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efreysson
01-19-2013, 11:20 PM
My latest WIP will prominently feature a pack of wolves who hunt and repeatedly attack the protagonists. Granted, these particular wolves are being controlled by a vampire so one can expect them to act unusually, but I'd still like to get some general wolf-facts right.

*For starters, how smart are wolves and how do their hunting tactics work? Could one of them act as a distraction while the rest of the pack flanks the prey?
*Human vs wolf. How strong are they? If a man gets a hold of a wolf, does he stand a reasonable chance of wrestling it down and maybe killing it with a knife?
*If a wolf takes a significant injury is it more likely to flee, or to frenzy and keep on fighting?
*How is their endurance for long-term hunting/fighting?
*How strong is the bite? If a wolf gets a good grip on a man's arm, what's going to happen?

King Neptune
01-20-2013, 12:52 AM
My latest WIP will prominently feature a pack of wolves who hunt and repeatedly attack the protagonists. Granted, these particular wolves are being controlled by a vampire so one can expect them to act unusually, but I'd still like to get some general wolf-facts right.

*For starters, how smart are wolves and how do their hunting tactics work? Could one of them act as a distraction while the rest of the pack flanks the prey?
*Human vs wolf. How strong are they? If a man gets a hold of a wolf, does he stand a reasonable chance of wrestling it down and maybe killing it with a knife?
*If a wolf takes a significant injury is it more likely to flee, or to frenzy and keep on fighting?

Wolves are large dogs. Think of the most intelligent dog that you have met, and that would be about right.

I don't know much about specific hunting tactics that they use, but creating a distraction would not be out of the question.

I wouldn't want to go against one in hand-to-paw combat. A human could win sometimes in such a fight. There are advantages on both sides. As long as the wolf didn't get a chance to bite the human, assuming a strong man, would be in good shape. Imagine catching a large dog by the scruff of its neck. As long as you don't let go the dog can't bite, and you would be able to use a knife.

After an injiry a wolf would either run or not. I think there would be a decision as to whether it coululd win or was in danger of being killed.


*How is their endurance for long-term hunting/fighting?

Wolves can follow prey all day, if they have to. They would have trouble actually fighting for very long.


*How strong is the bite? If a wolf gets a good grip on a man's arm, what's going to happen?

The jaws are strong enough to break an arm, if the wolf got the right grip, and the bone wasn't especially strong. They don't generally break bones; they go for the throat. A wolf could badly shred an arm without breaking it.

I'm surprised that you didn't readily find all sorts of things about wolves on the internet.

blacbird
01-20-2013, 10:30 AM
Wolves are very very smart and socially organized. And big and strong and fast. It is a very rare event for wolves to attack humans, but it has happened. A woman in Alaska was killed by wolves about two years ago, the first known fatality clearly attributable to wolf attack in the history of the state, as I understand.

Wolves not uncommonly kill domestic dogs, however, even in relatively settled areas in Alaska, like the suburban edges of the biggest city, Anchorage. And we're talking large dogs, huskies and the like; nobody lets chihuahuas live outside up here. An individual dog has no chance against an organized group of wolves, and no individual domestic dog is as smart as a wolf in its social group.

A pack of wolves would be a formidable foe.

caw

Canotila
01-20-2013, 02:43 PM
Hunting in a pack makes it possible to tail a specific prey animal all day long, or even days on end. They just go in shifts, some resting while the others harry. If it's a very large dangerous animal like a moose, they wait until it's exhausted before moving in for the kill.

Youtube has loads of videos showing them hunting in the wild that will give you an idea of the types of strategies they use.

Orianna2000
01-20-2013, 09:15 PM
Wolf and Iron (http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-And-Iron-Gordon-Dickson/dp/0812533348/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358701667&sr=8-1&keywords=wolf+and+iron) by Gordon R. Dickson. It's about a man who travels the country with a wolf after the collapse of civilization. The author clearly did a ton of research about wolves and incorporated a great deal of it into the story. Granted, it's a lone wolf, not a pack, but you'll learn a lot about wolf behavior and psychology--why they do the things they do and how they interact with humans and other animals. Plus, it's a fantastic post-apocalyptic story.

James simpson
01-20-2013, 09:32 PM
Some hunting tactics (at least for dingos) is to push the animal into the ocean or a river and not let them get out until they are completely exhausted. When they attack they try to attack from behind to get their canines into the jugular. like they said above they hunt in packs so they can harry prey for days.

lbender
01-20-2013, 11:16 PM
My latest WIP will prominently feature a pack of wolves who hunt and repeatedly attack the protagonists. Granted, these particular wolves are being controlled by a vampire so one can expect them to act unusually, but I'd still like to get some general wolf-facts right.

*For starters, how smart are wolves and how do their hunting tactics work? Could one of them act as a distraction while the rest of the pack flanks the prey?
*Human vs wolf. How strong are they? If a man gets a hold of a wolf, does he stand a reasonable chance of wrestling it down and maybe killing it with a knife?
*If a wolf takes a significant injury is it more likely to flee, or to frenzy and keep on fighting?
*How is their endurance for long-term hunting/fighting?
*How strong is the bite? If a wolf gets a good grip on a man's arm, what's going to happen?


Everybody else has given you solid information. Of the questions you asked, the only one that's irrelevant is about their behavior (bolded above). If they're being controlled by an external force, what they're likely to do doesn't matter, as they probably wouldn't be attacking in the first place.

veinglory
01-21-2013, 12:45 AM
*If the prey is fleeing they are pretty much chase and grab the young females tend to be the fastest. If the prey is at bay and they will circle and attack from all directions. They can't consciously plan in advance who will distract so who will attack. But if one harries they other may can an attack opportunity.
*An thumb is a big advantage.
*A wolf on it s own will tag out if its life becomes at risk unless it is really starving.

efreysson
01-21-2013, 01:37 AM
I appreciate all the tips so far. :)

Fenika
01-21-2013, 04:44 AM
Pbs, discovery, national geographic, etc will all have videos and more on wolves. Written sources are plentiful too. Yellowstone wolves have been well studied. Chernoble (I should really know how to spell that) wolves are also getting lots of attention.

You might look into rabid wolf behavior (in a word- furious; except when they aren't) since your wolves will probably be driven into a rabies like fury by the vampire.

JayMan
01-21-2013, 06:51 PM
I did some research on wolves a while back. The Wikipedia page on the Gray Wolf (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_wolf) is pretty useful, especially the section on intelligence.

Wolves are extremely intelligent, surely more than just about any dog, and probably about as intelligent as crows. They're capable of relatively high-level learning, and developing effective tactics.

dirtsider
01-21-2013, 07:30 PM
There's a documentary called Living With Wolves that you might find useful. Personally, I like it better than Cry of the Wild because in CotW, the film maker/documentarian treated his wolves more like dogs and family pets than a wild wolf pack, imo. LWW, on the other hand, the documentarians didn't approach the wolves, they let the wolves approach them on their own terms. This way, you have a decent idea of what a wolf pack is like, normally.

Another thing you might be interested in is the History Channel's documentary, The Real Wolfman. It's an investigation into the story of the Beast of Gevudan (the basis for the Brotherhood of the Wolf movie some years back). In that, the investigators found out that a wolf pack aren't easily trainable but a jackel would be. That might be something to take a look at, instead of using a wolf pack.