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Discussion (30) ¬

  1. zimriel

    +1 for the Duran Duran.

  2. Calisto

    OK see THAT is how you go camping.

  3. Marcus



  4. JustMe

    Just a quick question since I’m not from your continent. Does California/Southern West Coach Area they are in, have wolves?
    If not, someone is going to wander upon the remains of Tula’s midnight snack, and their will be some investigation. And since they are still driving around in Zero’s van, and using his camping gear, I don’t think we want to deal with any fallout from this.

    • Ed

      You can read all about the history of gray wolves in California here: https://www.californiawolfcenter.org/learn/wolves-in-california/
      I’m not affiliated with that site in any way, but was curious about your question, too.

    • RBZ

      Canis Lupus covers a wide range of subspecies, from the apex predator extinct in the UK for over 400 years, to the obedient thing that retrieves sticks.

      If they don’t have wolves in the area, they’d probably hunt for a feral dog.

    • 3Xp4t

      Yes. Wolves are native from Alaska all the way down the coast and the Rockies into Mexico, and from the Pacific across the mountains and into the western plains. In some areas (sadly, many) they’ve been hunted to extinction, but they are also being carefully re-introduced in many areas. Yellowstone Park is one very famous example.

      The other answer implied by your comment … also: Yes. If someone finds a wolf kill and recognizes it for what it is, it could also generate some excitement. Since we don’t know exactly where they are camping, it’s a tough call. However, people wold probably be more excited to see signs of a wolf in an area where they have disappeared .. so, positive excitement rather than negative.

      Other note: the California mountains (well, all the Rockies) have a (somewhat) sustainable population of mountain lions. So, finding a wild-killed deer could be written off that way, too, by someone without expertise. Especially after about 48 hours … there are a lot of scavenger types (foxes, weasels, eagles, condors, etc.) that will make very short work of any remains. Meaning, nothing left to discover, or so mangled and so little left over it would be impossible to determine the cause of death.

      We are assuming that Mentl knew where to go to get into some fairly deep wilderness, or at least an isolated area that backs up to some deep wilderness. I’m assuming (for the moment) they went into Northern California and up into the mountains a bit, such as Tahoe, Lassen or Modoc National Forrests. The chances of there being more than about three other people within 50 miles approaches zero, the chances of any of them stumbling across a wolf kill would be a rather small fraction of those odds.

      Probably the “greater danger” would be some wilderness-type hearing Tula’s call and realizing that it’s out of place. IF they are in an area known to be devoid of wolves.

    • The other posters are pretty much correct about wolves, though I’ll add that there is some debate as to whether or not coyotes and grey wolves are the same species, just smaller versions in the south and the larger wolves to the north, and of course individual animal sizes will vary even within a “smaller” or “larger” species. But that’s a digression from what I wanted to say.

      What should also be considered here is just how many deer there are in America. Because we have (stupidly, shortsightedly, and in most cases UNNECESSARILY) removed a lot of the big predators from wilderness areas, predominantly wolves but also cougars (which have a lot of other names, puma, mountain lion, etc), the deer populations have boomed to the point where they are becoming an environmental hazard. That is why wolves are being reintroduced into those wilderness areas.

      In many cases, deer populations have risen above historic population numbers, because their population levels are not being checked by natural predators. This has been causing a lot of subtle but distinct and palpable changes in the local plantlife as the deers overgraze preferred plantlife (including new-sprouting trees!) and cause ecological changes that will last decades longer than the lifespan of those deer.

      “But what about hunting them?” …There are not enough human hunters to fill in the gaps in the wilderness areas. Remember that America has a lot of unsettled land, and particularly in the west, GETTING to those areas can be quite difficult. You can drive into the middle of the salt flats in Utah and do wheelies all you like (not recommended, as the salt will no doubt start to corrode your car), but you can’t exactly drive into the middle of mountain-backed forests in the Rockies, in the millions of acres of timberland and brushland, roadless land, where the deer like to hang out. Plus if we tried to put that many hunters into the wild, the number of accidental shootings of our fellow humans will start to go up. (We already have a huge problem with “not so accidental” shootings as it is. Let’s not go there, in debate or in truth.)

      The easiest way to control deer populations is to help nature handle it, through reintroducing predators. While farmers/ranchers may still be clinging to the myth that “wolves will eat your livestock, omg11!!1!!”…the truth is, they won’t go after livestock by choice unless they are old and infirm…or have been *taught* to do so. (Bears are learning–and teaching their cubs!–how to rip into cars with food in them in Yellowstone Park, etc…which is a much, much bigger problem than the very rare takedown of a cow or a goat or a sheep by a wolf pack.)

      So what all this boils down to is that while some overly sentimental preachy non-thinkers might screech about “those poor deer!” (and probably attempt to force their pet cats onto a vegetarian diet WHICH WILL KILL THEM as they are obligate carnivores and NEED meat to survive), and any inaccurately informed and utterly paranoid rancher will be all “*cursing* *expletive* wolves! I thought my grandpappy got rid of those varmints!” …any competent wilderness expert/manager–forest & parks ranger, ecologist, biologist, etc–will take one look at a wolf taking down a deer, and go, “Yessss! You go, girl! Good puppy, good wolfie! You enjoy that deer!”

