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.
Dear Uncle Kirk,
Thank you for the awesome time with the wolf. It was so cool to pet him and see him upclose. The ranch was really neat too. Can’t wait for the snow again. You will have it at your house next time, right.
I love you,
e (Super Nephew)
Anything for the Super Nephew. Well, except for the snow. I just can’t seem to convince Mother Nature to always provide you with snow. Maybe this is the year you learn to ski next door!
My husband took me to a local (2.5 hours away) Wolf Sanctuary for my 40th birthday. It was one of the coolest experiences. Mostly, the wolves wanted nothing to do with us and only wanted to have time with their favorite people who are around all the time but it was just great being around these big majestic animals!
I love wolves! Always have. I wanted to see his presentation but wasn’t able to work it out. Now in nursing home soo…. Thank you for the story and pictures.
I am so afraid I won’t be able to make the trip also. I hope to see the wolves before it is too late. I have rescue Sibes so every day I get a glimpse of the wolf’s grandeur.
Thank you for sharing. I love wolves always have! His coloring is very unique.
Still misunderstood by so many and pretty sad. When I hear their howls, something awakens in me like the smell of a pine forest or crashing ocean waves. Thank goodness for people like Rob. They may be the only hope for a species that is disappearing from our wild lands. (I wonder if the wolf pictured is a hybrid.)
There is a really neat wolf rescue in NM called Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary that offers opportunities to visit or volunteer to help. I live in Michigan so I have never visited but get their newsletter every month. They have wolves and coyotes and foxes, etc. Our family loves wolves but when you try to talk to people about them, they usually are close minded about it. I am sad that the wolves are slowly going extinct because of man’s ignorance about this beautiful creature.
I have a red+white Siberian…but the pictures of that red wolf look so much like her!! She is from the south (Alabama or Arkansas)…so I was told.I have no registration papers for her and I have always wondered if she had any wolf DNA…Now I’m really curious!!
I also have Redheaded Sibes. The similarities are amazing. Like Coyote’s and Fox’s, Wolves get a bad rap. We humans are the ones to blame. Not just for the Wolves disappearing, but for the devastation of the Earth itself.