Tag Archives: history

The new book “Journey” documents the travels of wolf OR-7


The Amazing Story of Or-7, the Oregon Wolf That Made History. 

Author Becky Elgin 

OR-7 first photo. Courtesy of ODFW

“Join the adventures of the famous wolf OR-7, also known as Journey, as he trots across the landscape of the Pacific Northwest into territories that have not seen his kind for nearly a century. Follow this remarkable animal as he searches for, and finally finds, what he was seeking during his three-year, 4,000-mile trek. Along the way, you’ll discover fascinating facts about wolves and meet the humans that had a role in Journey’s quest. Enjoy the many photographs, maps, and sketches that help tell the tale of this courageous wolf. Journey: The Amazing Story of OR-7, the Oregon Wolf that Made History was created for middle-grade readers but will be appreciated by everyone with an interest in wolves and a desire to better understand these complex and essential canines.” Available on Amazon click HERE to purchase a copy.

“Newspapers, television stations, and the Internet told the world about Journey’s remarkable travels. People cheered for him from the sidelines, hoping for his safety from all the dangers wolves face. Journey became an inspiration to many, as well as an ambassador that taught us much about the ways of wolves.”  -Excerpt from Journey 

Journey is the culmination of four years of work. It is thoroughly researched and educational, but far from dull. We learn about the famous wandering wolf through his perspective as well as through the point of view of biologists, advocates, and others involved in his trek. The history of wolves and their benefit to the environment is discussed

“We enjoy having the opportunity to see them in the wild and hear the music of their mournful howl beneath an open sky.”  -Excerpt from “Journey”

 Journey: The Amazing Story of OR-7, the Oregon Wolf that Made History available now on Inkwater Press click HERE to purchase a copy.

Russ Morgan and Roblyn Brown with OR-4. Courtesy ODFW
“Journey settled in on a soft spot of the earth and dozed until awakened by the light of the full moon. He stood and shook the dust from his coat. Then he moved into a trot, then a lope, his way illuminated by the bright moonlight. He made the trip in half the time it took him to get to the river, running as though he were hungry, which he wasn’t, or as if others were waiting for his return, which they were.”  -Excerpt from Journey 

Journey: Author Becky Elgin

Journey: The Amazing Story of OR-7, the Oregon Wolf that Made History is available to purchase at: Inkwater Bookstore and Amazon Books 

“Most of us respect wolves and believe they have a right to live in their natural environment. We enjoy having the opportunity to see them in the wild and hear the music of their mournful howl beneath an open sky. As social creatures ourselves, we appreciate how wolves live in family groups and take care of each other. We also know that dogs, a species very close to us, evolved from wolves.”  -Excerpt from Journey 

About the author: Becky Elgin 

Journey’s author was familiar with wild animals growing up because her father was a director of a zoo. Seen here with “Akela” one of the wolves living in her father’s zoo.
“Beckie Elgin grew up in a zoo her father directed in Iowa where she helped care for all kinds of animals, included wolves. Since then, she has raised a family and earned degrees in Environmental Studies, Nursing, English and an MFA in Creative Writing. She writes fiction and non-fiction and has been published in Earth Island Journal, The Oregonian, The Tusculum Review, Litro, Horses in Art, The Bark, and others. Beckie enjoys searching for wolf tracks and listening for howls in the mountains near her southern Oregon home. Please visit her blog at https://wolvesandwriting.com.”

‘White Eyes’ alpha female-447F wolf of Douglas county Wisconsin

A history of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. 

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin was started in 2012 to draw attention to the plight of wolves in Wisconsin. Wolves were being hunted with hound dogs, trapped and killed shortly after being taken off the endangered species list 2012. 

In loving memory of “White Eyes” who died in 2009 after being hit by a vehicle.  She leaves a lasting legacy as one of the Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. 


Drawing of White Eyes by Rachel Tilseth

I was assigned a wolf tracking block in the year 2000 that had a new alpha female wolf. I set out exploring the new wolf territory. I spent summers scouting this block, and winters surveying for wolf tracks.

Part of monitoring wolves is conducting wolf howl surveys during summer and fall seasons.

Photograph of wolf range in Douglas county Wisconsin by Rachel Tilseth 

While conducting wolf howl surveys,  I was favored with a howl from the entire wolf family, and on one evening was startled by a lone wolf howl right next to me. I was even privileged to see two wolf silhouettes in the moonlight as they howled back to me.

White Eyes’s pack only had 5 family members.

This meant that five wolves was the maximum number of wolves for this 24 square mile range. This wolf pack of 5 members couldn’t afford to leave a yearling to babysit the pups. Every adult was needed to hunt and the pups were to young to join them on a hunt. The puppies were usually stashed in a brushy area for safe keeping while the pack was off hunting.

On a warm July summer night in 2002 I was about to find out that a wolf’s trust could be broken.

I was on a howl survey that night when White Eyes stashed her two pups,   then headed off to hunt. 

That night on my first howl, White Eyes’ two pups responded back to me to my surprise. 

“How adorable they are” I thought to myself. One pup was light and the other was dark in color. One wolf pup was obviously an alpha, as was demonstrated with his or her aggressive behavior. 

I dared not linger, because that could bring danger to the pups. However, I did name them “Salt and Pepper.” And I left the area that night. 

Something changed that following year of 2003. The wolves didn’t howl back to me. 

I wasn’t able to get a peep out of “White Eyes” or any of her pack members. I was getting worried that maybe something happened to them.

Finally one night on a howl survey,  I said to my son Jacob, “you try a howl.” he did and was able to get several of White Eyes’s family to respond back to his howl. 

What did that tell me about White eyes? It told me , that a wolf’s trust could be broken.

I spent 2 years building a relationship with White Eyes, and in one summer lost her trust,  because I got too close to her pups. All of this made me realize, that I was a tolerated human observer; not a wolf babysitter.

It took another year before the relationship was back, and I was allowed to hear the family howls again. I was able to hear them howl again, just before sunset, and while they were hunting at midnight.  I learned to steer clear of White Eyes’s pups.

Photograph is of one of White Eyes’s pack members tracks as they trotted down a snow covered road in Douglas county Wisconsin. Photograph taken by Rachel Tilseth.