Our next door neighbor, Cataloochee Ranch, hosts a local expert and friend on Friday nights as he shares some wolf tales. My nine-year-old nephew was visiting last week, so I wanted to take him to something unique and memorable. Meeting a wolf seemed to fit the bill.
Rob Gudger, who is known locally as the Wolf Man, is a wildlife biologist who became fascinated with wolves during his career. He believes the wolf is a very misunderstood creature and takes every opportunity to dispel the myths surrounding these creatures. Telling tales is one thing, but the real impact comes when people meet a wolf. Rob brings one of his three wolves to the presentation and you have the opportunity to interact with it.
As a cautionary note, wolves are not pets. Rob lives fairly near us and I have been over to his house to see the wolves in their large enclosure in the woods. They tolerate Rob largely because he delivers their weekly meals (wolves gorge; they don’t eat every day). But the rules inside the enclosure are wolf rules, not human rules. They consider their pack to be their family and are wary of humans.
Enjoy a few photos of last week’s presentation. If you have any interest in meeting the wolves yourself, contact the ranch for details. You do not have to be lodging at the ranch to make reservations for the dinner and presentation, though it is a beautiful place to stay if you are visiting.
Note – I am not compensated by, employed by, or have any financial connection to the ranch. They are, however, my neighbors and friends. The grandson of the founder of the ranch also happened to build my house. And the land I live on once was owned by the ranch. Likewise, I have no connection to Rob other than being a long-time friend. We live in a small town (technically, we live outside a small town) and, thus, it’s hard to talk about anything locally without being connected to it somehow. Regardless of those connections, I attended – and paid for – the dinner just like everyone else.