Grey Wolves & Hunting
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Prey

Summer

In the summer months grey wolves are known to rely on small abundant prey, with deer and rabbits being two of the many available food sources. The wolves spread out and hunt in smaller packs consisting of 3-5 wolves. Because their prey is plentiful this time of year, it provides a prime opportunity to teach the pups the aspects of stalking, chasing, and of course dispatching prey.

Winter

When the warm weather turns cold and the winter months have set in, the wolves are forced together again and larger packs are formed, usually consisting anywhere from 8-15 wolves. Due to the cold weather, much of the smaller prey is taken to hiding places for the winter. The wolves must go after larger prey, such as elk and caribou, thus leading to larger packs.

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Hunting Tactics

Large

To hunt large prey, a pack must establish a careful precise strategy. The age old circle, pounce and chase is one of the most often used. Using silent movements, such as a flick of a tail or movement of the head, instructions are communicated. The wolves circle their prey waiting for the time to strike. The alpha will normally be the first to attack by leaping onto the prey and leaving deep wounds while the others soon join. When the prey is worn out and the opportunity presents itself, a wolf will go for the throat of the prey and dispatch it.

Small

Hunting smaller prey takes much more patience. A wolf must take its time in stalking the prey. When the prey lets it's guard down, the wolf will go for the kill by taking a quick bite to the throat.

 

 

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By: Kristina Yantzer