A little dose of adventure entices everyone, ain’t it? But, for this woman, a little adventurous walk into the woods turned into something that she hadn’t imagined ever. After reading this, you will surely be tempted to take some extra precaution while venturing into something “adventurous”.
A warm summer afternoon is something every hiker wishes for. This was the exact thing Joanne, her dog Joey, and friend of the woman, Tammy had wished for, which apparently was granted as they prepared themselves to go on a hike, near Fort Smith in Canada’s Northwest Territories. A recent wildfire in the area felt like an icing on the cake to them. But why?
The period just after a wildfire is suitable for the growth of Morel mushrooms, a type of fungus with a distinctive honeycomb appearance in the woods. Extensively used in French cuisine, they were a prized possession for the cooks as it fetched a high price.
Seeing the perfect conditions, Joanne and Tammy decided to drive their truck into the woods and set off mushroom hunting. To grasp as much as possible of the precious mushrooms, they decided to split up. So Tammy went one way, Joanne and her dog another.
Whiff of Danger
With a pail filled to the brim with mushrooms, The woman was walking back with her dog Joey to the truck with a big smile on her face. But, the situation seemed to change, when suddenly Joey switched into his combat mode on smelling something unusual.
Big and Bad
Joey quickly spun around and when he did “I heard this growl behind me. There was a long, tall, very, very skinny wolf. A black wolf. And his legs were spread and his hair was standing, and he was growling, and baring his teeth,” Joanne said.
Following his instinct of protecting Joanne like a loyal dog, Joey charged towards the wolf will all his might, barking at the top of his lungs. To his surprise, the much bigger animal stood his ground firmly paying no heed to Joey’s act of courage. On realizing this fact, Joey turned to run back to his owner.
“I don’t think Joey expected that,” Joanne said. “I didn’t want him hurt, of course, but I also knew that if the wolf got Joey, I’d be next.”A calm and vigilant Joanne decided to maintain as much distance as possible from the scary wolf in the woods.
Joanne had to move east in order to keep a distance from the wolf, but unfortunately, it also meant that she was getting away from any help as any kind of civilization was on the opposite end. To make things worse, she couldn’t decipher the intent of the wolf as instead of rushing towards her, it started moving back and forth between her and the truck.
“It took me a while to realize that he knew what he was doing. He was trying to wear me down,” a terrified Joanne said, adding “he was trying to separate Joey and me.” The wolf was making constant efforts in order to succeed in his evil motive
Joanne on taking a closer look at the wolf realized why it was adopting this course of action instead of directly attacking her. “I think he was weak. He didn’t look healthy. He looked old to me… I don’t think he wanted to take us both on.” she said, and so, the slow hunt continued…
The wolf was persistent and stuck to his plan on following Joanne and her dog, trying to force them apart when possible. This continued for an unbelievable 12 hours. “He was dogged. He was determined,” Joanne said. “I was in trouble. The wolf was trying to wear her down and it was working.
Taking Its Toll
With each passing minute, things got worse for Joanne. The wolf was following her at a quick pace, which had forced her legs to ache and eventually hinder her movement. She had run out of the water a long ago and felt extremely dehydrated. On top of all that, she had to contend with another attacker. “I was going crazy with mosquitoes. There were zillions of mosquitoes.”…
The wolf relentlessly kept pursuing Joanne and her dog. He just waited for the moment when one of them would collapse from exhaustion. Suddenly, Joanne heard a loud noise, which made her realize that there was something else out there too with them.
On listening carefully, Joanne recognized the sound like the cry of a mother bear. She also heard the sound of a cub from far away as a response to the earlier cry. She was quick to interpret the situation and came to the conclusion that the two bears were separated. She realized that this was the moment she had been waiting for.
Joanne had a plan.“I realized that there was a chance that the mother bear would tackle the wolf if she felt that the wolf was a threat,” Joanne said. But, it was very risky to come in between a mother bear and her cub. A slight mistake and her death were inevitable.
All or Nothing
Lacking options, she decided to walk towards the cub. Luckily, her plan worked, as after some time she heard a huge crashing sound and realized that the mama bear had attacked the wolf or it could have been the other way around.
Sounds of Battle
“They were fighting and I could hear the wolf yelping,” she added. “I could hear the mama bear growling and I could hear all this crashing and I just took off!” She took the risk and it proved to be fruitful. Joanne and her dog Joey were finally a significant distance away from the wolf.
Not Out Of The Woods Yet
They still were not out of danger, as they were in a very bad physical condition and had to make the long walk back to the highway. But this time fate was on their side, as they happened upon a very welcome sight: a lake…
Joanne and Joey hydrated themselves as much as they could by drinking gulps of water. Joanne set her mind to getting back to the highway. “I started praying to not let the mosquitoes drive me insane. Then I just started talking to people I love, some of whom are still with us, some of whom have passed,” she said. “I was determined to see everybody again. All night I had been making decisions of sorts, but this one was a decision to live and it was really powerful.”
Eventually, she made it back to the highway safely and found a car parked on the road about a half a mile away. When help arrived, “they were full of questions but they didn’t have any bug spray for me! I couldn’t believe it!” Joanne joked. She learned a very important lesson of always carrying her gun while going into the woods, as it would have come to her rescue against the killer wolf and cut short her ordeal.