Skip to main content

Hunter has harrowing encounter with wolves near Isabella

Sep 28, 2017 11:48AM ● Published by Editor

Justin Bailey of Keewatin and his German wire-haired pointer, Henry, had a memorable encounter with several wolves while hunting near Isabella on Tuesday. Justin Bailey photo

By Sam Cook from The Duluth News Tribune on September 27, 2017

Justin Bailey of Keewatin was hunting ruffed grouse near Isabella on Tuesday morning when a wolf chased his hunting dog out of the woods.

"He was coming at me 100 miles per hour, and right behind him was a wolf, biting at his heels," said Bailey, 33. "They probably passed 5 or 6 feet from us."

Bailey was standing at the edge of the road with his son, Andrew Bailey, 3, and his nephew, Brock Bjelland, 5, of Marble, whom he had brought along for the day of hunting.

The wolf chased the dog, Henry, a 1-year-old German wire-haired pointer, back to Bailey's pickup in the road, he said.

"The dog jumped in the window of the truck, and the wolf did a quick lap around the truck," Bailey said.

That's when Bailey noticed two more wolves coming out of the woods at the edge of the road. Three more came out about 100 yards down the road, Bailey said.

"I think we saw six total," he said. "I was yelling at the one that went around the truck. He wasn't very timid, that's for sure. He was 15 feet from the truck and turned around and watched me put the kids in the truck."

During the encounter, Bailey fired one round from his 20-gauge shotgun into the air in an effort to scare off the wolves.

"They didn't even flinch," he said.

His dog was not injured, Bailey said.

The incident occurred about 11 a.m. Tuesday about four miles from Isabella, he said. Bailey's nephew had seen a grouse at the edge of the road run into the woods. Bailey pulled his truck over and let Henry out.

"I sent him into the woods to find the bird," he said. "He did one pass in there and got on point. I was on the road... He had the bird pinned down (pointed). Then he made this awful screech — it was like a cross between a yip and a cry. He must have been about 30 yards away."

That's when Henry came charging out of the woods with the wolf nipping at his hind legs. Bailey said the wolves "looked pretty healthy."

"They're starting to put on their winter coats," he said.

Bailey said he never thought about shooting at any of the wolves.

"I played it back in my head," he said. "Yes, I would have shot at the wolves because the kids were there, but it happened so fast it didn't even cross my mind."

In Minnesota, gray wolves were most recently classified as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act as of December 2014. Wolves may be not be killed except in defense of human life.

Bailey and the boys continued to hunt during the afternoon in an area about 10 miles from where they had encountered the wolves. Bailey shot one grouse. The boys seemed to find the wolf encounter fascinating, he said.

"They thought it was the coolest experience in the north woods," he said. "They were seeing all kinds of wolves all day long."

The encounter has made Bailey rethink hunting grouse with Henry.

"It makes me not want to bring my dog in the woods anymore," he said. "It makes you think twice."

Henry apparently had made up his own mind after the incident.

"The dog refused to leave the truck," Bailey said. "I couldn't get him out of the truck the rest of the day."

Outdoors
  • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

    10/21/2017
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • Thanksgiving at Naniboujou

    10/21/2017
    12:00AM

    Bring your whole family to Naniboujou's first ever Thanksgiving Day Meal on Thursday, November 23...


  • Donut Shop fall hours

    10/21/2017
    06:30AM — 02:00PM

    World's Best Donuts will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the rest of the season. Last do...


  • Plein Air Grand Marais

    10/21/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    September 8 - October 29, 2017 Plein Air Grand Marais is a great way to connect with the arti...


  • Fall into Art: Family Weekend

    10/21/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    The Art Colony hosts family activities for all ages over the MEA weekend. Moose bucks from the Vi...


  • Blue Water Suite

    10/21/2017
    09:00AM

    Blue Water Suite is open for a one of a kind stay. Located above the Blue Water Café, lots of r...


  • Moose Madness Family Festival

    10/21/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout Moose Madness weekend, there are events for everyone. Activities range from the athlet...


  • Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction

    10/21/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    12% of Cook County residents go hungry every month. To address this need, each year the Art Colon...


  • Woodcarving Demonstration with Harley Refsal

    10/21/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Harley is the Fall Resident Instructor at North House, and will be offering a variety of opportun...


