This old photo was one of my first decent wild wolf images. I was sitting by myself early one morning at a nice viewpoint overlooking a river valley in Denali National Park, Alaska. It was a valley in which I had seen a lot of wolf activity over the previous days, and I was really hoping for a good photo opportunity. After sitting for a couple of hours I got this weird feeling that I was being watched. I turned around and was shocked to see that a wolf had quietly walked up to within 20 feet behind me! My heart was racing – I wasn’t sure if I should be excited or scared – I was some of both.
Next, the wolf continued right up to the edge of the same bank I was looking from, maintaining the 20 foot distance between us. He briefly looked out over the same riverbed that I had been watching then turned and walked away. This was the only shot I had time to take. At the time I only had a 300mm telephoto, and I was still so close that I only had room for a head shot!
I always had this funny feeling that the wolf was curious as to what I was looking at, and had to see for himself. I imagine he was a little disappointed to see an empty riverbed! Truthfully, it probably took a quick look for any game and then moved on. These little peeks into the lives of wild animals are always a thrill.