Skip to main content

Read & React: Wolf Attacks Teen at Minnesota Campground

Among the arguments often pulled out of thin air by those opposed to hunting wolves is the notion that wolf attacks are unfounded urban legends, as if the possibility of a wolf attacking a human is completely absurd.

Tell that to Noah Graham, a Minnesota teenager whose wounds tell a different story.

According to the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, Graham, 16, and his girlfriend were resting near his tent early Saturday morning on the U.S. Forest Service's West Winnie Campground at Lake Winnibigoshish when a gray wolf snuck up on the teen from behind.


"The canine approached him from the rear and before he realized it was there, it had bit him in the back of his head," Tom Provost, DNR regional enforcement supervisor in Grand Rapids, Minn., said in a press release. "His first indication was when he had its jaws clamped down on his head."


The attack caught Graham completely off-guard, he said.

"There was no sound at all; didn't hear it," Graham told reporters. "It was just all of a sudden there."

Graham's girlfriend high-tailed it to her Jeep while two other members of the camping party slept through the attack. Luckily, Graham was able to escape from the wolf's jaws.

"I had to reach behind me and jerk my head out of its mouth," Graham told reporters after being treated for puncture wounds on the left and right side of his face. Graham also received a rabies shot as a precaution. "After I got up, I was kicking at it and screaming at it, and it wouldn't leave. But then after a while I got it to run away."




The campground was evacuated and closed immediately after the incident, and a 75-pound male wolf matching the attacking animal's description was trapped and killed Monday. Officials said other campers had reported incidents in which a wolf had been sighted near campgrounds; a few even reported an animal biting through tents. DNA testing could confirm whether the trapped wolf was the one that attacked Graham. In the meantime, the campground will remain closed with traps set to be sure another wolf isn't present, the DNR said.

Provost said the attack seemed to be a freak incident, adding it was the first time he'd heard of a wolf attack causing an injury to a human in Minnesota, though such run-ins with wolves are seemingly becoming more common. Last September, an Idaho elk hunter found himself surrounded by a pack of wolves, though he successfully took one of the predators with the help of his bow and a .22-caliber pistol.

In October, HUNTING online editors received a series of graphic photographs from Wisconsin hunter Ron Hill, whose 1 1/2-year-old hunting dog was brutally devoured by a pack of wolves.


Finally, just last week a pack of wolves herded a flock of sheep into a panicked mass in Idaho, killing 176 sheep — the largest wolf attack on livestock in state history. Only one of the sheep had been partially consumed; less than 10 of the dead sheep had been bitten by the wolves, and most of the animals were either asphyxiated or trampled.

While wolf attacks on humans are admittedly rare, this incident shows such attacks can happen. It's still unknown why the wolf attacked Graham in the first place. In any case, given the gray wolf's awesome strength, Graham is lucky to have walked away with just a few puncture wounds — it could have been much worse.

Why We Should Kill Wolves

As Bob Robb wrote back in November 2011, there are a lot of good reasons hunters ought to kill wolves. Despite the fact they're magnificent animals, they're still vicious predators that must be carefully managed.

Therein lies the problem. When wolves are left unchecked, they can, and do, decimate ungulate populations to the point where few animals are left. All those folks who say they only kill the sick and weak have never watched a pack of wolves eat a healthy, mature bull caribou alive as I have. They have never seen the trail of death a pack of wolves leaves behind as it kills to teach its pups how to hunt, or just for fun, eating little of the animals whose lives they have just ended.

"I've seen where wolves have killed Dall sheep rams at the top of the mountain in the deep snow of spring, watched them chase mountain goats along the tree line of a Southeast Alaska forest in August, and shred a cow elk in the Yellowstone basin," Robb said. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.

Wolf Hunting Debate in Minnesota

As Minnesota prepared for opening day of wolf season in November 2012, the controversy surrounding the once-endangered species erupted.

In 2012, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected an effort by the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves to stop the hunt from taking place. Despite their claims that Department of Natural Resources officials didn't adequately consider public opinion in the matter, Chief Justice Lorie Gildea thought otherwise. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.

Minnesota Wolf Hunter Gets Death Threats

With a highly disputed wolf season underway in Wisconsin in 2012, the tension between hunters and their opposition is clearly on the rise.

Dennis Nitz, a Wisconsin native and one of five people to kill a wolf in 2012 during the state's first annual season, said he received death threats within minutes of posting his photos of the wolf to Facebook. Nitz was one of over 1,000 people to receive a permit, while over 20,000 people applied for the right to hunt wolves this year. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.

Wisconsin Hunting Dog Killed by Wolves

For a lot of folks on both sides of the wolf debate, it's something they deal with from a safe distance. But for hunters like Ron Hill, it's a war being waged in his own backyard.

In October 2012, Hill and his hunting group were tracking a bear in Wisconsin — in an area familiar to them — with the use of their hound dogs, when one of the dogs got separated from the group and was brutally killed by a pack of wolves. The dog was a 1 1/2 year old female Treeing Walker and was killed in Douglas County. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.

Idaho Man Takes on Pack of Wolves

Apparently nobody told Rick Pearce that Liam Neeson already laid claim to the title as bloody knuckled wolf brawler in his movie The Grey.

