Wolf hunting with patchwork, part 1.

Vargjakt med lapptyg, del 1.

 Wolf hunting with patchwork - an introduction

When I came across the concept of patchwork for wolf hunting, it felt quite insecure and if it can even work.
Initially I can say that hanging patchwork is both time consuming and staff demanding so normally it is not used so often on lone wolf individuals as the work effort is large, The method is best suited for wolf pairs or flocks that you want to keep in an area and take everyone on one and the same place or that you have a wolf in a good place and want it to stay there.
My first encounter with patchwork was in Belarus on wolf hunting. The trip was not a great success in terms of hunting, but the Russians were quite convincing regarding the effectiveness of the patchwork fabric and how to think about hanging the "line with red flags".
The lack of success in Belarus was not the fault of the patchwork fabric but more unfortunate that the wolves were in the wrong places (read: reserve with hunting ban) after a few days it no longer seemed a coincidence why they chose certain areas for their daily, they knew where they were simply left alone. The trip was educational regardless of when we tracked and followed the wolves, which gave a certain feeling for how the animals act as game, when the trip was completed, the wolves and wolf hunting was a much more unknown concept than today so the learning curve was steep.

Patchwork, why is it used?

Wolf hunting with patchwork is used to control, meet or lock in animals, in this case wolves. Patchwork can also be used on other game species with the same purposes.

Patchwork, why does it work?

Wolves are suspicious of new unknown things, the feeling from the wolf is that it is something created by man, it usually has a great distrust of the object. And that's the feeling the patch fabric is playing on.

Ring size.

One usually strives to make a wolf ring 1-2 km in diameter approximately. But terrain and the ability to make the ring after openings and roads determine the size, so anything from 500 m in diameter to 5 km is common. The advantage if you manage to make the ring about 1 time 1 km in diameter is that you can start rolling out patchwork on 4 fronts at the same time.

Ringing work.

The ringing work is as in lynx ringing, you avoid mountain bumps and dense young forests where the wolves can lie but move along open areas such as roads, snowmobile trails, clear-cutting, sea ice and bogs.

The wolves should not be disturbed, only located.

As the wolf likes to move well into the day (not uncommon for it to be moving until 10-12 in the morning), the hunting days are short. Many times, only 1-2 hours of hunting are allowed before you can break for the day due to the regulations that state how long during the day hunting of wolves may occur, (the rising and setting of the sun controls this).

One way to be able to start the hunt earlier can be to keep the wolves until the next day and then you hang patchwork around where they took daily one day, to be able to start the hunt the next day in the clearing. At the ring and the patchwork cloth, the procedure is usually to walk or go around the ring with a patchwork cloth before dawn to see if any wolves have spread during the night. If they are left, pass shooters are called in who place themselves around the patchwork fabric and who should be able to see into the ring. If the wolves are not left, the tedious work of rolling up the fabric again begins. As wolves are generally not afraid of open surfaces, the shooters are placed next to the patch fabric so they have good visibility and with bullet traps into the ring. When the wolves start to move inside the patch fabric, it is common for them to follow the patch fabric (10-30 m on the inside) to see if there is any way out, this is often when the pass shooter has his chance.

In the next part, we delve even more into the use of the patchwork fabric

/ Rasmus

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