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Jana Waller, Accidental Wolf Hunter

Jana Waller wolf

We think you’ll enjoy their wolf encounter story. This is an excerpt from their podcast.

“…I’m going to start crying because every time I talk about it I cry because it’s so emotional for me. In a good way and in a bad way. We did an episode that we, Jim and I, so proud of. It’s the episode that, out of all our episodes, out of our three-year episodes, that I think we stand so strong and tall behind and it doesn’t even include a kill. Obviously, most of your viewers understand the wolf issue. It’s a huge issue out here in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, even in my home state of Wisconsin, Minnesota. The wolf issue is so misunderstood and it’s creating such havoc on our planet, if you will, that we put a show together explaining, in our opinion, what we deal with here in Montana. And the core basis of that show— Jim and I were hunting whitetails here in the Bitterroot Valley. We weren’t seeing any whitetails in this area that was high in the mountains, but typically you go out and see 20 deer a day, easy. No whitetails.

All of a sudden, a wolf spouted off from the bottom of the canyon. We both looked at each other with that look, like, “Ohh, no wonder there’s no deer.” And Jim whispers to me, “Let’s try to howl him in.” And I admit, in my brain, I’m like, “Yeah, right.” Number one, howling at a wolf is very difficult. Guys do it, but it’s challenging. And number two, calling them up into the timber is almost unheard of. So, we set up and did a sequencing of calls from pup in distress, Jim howled like the wolf. And we got that wolf to answer back and forth.”

-Jana Waller

Skull Bound

“It was a cat-and-mouse game. It went on for a while. And finally, he hadn’t sounded off for awhile, so I said, “Let’s move down the ridge about a hundred yards and get to a good vantage point.” And I let off a soft howl to say, “Hey, I’m just over here. I’m in your area.” And he howled back really soft and then, about 10, 15 minutes later we made a move.”

-Jim Kinsey

“Moved down the ridge, set up again. And it was pretty cold out that day and looked over at Jim and gave the old slicing of the neck, like, “I’m done” motion. And he says, “No, no. I hear him.”

-Jana Waller

“He’s coming. “

-Jim Kinsey

“But I whispered to Jim, “But he’s getting farther away. Let’s go.” And he goes, “No, he’s not. He’s definitely… He’s coming in.” -Jana Waller

“On my headset, I could hear. He was, like, howling so low it was almost inaudible.”

-Jim Kinsey

“Yeah, I couldn’t hear it.”

-Jana Waller

“I had my microphone dialed up to plus 10 and I could hear him. It’s hard to even describe the sound…. A low howl.”

-Jim Kinsey

“All of a sudden, Jim was rolling and he whispers, “Out front.” And it was like a dream state to me. I remember seeing a black fuzz behind a downfall and sure enough, he rounds the downfall and starts trotting up towards us. And I got down my 300 and when I had that wolf in my crosshairs. And we initially thought I hit him. And he ran off. This was at 50 yards.

50 yards we howled that wolf in and we were celebrating. We were elated. We couldn’t believe it. From everything I gathered, from the wolf biologist and talking with other hunters and researching online, the odds of going out hunting a wolf and even of seeing one is less than 1%. So, when I got that shot off, we were elated. And to make a long story short that wolf dropped his head to sniff the trail on the trot the second I went right through the hair on the back of his neck and that wolf lived to, you know, see another day. But that moment—”

-Jana Waller

“Bar none. The most amazing moment we’ve ever experienced, on anything, ever.”

-Jim Kinsey

“And I must admit, major tears were shed for weeks after that. But both because I was sad I missed, but it was such an amazing encounter that my nature, like you said, gave us, we’ll never, ever take it for granted. It was an amazing moment.”

-Jana Waller

4 thoughts on “Jana Waller, Accidental Wolf Hunter

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