The Searching Wolf

A Method for Your Howling

Wolves will howl in response to humans imitating their howling. If there are wolves in an area, they will respond sooner or later to your efforts. But you must be patient. Wolves howl when they want to. Wolf biologists use howling as a technique to determine if there are wolves around and to roughly estimate how many there are in an area.

The howling method described here is very simple. You first must get some "howl power" which is enough air in your lungs that will allow you to produce a long howl that will not break off sharply. Wolves don't like howls that break off sharply. You must howl the "wolfie way" if you are to ever get a response! The first thing to do is to take in two deep breaths that are held for a second while you cup your hands about your mouth and tilt your head toward the sky. Then let loose with a howl that rises up and slowly tapers off. After you howl, a few minutes will pass before you get a response, if you do get one. Human howling works. I have howled in northeastern Minnesota in the Superior National Forest and, I am very proud to say, a whole pack responded. It was great! The serenade ended with yips and barks of the youngsters.

If you want a howling outing, go to the International Wolf Center near Ely, Minnesota (1-800-ELY-WOLF). The howling guide there is excellent and the groups are small -- about 10-12 participants. The Center conducts howling outings throughout the summer.

Howl-ins (At these humans howl to stimulate howling in captive wolves just like you might have done when you were a child with the neighbor's dog.) are conducted at Wolf Haven International and Wolf Park.

And see L. David Mech's article entitled "Howling with Wolves" in the Fall 1996 issue of the International Wolf Center's magazine International Wolf (sent four times a year to members). In the article, Dr. Mech discusses humans howling with wolves for pleasure, politics, and research and why wolves howl at all. Contact the Center (1-800-ELY-WOLF) and get a copy of the Fall issue sent to you and while you are at it join up. The cause is great...Wolves!