  • M E A Quilting Retreat

    10/21/2017
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    Join us for day 2 of quilting and fun. We will have a pot luck lunch and prizes and laughter.


  • The Muffin Man Hour

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 11:00AM

    Come hear the Muffin Man read to children and the young of heart during the Moose-a-Ram festiviti...


  • Join us at Harbor House Grille, featuring Chef prepared, handcrafted meals. Today's specials Chef...


  • Moose-o-rama Story Hour

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    The Muffin Man AKA Kevin Kager returns to the bookstore for a moosey story hour during Moose Madn...


  • SQUARE DANCE LESSONS

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    Modern Western Square Dance New season begins Thursday, September 28 Time: 7:30 to 9:00 Sept...


  • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

    10/22/2017
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • To all our valued customers, Harbor House Grille will be closing for the season Sunday, October 2...


  • Thanksgiving at Naniboujou

    10/22/2017
    12:00AM

    Bring your whole family to Naniboujou's first ever Thanksgiving Day Meal on Thursday, November 23...


  • Naniboujou's Sunday Brunch - Last of 2017

    10/22/2017
    08:00AM — 02:00PM

    The brunch at Naniboujou consists of a bountiful array of freshly baked pastries, quiche, scrambl...


  • Plein Air Grand Marais

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    September 8 - October 29, 2017 Plein Air Grand Marais is a great way to connect with the arti...


  • Blue Water Suite

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM

    Blue Water Suite is open for a one of a kind stay. Located above the Blue Water Café, lots of r...


  • Fall into Art: Family Weekend

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    The Art Colony hosts family activities for all ages over the MEA weekend. Moose bucks from the Vi...


  • Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    12% of Cook County residents go hungry every month. To address this need, each year the Art Colon...


  • Moose Madness Family Festival

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout Moose Madness weekend, there are events for everyone. Activities range from the athlet...


  • Join us at Harbor House Grille, featuring Chef prepared, handcrafted meals. Today's specials Chef...


  • Shake It Up Renaissance Style

    10/22/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Shake It Up Renaissance Style: What was it like to live in Elizabeth’s England? It was a party!! ...


  • Chili Golf Scramble

    10/22/2017
    03:00PM — 07:00PM

    Superior National at Lutsen is having it's "Chili Golf Scramble" Sunday October 22nd. It is a 9-...


  • Golf Scramble

    10/22/2017
    03:00PM — 07:00PM

    Superior National is having it's "Chili Golf Scramble" this Sunday 22nd. The 9-hole scramble star...


  • Alcoholics Anonymous

    10/22/2017
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


  • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

    10/23/2017
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • To all our valued customers, Harbor House Grille will be closing for the season Sunday, October 2...


  • Thanksgiving at Naniboujou

    10/23/2017
    12:00AM

    Bring your whole family to Naniboujou's first ever Thanksgiving Day Meal on Thursday, November 23...


  • Plein Air Grand Marais

    10/23/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    September 8 - October 29, 2017 Plein Air Grand Marais is a great way to connect with the arti...


  • Blue Water Suite

    10/23/2017
    09:00AM

    Blue Water Suite is open for a one of a kind stay. Located above the Blue Water Café, lots of r...


  • Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction

    10/23/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    12% of Cook County residents go hungry every month. To address this need, each year the Art Colon...


  • Woodcarving Demo with Harley Refsal

    10/23/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Harley is the Fall Resident Instructor at North House, and will be offering a variety of opportun...


  • Lunch at the Senior Center

    10/23/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Autumn Chowder/Fruit/Bread Pudding/Milk


  • Co-Dependents Anonymous

    10/23/2017
    05:30PM

    Co-Dependents Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healt...


  • Open Mic Every Monday at 6PM!

    10/23/2017
    06:00PM — 11:55PM

    Grand Marais Music Collaborative presents "Open Mic Night", every Monday at Grandma Ray's! The s...


  • SQUARE DANCE LESSONS

    10/23/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    Modern Western Square Dance New season begins Thursday, September 28 Time: 7:30 to 9:00 Sept...


  • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

    10/25/2017
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • To all our valued customers, Harbor House Grille will be closing for the season Sunday, October 2...


