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Wolf tracks Sheriff Deputy while on abandoned vehicle call | News

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Wolf tracks Sheriff Deputy while on abandoned vehicle call
Wolf tracks Sheriff Deputy while on abandoned vehicle call

A Nez Perce County Sheriff's Deputy had a little extra company late Thursday morning when he responded to an abandoned vehicle call.

Senior Patrolman Kevin Messelt says he was up in the Soldier's Meadow area about a half mile north of Country Rose Lane dealing with a vehicle that was off the road due to someone joyriding a couple of days ago. The area has about a foot of snow and was 2°, he says.

Messelt was walking back to his patrol vehicle at about 11:15 a.m. when he saw a wolf. "He was almost coal black," he says, adding that the wolf was about 300 yards behind him as he was coming back up the hill.

"I stopped to catch my breath and I turned around and saw it and thought it was a dog." He says he thought it was acting funny for a dog. "He stopped and hunkered down a little bit and just stayed there and I started walking up to my car and he disappeared."

Messelt says he is pretty sure it was a wolf. "He was far enough away from me...but enough to make me pick my step up...my old bones were moving a little bit quicker uphill." He says the resident who lives in that area had told him that there were several wolves in the area, and he saw tracks.

"They're out there - it's few and far between. For some reason in this particular area the guy was telling me that it's a favorite ground for them - he sees them all the time." Messelt says he has seen wolves before, "but not that close and personal." He says there are a lot of deer, small game, and other animals in the area that attracts the wolves.

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