You never know what you may see on a hike in the Oregon Cascades!
This photo from ODFW taken in the Eagle Cap Wilderness earlier this year was the first confirmation of the species living in Oregon since 1986. Photographer Brizz Meddings recounts a story of a wolverine encounter in the Oregon Cascades.
Last week the Oregon WildBlog shared the story of an encounter with the rare (and very real) aquatic badger. Following up on that story, we’re sharing here with you another amazing wildlife sighting – a wolverine in the Oregon Cascades from Brizz Meddings. Brizz has submitted several winning submissions to the Oregon Wild photo contest over the last few years.
Despite years of systematic searching, until this year, it had been decades since there has been confirmed evidence of live wolverines in Oregon. However, there have been numerous reports, and occasionally we hear about them.
Brizz sent along his recounting of his wolverine encounter after learning of the confirmed sighting of a wolverine in the Eagle Cap. As a wolverine nut myself, I was fascinated by his story and asked him if we could share it with our supporters.
Below find Brizz’s great story:
"I have lived in the Oregon Coast Range for many years and I'm fairly well acquainted with many native species that reside there, including the Douglas Squirrel. A few years ago, while hiking with my girlfriend along the west side of Gold Lake in the Cascades, we came upon a creature very few of us ever see.
It was late fall & the morning air was brisk. When a Douglas Squirrel screamed from a nearby white fir, we both looked up, expecting to see what we have seen so many times before. But the cry was not the usual announcement of our forest trespass. To our amazement, the squirrel was hanging from the mouth of a wolverine!!!
Clearly visible were the Wolverine's head and its right front claws wrapped around the trunk of the fir, about 40' above the forest floor. The long coarse hair of it's forearm looked like a black bear, but that face and that glare, - - - I have never seen that before. Does any other creature (on this continent) have such a fierce look about it?
Two indelible seconds we shall never forget!
Most remarkable though, was the speed and stealth in which this predator vanished. As the wolverine spun around the tree with its prize, I immediately grabbed the camera about my neck as I ran toward the base of the tree.
The area was fairly open with mixed conifers and very little brush. I scanned every possible exit route, as I ran, hoping to catch a glimpse of this elusive creature, but I would never see it again.
I continued to search the area, thinking there must be a hidden tunnel or tree cavity to facilitate such a perfect "disappearing act," but I could find no such channel. In the end, - - - being a witness to the Wolverine's "stealthy escape" was as amazing as seeing the animal, face-to-face.
Were it not for the squirrel's last cry, I'm certain we would have never seen this remarkable creature."
Thanks Brizz for sharing your story with us. Though we’re disappointed you didn’t get the shot (and I'm very jealous) we’ve appreciated your support and amazing photographs of the big wild places and wildlife we work to protect. Until Brizz captures his wolverine shot, the rest of us will have to be satisfied with his amazing photographs and the video of the Eagle Cap Wolverine from the Wolverine Foundation below: