
There was a lot of demand for different types of furs. On top of that, the west was overrun with animals. The animal population eventually declined due to overhunting and the industry started to go downhill.
A Double Whammy
A lot of trappers find odd things in the traps they set. John was far from the first person to encounter something strange. One trapper got a double whammy to see two baby pigs in his trap! How rare is this?
The little animals had been attacking the gardens and crops in the community. If they kept going, they would have destroyed everything! It was hard to get rid of the freeloaders when they find free food.
Trapping A Bear
Even though small animals can be annoying, big ones can be even harder to deal with. Some trappers found this in their coyote trap. Somehow, it ended up catching an angry and violent bear instead.
The animal was aggressive and upset, but they needed to free the huge animal. This was similar to the situation John’s group faced, if even more dangerous. They called conservation officers to ask for help.
A Smelly Trap
We doubt that you are surprised to hear how terrible of a stink a skunk can make. When trapped and scared, they release an odor. This will often clue trappers in on what happened before they even see it.
The spray is so strong that you can smell it from miles away. Aside from that, skunks come with sharp teeth and claws that can cause serious injury. Even dead ones can cause a lot of damage!
There was a time when a bald eagle got caught in a coyote trap. The big bird was found by a hiker in the woods of Juneau, Alaska. She took this photo of the displeased fowl but freed it afterward.
Sadly, the person was eventually punished for messing with someone’s trap. She was charged a $500 fine! She then went to court but got let off since the judge appreciated what she did. Unfortunately, the eagle had to be put down for the injuries it received from the trap.
The Poor Deer
We know that eagles are dangerous, right? This photo gives us all the proof that we need. The eagle in the photo clearly took the sika deer by surprise. In the end, the bird overpowered the poor deer.
The golden eagle must weight about 10 pounds while the deer weighs about 80 pounds. These things do not make that much of a difference in the wild. The owner discovered the dead deer hours later.
Hog And Raccoon
How hilarious is this photo?! It shows something that we would not see with our own eyes. Thank goodness night vision cameras exist. The landowner set it up to see what was emptying the feeder.
He certainly did not expect this. He learned that the wild hog ate the corn, so he was right on the mark there. However, the hog was accompanied by a raccoon as well! It shook the feeder until the corn fell.
Squirrel And Deer
This photo shows another strange bond between completely different animals. This deer had been walking through the woods. Clearly, it did not expect to get attacked by a flying squirrel from above.
We don’t know what the squirrel was up to, but the photo sure captures the essence of the moment. The deer did not realize what was happening, which meant the squirrel was successful with the ambush.
Is That Bigfoot?
Roger Williams of Virginia took this photo. It might seem like a normal photo, but we want you to take a closer look. He captured some kind of creature that looks like the way people describe Bigfoot.
A lot of people claim that the photo is fake one way or another. However, experts revealed that it is indeed the real thing. Despite this, many continue to remain skeptical of the existence of Bigfoot.
Coyote Tag Team
Wildlife cameras capture so many interesting moments. These are things we would never see using our bare eyes because they happen at night. In this photo, two coyotes closed in on their meal.
It must have been a great fight, although the coyotes ended up winning over the dinner. The entire pack finally got to enjoy their dinner. It is terrifying to think that small coyotes can take on such a big animal.
Making Trapper Money
If you are interested, you might be glad to hear that it is possible to earn a living as a trapper. Many people make their money this way. It might seem obsolete, but if there’s a will, there’s away.
Jerry Ward is a person who does this for a living. This Arkansas man traps in the area, although he also goes to Alaska every year. He sells his furs to Russia, China, and other countries. He rakes in about $30,000 a year with his lucrative business.
Making More Money
Clint Locklear is a trapper who has achieved even more success. He took his hunting and trapping know-how and converted it into a bigger business. On top of trapping, he also runs a school to teach his skills.
He is famous among hunters and trappers. He has appeared in numerous events, and many people are eager to learn from him. He teaches his students how to set traps and get high-quality furs.
The One-Eyed Hillbilly
Here is one more trapper who took things up a notch. Greg Stephens, AKA the One-Eyed Hillbilly, has been going hunting since he was little. Raised in the Ozarks, he is known in the hunting community.
As an adult, he started to go trapping. He is popular on social media! On his profiles, he shares the traps and kills he makes. He primarily kills for sustenance. He travels to the Rocky Mountains and Alaska because he gets the best fur from those areas.
It Is Risky
There is an old saying that goes that it is all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Well, this is what happened to him! Trapping might be a fun pastime, although it is not the safest hobby one can have.
