Amazing video and story.

The middle of a hunt from this winter: the video starts with a seemingly exhausted, panting deer that collapses in the creek. The deer drinks for a few minutes before moving on. Five minutes later, two wolves reach the creek.
The wolves are also panting. They drink for a little while and then continue the hunt. Ultimately, we do not know if the hunt was successful or not as we just have this brief snippet of footage.
What is interesting is that this video was taken in the center of the Listening Point Pack territory but these are not Listening Point Pack wolves, or wolves in any pack we study (there were no black wolves in any packs this winter).
We are curious as to the circumstances surrounding the video. It is possible these two wolves were from a pack on the Canadian side that chased a deer into the U.S.—a distance of about 7-8 km as the wolf runs—which is certainly possible as wolves have chased deer for over 20 km before.
It could also just be a roaming pair of wolves. Either way, this hunting sequence shows the general approach wolves use to often kill hoofed prey: i.e., they try to outrun and outlast them.
Yet, even after being chased for some time, deer can outlast wolves. Thus, when hunting, wolves are constantly assessing whether chasing after a particular deer is a good use of energy or not.  Often wolves make this assessment by briefly “testing” deer—chasing them a short distance to gauge their vulnerability.
The vast majority of times such sequences end very quickly because wolves give up. Mech et al. (2015) in their book “Wolves on the hunt: the behavior of wolves hunting wild prey” summarize this well:
“When deer flee, they can speed away at 56 km/hr, about the same speed as wolves. If wolves are close enough when the deer bolts away, they try to follow. However, most often, the deer bounds away, leaving the wolves behind.
Usually the deer quickly senses that it is outrunning the wolves and then stops and watches its backtrail. If the wolves do persist, the deer bursts off again. Only rarely do wolves persist in chasing a deer for very long.
However, if they do, as in the case of a single 2.5 year old female wolf pursuing a deer for at least 20.8 km over a 2 hr-period, the deer was still able to stay ahead of the wolf”.
Given what we observed in this video, it seems that this chase had been going on for some time but we will never know how it ended.

Amazing video and story if it is correct.

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