WI: Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Account

By Dean Weingarten

WI: Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Account
WI: Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Account
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Wolf attacks are extremely rare, less common than mountain lion or bear attacks in North America.   It is not hard to understand skepticism about a hunter’s account of a wolf attack where he used a .380 pistol to successfully defend himself, in central Wisconsin.   The pistol used was a Walther PK.

The Department of Natural Resources investigated.  They believed the account, but did not list it as a wolf attack, because there was no injury to the defending human.

From americanhunter.org:

The first wolf came in from the right, mouth open, fangs ready to rip into Nellesen’s leg. A swift kick from the man’s boot landed square on the wolf’s face and deflected the bite.

“That first wolf missed my leg by 8-10 inches,” he said.

The other two wolves weren’t far behind. As the next wolf leapt toward Nellessen, the man jumped back and was able to fire a single round into the animal. Nellessen was unsure of the lethality of the hit, but two wolves immediately retreated for the bush at the sound of the gunshot and the third limped away “like a gut-shot deer,” said Nellessen.

Another account from the same area lends credibility to Nellesen’s story.  A father and son were in the area for a youth deer hunt on October 10th, a little more than two weeks after the first incident.

From outdoornews.com:

That incident involved a father and son who had one wolf pass by them at about 10 feet and a following wolf come to within 5 feet before a shot was fired into the air, according to DNR Chief Warden Todd Schaller.

Both incidents occurred in the Colburn Wildlife Management Area,  which is located in Adams County, about 75 miles due north of Madison, Wisconsin.

Nellessen says this about the classification of his incident as “not an attack”:

“You do not have to be harmed to be attacked,” Nellessen said. “They can label it whatever they want to label it. I thought I was going to die and I had to defend myself. That first wolf’s teeth just missed my thigh.

“I let the authorities know what happened. I took them to where it happened. I could have walked away and not said anything, but what if something would have happened to someone else? I had to report it.

WI: Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Accountt
WI: Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Account

The Department of Natural Resources temporarily closed two of the parking lots  for the management area.  Traps were set for wolves, but none were caught.  The DNR thought the incident serious enough that they had decided that any wolves caught would be euthanized.

Wolf attacks were common in Europe, with wolf attacks woven into legend and history.  Few wolf attacks have been documented in North America; there are no written records before the introduction of European civilization; certainly North American Indian legend considers wolves dangerous; but there are not “documented” attacks, as newspapers were non-existent.  Bernal Diaz, in “The Conquest of Mexico” mentions “wolves” as among the predators that were fed human flesh by the Aztecs; but that is not an attack, as such.

Most likely, attacks occurred, but simply were not recorded. With the arrival of Europeans, wolves were shot on sight, and quickly driven from areas that had established the rule of law.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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While I may not have the education that Mike M has, 45 years of hiking, hunting and fishing in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin I have seen a lot of wild life and until recent years it seldom included wolves. I don’t fear wolves, I love wolves and have always supported them and have been studying them on an amateur level since I saw my first wild wolf in the early eighties. I disagreed with the recent hunting of wolves. But the population is exploding in Minnesota and will soon in Wisconsin. I spoke with a Minnesota Game Warden very recently… Read more »

Joe M

Mike M. seems to be brilliant. He also seems to know a lot of information. With all of these conclusions we are led to believe that he should have known that these wolves were close to humans at this point in time. With this superior knowledge, he could have been there in time to prevent this unplanned meeting. I do not believe in killing all wolves, but if Mr. Nellesen said the wolf was too close for comfort, he has every right to defend himself. Has Mr. Nellesen had any other encounters ?

Mike M

Wolves don’t “try” to bite. When you see a dog fight you will understand that most canid communications are threats – air bites, snarls, bumps. Since I happen to have observed both wolves and dogs for many years, I know well that hard bites only occur through escalation of dispute, and that predatory bites are such that one boot deflection will not deter the canid. So, in short, you were not attacked. Since I walk about in grizzly country and lived in just about the most concentrated cougar area in the US for years, being careful to be wary, all… Read more »


You’re a (excuse my language) a dumbass. It was an attack. You think the wolves wanted to cuddle or say hello. I’m sure you think pit bulls should be family dogs despite all the mauling of children. THESE ARE WILD DANGEROUS ANIMALS. The wolves would have killed had he not shot at one. Also he’s an army combat vet that has proper gun handling and training. It’s silly to think you wouldn’t carry in the woods. You do not know this man and you can’t say for any certainty what happened or his motives behind carrying but I can tell… Read more »


Smart to be armed when out in the open. Statistics mean nothing to someone who is on the menu.


OK, OK, let do this: you guys go ahead and kill the wolves in your area because they TRIED to bite someone but since you’re in that mode then go and continue your “cleansing” with all the child molesters, rapists and that kind of varmints in your area…Then you can tell to yourself you did something good….

Tommy T

Very unusual for a normally human-timid wolf to be aggressive and not shy of humans.
This time of year being breeding season should bare no reason for the aggression.
I do remember we had a year in Texas back in the 1980’s, where rabies among skunks, coyotes and coons was high.
The State responded by distributing meat bait, laced with rabies vaccine by air over reported areas.
Thus immunizing other healthy animals not yet having contracted the disease.
This seemed to remedy the situation.


Like our grandfathers learned, we should kill every wolf possible. Please you urban dwellers are clueless. Go have a cappuccino.


Wolves that become used to living around man, loose their fear. Hence more densely populated Europe is full of wolf attack stories. The more wolves are brought close to man and not hunted, the more they will loose their fear. As predators are brought back into areas they were driven from, the incident of attack will increase.

John Isbell

Deer will also attack humans, but that doesn’t mean we should kill all deer in a area. We definitly should try to capture or kill the wolves responsible for the attacks though. Wolves don’t usually attack humans and there may be something wrong with these wolves-like rabies. In any case they should be put down.