  • Thanksgiving at Naniboujou

    10/25/2017
    12:00AM

    Bring your whole family to Naniboujou's first ever Thanksgiving Day Meal on Thursday, November 23...


  • Plein Air Grand Marais

    10/25/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    September 8 - October 29, 2017 Plein Air Grand Marais is a great way to connect with the arti...


  • Blue Water Suite

    10/25/2017
    09:00AM

    Blue Water Suite is open for a one of a kind stay. Located above the Blue Water Café, lots of r...


  • Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction

    10/25/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    12% of Cook County residents go hungry every month. To address this need, each year the Art Colon...


  • Anxiety/Depression Support Group for Women

    10/25/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Weekly support group for women. $2.00 suggested donation. No registration required. Please joi...


  • Woodcarving Demo with Harley Refsal

    10/25/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Harley is the Fall Resident Instructor at North House, and will be offering a variety of opportun...


  • Gentle Yoga At Cobblestone Cabins

    10/25/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Slower pace for people with health concerns such as joint problems, high blood pressure, pregnanc...


  • Lunch at the Senior Center

    10/25/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Stuffed Potato/3-Bean Salad/Dessert/Milk


  • Didgeridoo

    10/25/2017
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Grand Marais Public Library is pleased to present Johnna Morrow and Steve Sklar presenting Di...


  • Women's Yoga At Cobblestone Cabins

    10/25/2017
    06:30PM — 08:00PM

    Slightly advanced class for women who want to study Iyengar Yoga. Please register for the whole s...


  • October 4, 2017 7:00 p.m. Bethlehem Church Pastor Mark Ditmanson will lead a series of sessions ...


  • SQUARE DANCE LESSONS

    10/25/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    Modern Western Square Dance New season begins Thursday, September 28 Time: 7:30 to 9:00 Sept...


  • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

    10/26/2017
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • To all our valued customers, Harbor House Grille will be closing for the season Sunday, October 2...


  • Thanksgiving at Naniboujou

    10/26/2017
    12:00AM

    Bring your whole family to Naniboujou's first ever Thanksgiving Day Meal on Thursday, November 23...


  • Plein Air Grand Marais

    10/26/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    September 8 - October 29, 2017 Plein Air Grand Marais is a great way to connect with the arti...


  • Blue Water Suite

    10/26/2017
    09:00AM

    Blue Water Suite is open for a one of a kind stay. Located above the Blue Water Café, lots of r...


  • Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction

    10/26/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    12% of Cook County residents go hungry every month. To address this need, each year the Art Colon...


  • Woodcarving Demo with Harley Refsal

    10/26/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Harley is the Fall Resident Instructor at North House, and will be offering a variety of opportun...


  • Lunch at the Senior Center

    10/26/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Swedish Meatballs/Mashed Potato/Green Beans/Fruit/Milk


  • Informational Meeting

    10/26/2017
    06:15PM

    All are welcome at this meeting to learn about the Diabetes Prevention Program. The year-long pr...


  • Alcoholics Anonymous

    10/26/2017
    06:30PM

    Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


  • Get Whittling

    10/26/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    This skill share is part of the Fall Series Community Programs at North House Folk School. Oc...


  • October Guest Lecture: Historical Hwy 61

    10/26/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Instructor:Phil Anderson Cost:$5 Recommended Donation Appreciated Registration:Call or Registe...


  • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

    10/27/2017
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • To all our valued customers, Harbor House Grille will be closing for the season Sunday, October 2...


  • Thanksgiving at Naniboujou

    10/27/2017
    12:00AM

    Bring your whole family to Naniboujou's first ever Thanksgiving Day Meal on Thursday, November 23...


  • Plein Air Grand Marais

    10/27/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    September 8 - October 29, 2017 Plein Air Grand Marais is a great way to connect with the arti...


  • Blue Water Suite

    10/27/2017
    09:00AM

    Blue Water Suite is open for a one of a kind stay. Located above the Blue Water Café, lots of r...


  • Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction

    10/27/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    12% of Cook County residents go hungry every month. To address this need, each year the Art Colon...


  • Lunch at the Senior Center

    10/27/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Polish Sauerkraut/German Potato Salad/Dessert/Milk


Minnesota Fire Danger
Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here