I guess you can say that I'm a wilderness survivor junkie,
which is surprising for many because surviving isn't easy.
Anyone who tells you that wilderness surviving is fun
isn't truly surviving. They are just simply camping,
but venturing off into the wilderness with little more than none
other than the clothes on my back, I consider a vacation.
I once spent an entire spring and summer season
deep in a very remote wilderness region.
As I venture deeper into the forest my very first priority
was to search for the local wolf pack's locality,
which I inevitably did successfully.
Wolves have specific howls for specific occasions,
but there was only one specific howl that I was interested in.
It was the howl of celebration
after the pack had successfully taken down a prey victim.
Every time that the pack had a successful kill
I would chase them off of it and claim my share of their hard work and skill,
but before leaving I would butcher the entire carcass to pieces
so that every pack member could grab a share, run off and eat in peace
without the risk of having the remaining whole carcass
being taken by a grizzly.
I was met with resistance initially,
but inevitably the wolves came to accept me
and would allow me to take my share from their kill freely
as they all surrounded me and watched me so intently.
They'd get excited and begin to howl every time they'd see me
begin the routine of butchering for them their share of the meat
and as I'd leave I would once again look behind me.
Some were eating their meal relaxed contently,
while others were tossing theirs in the air playing with glee.
I truly bonded with that pack most sincerely
and often think of returning to that life permanently,
but I have too many ties here, too much responsibility
for such a life to ever possibly again ever be.
Once during one of my butchering episodes
I was approached behind by a grizzly bear and the wolves let me know.
The bear was slowly approaching me with its head held high,
which I immediately recognized as a positive sign.
It is only when a bear sinks its head down low, more than likely
that the bear is about to behave aggressive and threateningly.
Never making eye contact with the bear I backed away slowly
but always keeping that bear in my sight peripherally.
I displayed my back to the bear, continuing my departure slowly,
with my head slightly turned to watch behind me peripherally.
This is animal language for "I'm exposing to you my vulnerability.
I have no desire to hurt you, so please don't hurt me."
The wolves began to harass the bear relentlessly.
I almost had the impression that they were trying to protect me,
but they were trying to protect their kill more than likely.
In any event, they kept the bear distracted long enough for me
to get the hell out of there and make a hasty retreat.
I once had another surprise encounter with a grizzly bear
but at the time none of the wolves in my pack were there.
It was a situation for me that could have ended fatal and gory.
Maybe one day I'll share with you the tale of that story.