On a bitterly cold January afternoon in 2011, Tom Gable was snowmobiling to his family’s remote cabin near Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario.
Suddenly, on his right flank, a dark figure appeared across the frozen lake. “Initially, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at … but then I realized it was a wolf,” he said. “I could hardly believe it — I had never seen a wolf before, let alone watch one for a minute or so. I was enthralled.”
It wouldn’t be Gable’s last encounter. Far from it. Since 2015, Gable, 28, a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota, has been the project lead for the Voyageurs Wolf Project — an ongoing research effort to uncover the secretive lives of North Woods wolves. It began as a small project in 2012 at Voyageurs National Park and increased in scope and intensity in 2015.