Distinctly Montana Magazine

Winter 2011

Distinctly Montana Magazine

Issue link: http://digital.distinctlymontana.com/i/20776

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Page 22 of 99

The next things I saw were white claws and teeth and stringers of spit all flying at me. time!”—followed by the sound of more wood being ripped apart. Given a few more hours, M1 would have an escape hole torn through the mini-log cabin. From time to time, the tips of his claws poked out just above the uppermost log of the front wall while he rammed his head against the lid. He was trying to shove the thing up- ward, though the ice-encrusted logs that formed the top of the box must have weighed 100 pounds. I looked round at the trees and the snow swirls beyond and shook my head, thinking of my long-ago vow to steer clear of these creatures. Having joined the Glacier Wol- verine Project in 2004, I was going into my third straight year of breaking that vow in just about every way it could possibly be broken. No regrets. These animals’ off-the- charts strength and survival skills had become a source of inspiration for me by now. Even so, I was never going to get used to dealing with the intensity of a wolverine when it’s up close and cornered. Nobody did. www.distinctlymontana.com ROBERT RATH Still fairly widespread in the far North, Gulo gulo was also common across northern states from Washing- ton to Montana during the 19th century and occasionally reported from the Great Lakes to New England. Its range continued south along the Pacific Coast range and Sierras far into California and all the way down the Rockies into Colorado and New Mexico. Today, the wolverines of the Lower 48 are confined to a few remote parts of Montana, Idaho, and northern Wyoming, with perhaps a half-dozen more in Washington’s North Cascades. They total no more 21

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