Wolves are dangerous animals, but they are not usually aggressive towards humans. They prefer their natural prey, which includes deer and rabbits, but if their natural food is scarce, they will often look for alternative sources of protein-and that can include humans.
There are some things you can do to avoid an encounter with a wolf, but if one does happen, there are ways in which you can defend yourself.
How to survive a wolf attack
Take steps to avoid attracting wolves
There are several steps you can take to avoid attracting the attention of wolves. These animals tend to hunt in packs, and they look for animals that are either weak or separated from their group. If you want to protect yourself from a wolf attack, then staying with other people, or better still, a dog, is probably your safest bet.
In addition to this, when you are out in the woods, make sure that your dogs and children stay close to you. The last thing a wolf will do is attack a human who has their own pets or young children with them-they see humans as far too much trouble. So if you have a dog with you, keep it on a leash so it is easier to control.
Additionally, don’t wear any clothing with bits of dried meat or blood on it. The scent of blood can attract wolves, and if they think an animal nearby might be injured, they will investigate.
Be aware of your surroundings and any potential hiding places for wolves
Wolves will often lay in wait for an animal to approach and then ambush it. Because of this, if you see any wolf tracks or the remains of their prey, be careful. And if any places seem like they could provide potential shelter or cover for a wolf, then avoid them too. Wolves may not attack you in front of humans, but they will in areas where there isn’t anyone else around to help you.
Scare the wolves using bright light and loud noises
If a wolf does attack, then there are things that you can do to scare it off. When hiking at night, shine a flashlight into the wolf’s eyes. You can also scare them off by making loud noises such as shouting and banging pans together work well.
Most wolves will retreat if they feel like their escape has been cut off, so make sure that there is only one way in or out of the space you are in. If a wolf is trapped in a small, confined space, it will become stressed and may attack you. Take a look at this video where a lone wolf runs away into the woods after seeing a human.
Fight back if necessary
It’s crucial to maintain eye contact and make yourself look big when you meet a wolf on the trail. And when it attacks you, fight back as hard as possible. You can kill wolves using firearms by shooting them in the right place-aim for the head or neck area, and you should kill the animal. But it is also possible to hurt a wolf and make it retreat without killing it – hit it hard on the nose or in its eyes if necessary. Use anything available-including rocks or sticks that are nearby.
A pack of wolves might still retreat if one of their members has been injured because this will make the pack weaker. If one of the wolves is killed, it might be best not to wait around. Run or hide so that you are safe! Wolves have strong paws and jaws, so they can deliver serious injuries if they successfully attack you.
They will usually try to grab their prey and then pull them down to the ground, but if they cannot get a hold of you, they will bite into any part of your body. If a wolf gets a grip on you with its mouth, do not try and break free, as this will only make the wolf tighten its grip. Try instead to move around so that it loses its balance and then push it off of you.
Related: How to prevent a wild boar attack.
Other Ways to scare off wolves
You can also hang human effigies from trees to scare wolves away – a scarecrow with human faces worked into it will do the trick.
It is also possible to deter them using their own feces-wolves are disgusted by the scent of their own waste and will avoid an area that smells of their feces. So if you dig a hole or pit near your home then fill it with wolf droppings, then it will make the area seem like an unappealing place for a wolf to be.
Understand what you are up against
Wolves are brilliant, and they can sense danger if you don’t know how to defend yourself properly. They prey on weak or injured people, so if you have an injury that you are trying to hide, then carry a walking stick or other items in your hand.
If you have been camping out for a while and the area around you smells of food, wolves may come to investigate. So try not to cook near where you sleep-or make sure that there is no food residue anywhere. If a wolf smells food, it may start to think of you as prey.
When a group of animals attacks a wolf, it will retreat – this is the only time you should run away from a wolf. If there are other humans around, they can help scare off a wolf too. They usually avoid a confrontation with animals larger than them.
Other tips to prevent and deal with a wolf attack
Be in a group when heading into the woods
If you are with many people, it will be much easier for you to protect yourself. Wolves are naturally wary of humans when they are in groups-the more people there are, the less likely they are to attack.
Learn the warning signs of an attack
Wolves stalk humans and other animals before they attack them, so watch out for these signs if you come across one. If there is a wolf that has been following you for some time, then it may be about to attack. They might also stop and stare at you for a long time or trot closer to you if they are checking you out.
You will know that a wolf is acting aggressively if it drools, howls, pulls its lips back slightly, shows off its teeth, or licks its lips. A wolf might also lower itself by crouching and appear to be ready for a fight.
Knowing how to act around wolves can keep your children safe too
If you have children or are near them, it is vital that you know how to act around wolves-it will be easy to keep them safe. In most attack cases, wolves go for the children because of their small size – in a wolf’s eyes, the kids are easier to hunt.
So if you are out in the hoods and encounter wolves, form a band and keep kids at the center to protect them. Remember not to run away. Always be in front of the wolves, make loud noises and try to look big. Tell kids about some safety tips during an encounter with a wolf, so they don’t panic when it finally happens.
Stay away from the wolf’s front paws
If the wolf is attacking you, then it may be carrying rabies and can transmit it to you through a scratch or bite. Thus, remain vigilant when in wolf territory and take precautions against an attack. If a wolf attacks you, the most important thing you can do is to send for help immediately after fighting back or escaping from the animal. This will ensure that you get any medical treatment that may be necessary.
Protect your neck and head with anything at hand
If the wolf is on top of you, then try and protect your neck and head with anything that is nearby. This could be clothing, shoes, or branches from nearby trees. Wolves usually attack their prey in this way because they aim to grab hold of the victim’s neck for extra leverage when pulling them down-this makes it easier for the wolf to damage the victim’s neck.
When fighting back, aim for the eyes or face as these are sensitive parts of the animal that might cause it pain if injured.
Get as far away from the wolf
If you come across an aggressive wolf in the wild, it is best to get away from the animal as quickly as possible. Wolves are naturally timid around humans, which makes their attack even more of a surprise.
Even though wolves are not known for making many direct attacks on humans, there have been cases where these animals have killed people and even children. If you notice that a wolf is following you, it is best to get yourself some protection, such as a strong walking cane or a large stick of wood – this might help if the animal decides to attack you.
While out in the great outdoors, always be ready for any scenario, including a wolf attack. These tips on how to survive a wolf attack will help you avoid severe injuries or even death while in the great outdoors. Keep safe and enjoy the natural environment!