life in the remote west

The real work of ranching isn’t riding horses, moving cattle, shoveling shit, fixing fence, digging holes, or any other specific task. It is instead the process of toughening the body into something worn, weathered, scarred, and strong enough to do everything asked of it, and honing the mind until it knows precisely what it can and should ask of the body.

. . . Bears have strength. Cats have patience. A wolf has endurance and a family. On paper, in comparison with a goliath like the grizzy or a specialist like the cougar, a wolf seems small, ill equipped, and inconsequential. They have teeth, sure, but no real claws to speak of. To see one standing knee-high to an elk is to wonder how they ever manage to get the job done.

In practice, however, wolves did most of the killing on the ranch. They were successful on the North End Flats, in the confines of Bad Luck Canyon, and in the strange, dark bogs along Squaw Creek. Wherever they found prey, the wolves figured out a way to take it down.

Badluck Way A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West by Bryce Andrews



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