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Hunting And Selection Of Prey

     

         

                                  

                                     

                        

           

 

Hunting Strategies

Wolves are extraordinary predators that play an extremely important part in a healthy, thriving ecosystem. Wolves are called apex predators, which means that they are at the top of the food chain. As predators, they serve to help keep the ecosystem in balance by hunting primarily on prey that is weak, sick or elderly, leaving stronger and healthier animals to survive and produce viable young. Other competing predators would be cougar, coyote, bear and humans.

 

 

A predator's life is not an easy one. Almost every time they are hungry, wolves must find and bring down prey. Each predator has its own tools and hunting strategies. Wolves use their incredible sense of smell combined with excellent hearing abilities to help them find vulnerable prey. 

 

Wolves look for the animals they can kill easily, expending as little energy as possible and decreasing chances of injury. Large ungulates like deer, moose, elk and caribou are a wolf's primary food source. Wolves will also eat smaller animals like beaver, rabbit, mice and ground squirrel.

When hunting large game, the wolf pack separates out and surrounds its prey. Wolves usually bite the shoulders and flanks. While some pack members harry the prey from the rear, other wolves seize the prey by the nose.

Hunting can be dangerous for a wolf. The antlers and the hooves of a large animal like a moose or a caribou can injure or kill an attacking wolf. As hunters, wolves have a low success rate. One study shows that for every twelve moose tracked, only one was caught.

Wolves are built for a feast or famine diet and can "wolf" down up to 20 pounds at one feeding. If wolves do not finish what they have killed, the leftovers will feed the scavengers - fox, coyote and raven.

Wolves must travel many miles in order to find suitable prey. Scientists have estimated that one wolf needs ten square miles for a "home" territory. In the Arctic, wolves often follow their main prey, caribou, as the caribou migrate, often thousands of miles.

 

Pack Hunt

Packs are not formed only to raise puppies; a great advantage of living in a pack is in finding and killing food. In general, wolves attack only animals which are young, old, sick, or otherwise weak. This practice actually raises the quality of some other populations by leaving only healthy individuals to go on to breed.

 

 

 

Wolves tend to eat large hoofed animals such as deer, caribou, and musk oxen. These animals can weigh as much as five or ten times the weight of a single wolf. The only way a wolf can kill such a large animal is to cooperate with other pack members; this cooperation allows the pack to chase and kill animals as large as a moose.

 

Packs also allow wolves to protect their food once they have made a kill. In many areas, other predators such as bears may try to steal the carcass from the wolves. By hunting in large numbers, some wolves can eat while others chase away potential thieves.

 

 

You think you own what ever land you land on... The earth is just a dead thing you can claim... But I know every rock and tree and creature... Has a life, has a spirit, has a name... You think the only people who are people... Are the people who look and think like you... But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger... You'll learn things that you never knew... you never knew... Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon.... Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned ?.... Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain ?... Can you paint with all the colors of the wind ?.... Can you paint with all the colors of the wind ?... Come run the hidden pine tralls of the forest... Come taste the sun-sweet berries of the earth.... Come roll in all the riches all around you.... And for once never wonder what they're worth.... The rainstorm and the river are my brothers... The heron and the other are my friends.... And we all connected to each other... In a circle, in a hoop that never ends... Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon.... Or let the eagle tell you where he's been ?... Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain ?... Can you paint with all the colors of the wind ?... Can you paint with all the colors of the wind ?.... How high does a Sycamore grow ?... If you cut it down then you will never know... And you'll never hear  the wolf cry to the blue corn moon... For whether we are white or copper skinned.... We need to sing with all the voices of the mountain... We need to paint with all the colors of the wind... You can own the earth and still.... All you own is earth until... You can paint with all the colors of the wind.

 

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Introduction

[ What is A Wolf ? ] [ Myth And Legend of The Wolf ] [ Physiology of The Wolf ] [ Communication And Behavior of The Wolf

[ Family and Social Structure of The Wolf ] [ Hunting And Selection of Prey ] [ The Wolf Today ]

Poems

[ The Lone She-Wolf ] [ Fight of The Midnight Wolf ] [ The Spirit of The Wolf ] [ The Spirituality of Silent Wolf

[ The Lady of The Wolves ] [ The Wolf ]

Miscellaneous

[ Did You Know ? ] [ The Language of Wolves ] [ Wolves - Worldwide ] [ Questions And Answers About Wolves

Guest Book

[ Special Dedication ] [ Sign My Guest Book / Feedback ] [ View My Guest Book ] [ e-mail Me ]

 

Copyright 1999 DietHell's Cat International. All rights reserved.
e-mail : dietcat2@hotmail.com
Revised: August 13, 1999

 

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