It seems that Pearce, from Idaho, just doesn't care. On an archery elk hunt this past weekend near Clayton, Idaho, Pearce spent almost an hour calling in elk, only to find himself surrounded by a pack of wolves. As at least five wolves circled him, one made it within 40 yards. That's when Pearce decided to turn the tables on the pack. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.

Canus Lupus Dingo: The Australian Wolf

Interestingly enough, the dingo is actually classified as Canus lupus dingo — a subspecies of the gray wolf — so it makes sense that the situation in Australia has many similarities to the one in the U.S.

If anything, the alarming dingo problem is a foreshadow of things to come in the U.S. if wolf and coyote numbers aren't effectively managed. As is the case stateside, Australian animal rights activists paint the dingo in an almost exclusively rosy light, even blaming the death of children in dingo attacks on the parents' lack of situational awareness. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.

Teen Attacked by Wolf in Minnesota

It's often said by anti-hunters that wolves don't pose a threat to humans. The only problem with that theory, it seems, is that it stands contrary to the facts.

Noah Graham, 16, found that out personally when a wolf attacked him in Minnesota while he was camping with his girlfriend. Real the full story at Petersen's Hunting.

176 Sheep Killed by Wolves in Idaho

Think reintroduced wolves aren't causing a big problem for ranchers and farmers? Think again.

Siddoway Ranch in southeastern Idaho was shocked in August 2013 after 176 sheep were killed by two wolves, according to KTVB in Boise, Idaho. Check out the full story at Petersen's Hunting.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Burris Oracle X Range-Finding Crossbow Scope

New for 2021: Burris Oracle X Range-Finding Crossbow Scope

The Burris Oracle X is the first and most advanced range-finding crossbow scope on the market, building on the company's long successes with range-finding optics like the Eliminator riflescope.

New for 2021: Browning Maxus II Shotgun, Wicked Blend Shotshells

New for 2021: Browning Maxus II Shotgun, Wicked Blend Shotshells

Waterfowlers should take notice at the new products from Browning.

Venison Curry Recipe

Venison Curry Recipe

Hearty and flavorful, this curry is simple to make and requires just a few ingredients you can likely find at your local store. The cooking method turns tough cuts tender, making it a great choice for shoulder and hindquarter cuts from deer, elk and other venison. Bonus points if you use axis deer, which are native to India.

New for 2021: MEAT! Grinders, Vacuum Sealers, Accessories

New for 2021: MEAT! Grinders, Vacuum Sealers, Accessories

MEAT! Your Maker, makers of quality meat-processing tools for do-it-yourself hunters. The company's commercial-grade products are built "with quality in mind, not price point" for fellow hunters.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The famous gunmaker – Springfield Armory – stakes its first flag in the hunting world with the new, feature-packed Model 2020 Waypoint bolt-action rifle.New Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint Rifle is a Must-See Guns

New Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint Rifle is a Must-See

Petersen's Hunting Staff - September 29, 2020

The famous gunmaker – Springfield Armory – stakes its first flag in the hunting world with the...

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study. Is The 6.5 The Perfect Hunting Caliber? Ammo

Is The 6.5 The Perfect Hunting Caliber?

Mike Schoby

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study.

Is lever-action rifle dead? Not by a long shot; everything old is new again as classic lever guns find popularity among nostalgic hunters.The Return of Lever-Action Rifles Guns

The Return of Lever-Action Rifles

Craig Boddington - June 27, 2020

Is lever-action rifle dead? Not by a long shot; everything old is new again as classic lever...

Hunters may not have as much influence on buck movement and behavior as we think. Deciphering New Deer Data for Rut Success Whitetail

Deciphering New Deer Data for Rut Success

Jeff Johnston

Hunters may not have as much influence on buck movement and behavior as we think.

See More Trending Articles

More News

We give hunters an edge on hunting public land close to home.Public Land Hunter Magazine Now on Sale

Public Land Hunter Magazine Now on Sale

Game & Fish Staff - July 21, 2020

We give hunters an edge on hunting public land close to home.

In a year trying daily to defy description, even longtime cartoon hunter Elmer Fudd is being affected by the craziness of 2020.As 'Loony' Year Continues, Longtime Rabbit Hunter Elmer Fudd Loses His Gun News

As 'Loony' Year Continues, Longtime Rabbit Hunter Elmer Fudd Loses His Gun

Petersen's Hunting Staff - June 08, 2020

In a year trying daily to defy description, even longtime cartoon hunter Elmer Fudd is being...

How COVID-19 is affecting hunters here, and around the world.Coronavirus and Its Role On Traveling Hunters News

Coronavirus and Its Role On Traveling Hunters

Joe Arterburn - March 23, 2020

How COVID-19 is affecting hunters here, and around the world.

NSSF officials will now turn their attention to January 2022 for SHOT Show's return to Vegas.SHOT Show is Latest to Lose Upcoming Event News

SHOT Show is Latest to Lose Upcoming Event

Lynn Burkhead - November 02, 2020

NSSF officials will now turn their attention to January 2022 for SHOT Show's return to Vegas.

See More News

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now