The Day Fred Ewan Shot The Wolf

Copper River History Fred Ewan Shoots Wolf In Gulkana Village Copyright © 1993-2020 Copper River Country Journal . All Rights Reserved  ...

Copper River History
Fred Ewan Shoots Wolf In Gulkana Village
Copyright © 1993-2020 Copper River Country Journal. All Rights Reserved  

GULKANA – A wolf that was lurking around Gulkana Village has been shot. Fred Ewan, a 76-year old Ahtna elder, killed the wolf after it had been coming around for at least a month. The wolf had been attacking dogs.

The wolf was shot at around 10 am in the morning. Fred Ewan said he managed to first get it by snaring it. He said the wolf had been elusive – "really wild." Many people had seen it, including himself, over a long time period. But the wolf wasn't easy to catch, because of its speed. "You can't  shoot it when it's running," he observed.

About a month before the wolf was killed it had fought with Fred Ewan's large dog. The dog got the upper hand. "My dog is pretty strong," he said. He said he thought the dog had hurt the wolf, even crippling it. From that time on, people who saw the wolf said it limped. The dog was injured on its neck and ear, but recovered, he said.

Around the time of the incident with Fred Ewan's dog, there were a number of other incidents involving the wolf. One village dog was eaten up. The wolf was "all around" the village. "But nobody sees much," said Fred Ewan. Then, one night, someone saw the wolf again. In the morning, Fred Ewan's dog started barking. The dog seemed to sense the wolf, he said. "He wanted to fight with it, too." So Fred Ewan went into the woods behind his house – where he had previously placed a snare – and the wolf got caught. "He tried to save his life, but he didn't. He ran into my snare. He got it that time," Fred Ewan said.

After killing the wolf, he put it in his garage. Not that many people had seen a wolf up close. "People
Fred Ewan, over 30 years later. (Photo,. Country Journal )
don't know what wolf is," he said. "Everybody comes in the garage, and looks at it every day. All the school kids. Nobody knows wolf; you don't know what it looks like unless you see it. He has long legs. He can track the moose down. They thought it was a dog. We tell them, the wolf is dangerous."

Fred Ewan has a theory of why the wolf began hanging around the village. "I think he's just getting old, that's all," he said. "He doesn't got much teeth. He can't attack animals. When a wolf's like that, they get kicked out of the whole crowd of wolves. He's on his own. He can't get caribou, or dog or moose. Only little dogs. I remember in the old days. They used to do that, too."

Fred Ewan says the wolf hide is for sale. "Whoever wants to buy wolf skins, see Fred Ewan," he said.

1993 © Copper River Country Journal


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