Greg Stephens talked about it on the blog. He has a lot of injuries from trapping. While he had bad luck in the past, he does not hesitate to share it. He wants people to see what they are getting themselves into.
Free From Traps
Not everyone is happy with the fact that people use traps. However, there are indeed lots of nuisance wildlife out there who destroy property, livestock, and crops. What are the alternatives?
There is an organization working to move animals without using traps. Called Wyoming Untrapped, they do not approve of leg hold traps. Instead, they use humane ways to capture animals and relocate them.
The Necessity Of Hunting
This is a topic with serious arguments from both sides. Both the pros and antis make compelling points about this matter. However, the side you take will rely on your decisions and moral compass.
Many think that hunting makes sense. This is the way we have been doing things for time immemorial. They just need to follow certain rules and laws. Some people find it totally barbaric, however.
Not Only Pests
Although some pests can be annoying and wreak havoc, other animals suffer as well. As a matter of fact, many domestic pets end up in these traps! Take this poor pooch for example.
It is hard to prevent such a thing from happening, which is why one must be careful. However, many trappers do not like to mention that more than four million pets die from traps every single year.
Mountain Lions Too
Mind you, not all trappers try to catch coyotes. People out west deal with mountain lions, for one thing. They normally keep out of the way, although they might go to the suburbs in search of food as well.
Even though they can be destructive, some people say that their numbers need to be controlled. Sadly, the population was been on the decline. In fact, there are only 30,000 left! How did this happen?
Controlling Mountain Lions
The mountain lion population has been going down for years. However, these animals can indeed be very destructive. The large cats tend to be extremely intimidating and even dangerous to everyone.
How should they be controlled? Some people trap them, although this does not happen that often. They are huge, so one must resort to special methods. However, it is illegal to kill them in most states.
A Big Cat
If you have not seen a mountain lion in real life, you will not believe just how huge this cat is. A female mountain lion can weigh 100 to 140 pounds! Meanwhile, a male one can weigh as much as 220 pounds
The photo below shows you just how huge they are. The cat could have torn this hunter apart in a split second. This is the reason you should only go after them if you have a lot of hunting experience.
By this point, we have already seen a lot of hunters and trappers. Some do it for money, food, and property protection as well. Some people like to do it for pleasure, however, and they get the worst rep.
This is 19-year-old Kendall Jones who went to Africa for sports hunting. When she posted the lion photo, she was attacked by a lot of people. However, she went on to claim that she was a conservationist.
Walter Palmer And Cecil
Walter Palmer is a dentist from the United States who gained notoriety in 2015. That was the time he killed the beloved creature called Cecil the Lion during a safari. He also posed with it and posted it online.
Some people believe he baited the lion out of the animal sanctuary. Sadly, he used a bow and arrow, which meant that the lion did not die immediately. He died a terrible slow death.
There are a lot of historical figures who were big-game hunters as well. Did you know that the acclaimed writer Ernest Hemingway was a hunter himself? He also used the sport as inspiration for his writing.
He hunted in different areas, although he frequently went to Africa to hunt. He found himself in danger several times. He was quite the daredevil because he never got scared and always returned.
Theodore Roosevelt was the president, but he was an outdoorsman and big game hunter as well. This photo shows him with a bull elephant in 1909. This must be one of the biggest kills he ever made.
He once said that he liked hunting because it gave him a thrill. After his time in office, he went on a controversial hunt. He killed hundreds of animals, from fish to birds to black rhinos. They are now critically endangered.
The Presidential Sons
Did you know that Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. also like hunting? This is the reason they have landed in hot water in the past. Animal rights activists have harangued them for this hobby of theirs.
For these siblings, people who hunt are actually closer to nature since they know more about wild creatures. Not everyone is convinced since they still kill the animals in the end.
Sabrina Corgatelli also got bashed when she posted certain photos on social media in 2015. People got angry because she killed a giraffe! They said that it was not necessary since it was not dangerous.
She killed this giraffe and defended it by saying it was destructive. According to her, she only killed problem-causing animals. Again, not many people were convinced by such an argument.
Pro Or Anti?
What do you think about hunting and trapping? Would you say that you are for or against it? You have seen the different sides of the stories by this point, so you must have made up your mind already. We are sure that you can also argue for the side you have chosen without running out of steam.
However, we agree that people need to employ responsible trapping methods at the very least. Hunting and trapping can indeed be useful when dealing with problematic animals. Still, a line must be drawn to ensure the safety of a species as well. Where do you stand?