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Wolf and the fisherman
(Courtesy photo)

I was photographing a friend fishing the Flathead River last Saturday when a wolf appeared out of the woods on the left side of the picture, entered the river and headed straight toward him. As we were in the middle of the Great Bear wilderness and I was unsure of the wolf's intentions, I dropped my Nikon and drew my Glock. I didn't know at first if Gary had seen the wolf as it was approaching from behind him. Although I was 250 yards away, I figured I could at least fire a couple of rounds in the air to get Gary's and the wolf's attention. The river made too much noise to hear a yell at that distance. Gary turned and saw the wolf before I fired, pulled out his bear spray and faced the wolf in the water. When it got about 150 feet from him, the wolf turned and waded back to shore, that's when I shot the picture.

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"Because it was mid-day on a sunny warm day, the water was fairly warm and shallow and the fish were holding in deeper holes, I was moving quickly from hole to hole. I decided to just wade up the middle of the river since the banks were thick with brush and I didn't want to step on a sleeping bear. I was casting to the upper end of the hole and floating my fly all the way below me. As I was following my fly downstream, I saw the wolf standing in the water watching me. When he took a few steps forward, I got out my bear spray. I just assumed he was curious and didn't know what I was. Although I was wondering where the rest of the pack may be, I felt I was in a pretty defensible spot and I could see Larry down the river at the next bend. Apparently the wind changed and when it got my scent, it disappeared up the bank and into the brush with its tail literally between its legs." -- Gary Connelley, Billings.

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