      …And because NO OTHER WOLF ANSWERED when Tula howled, they’re probably going to be (erroneously) ecstatic about, “The wolves have come back to this area!” *happydance!*

      Given all of this, I am also not surprised that Tula found a deer so quickly. No wolves in the area to howl back about territory, etc? That means plenty of deer, and no compunction against thinning the herd. She’s probably taking down a yearling buck since it seemed to be on its own (Erogenians would be conscientious about selecting their prey even when shaped like an animal, methinks), but she could also have taken a doe. We don’t know what season it is, after all, nor what species (some deer shed their antlers, some do not)…though it’s probably summer if they’re in Northern Cali, and it’s not raining, and it’s warm enough even at night for sleeveless weather.

      …And I’d like to add that in this day and age, ranchers are finally grappling with the fact that wolves, etc, are not a major threat to their livestock so long as they (the ranchers) do not over-hunt the local wild animals.

      • Algesan

        Locally (and regionally) the amount of “prey” wildlife species exceeds the amount estimated to exist during the preColumbian period, mainly because of intelligent wildlife management practices and lack of earlier overhunting by prior populations…which tended to destroy entire habitats in the preColumbian period and later.

        Despite this, wild “dog” type species still remain a threat to much more valuable livestock species and humans because of silly laws about killing nuisance animals. People who glorify wolves, cougars, “Bambi”, etc. cause more damage to ecosystems and animal populations than farmers/ranchers ever will.

  5. Mikey_Likes_It

    @JustMe: Yes, they do.

    Timber Wolves in the mountain regions.

    You’re welcome…

  6. Phoebe

    Seems that it’s only me that goes “look at that paw!What an adorable wolfie you make Tula!”???

  7. EmmaC

    om nom nom….
    sometimes it’s good to let the wild part of us express itself!

  8. fjames56

    Since we are talking wolves this is a must see. http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/how-wolves-change-rivers/

    Jeb; Great Comic.

    • TheSmogMonster

      Wow, just WOW. I already loved wolves, now that makes me love them more.

    • Prairie Son

      Further proof we just don’t know enough about the ecosystem to be mucking about with it.

  9. 3Xp4t

    Well. It was either that, or find something to fuck. Although …. the night is still young and she did sort of advertise a bit. ;-)

  10. JustMe

    Allright, thanks for the answers, I happen to live in a country where the media went apeshit a month or so ago, because a wolf had been spotted inside our borders.

  11. Archone

    I’m just wondering if she’s going to drag it back into camp to share with the others. There’s a LOT of good venison there, and I expect Zona knows quite a bit about BBQ over a campfire.

  12. Valashar

    All the folks wondering what would happen if someone found the wolf-killed deer seem to be forgetting that it’s highly likely that these particular people are going to be enjoying flame-cooked venison once Tula’s ‘Wolf Cub’ has finished expressing herself. None of them are the kind of people to let a hunting kill go to waste in any way.

  13. Dethwarm Dover

    For what it’s worth, that area has cougars (the cat kind), coyotes and bears that show up fairly frequently. Wolves would be pretty rare, But many would have trouble telling the difference between a Wolf and a Coyote without having them standing next to each other…

  14. They can’t be too far north in California as Mentl said they were about 100 miles from the city. The most probable location is Sequoia National Forest

  15. Zaraya

    The San Bernadino National Forest is in that “about 100 miles” for L.A. circle, too. Seeing as Mentl is from Berdoo it’s likely he knows that area. Also, “the San Bernardinos in particular comprise the largest forested region in Southern California.” So that’s where I think they are, which is mooted as there are lots of mountain places within a hundred miles of L.A. depending on where you’re measuring “from L.A.” Is it the city centre or the city limits? Is it L.A. proper or is Pasadena included? That sort of thing.

    So. Cal has a lot of urban and wilderness to choose from. JED could put them in almost any environment and you could find an example within a hundred miles of L.A.


    • 3Xp4t

      I’d like to suggest that “about 100 miles from the city” is also a pretty abstract statement, since he didn’t specify “Los Angeles.” That phrasing is also common to indicate “about 100 miles from any (significant) city.”

      Like the compliment of stating “we were in the sticks.” “The City” could well mean “civilization” (as we Earth people conceive of it).

      JED will either clarify. Or he won’t. :lol:

      I personally don’t feel that either Zona or Mentl would consider being within 100 miles of Los Angeles (even the city limits) to be deep enough into any wilderness to achieve the sort of tech isolation that Tula requires to get away from the copper ants.

  16. I doubt they are much inside a 100 mile radius. I’m taking Mentl at his word simply because Tula needs the distance from any large population center for her head to clear. That would make San Bernadino National Forest too close to San Bernadino, Riverside, Ontario, etc. Then there’s the matter of the types of trees in the pictures. That limits things to elevations at least 5000 feet or more.
    – Gerry

  17. Calisto

    I’m not one to over think it usually but I happen to know the San Bernardino National Forest site is entirely covered by AT&T cell phone service. I think the whole point would have been to get Tula away from that so Mentyl probably just kept going until he had no bars on his phone…

  18. John Anderson

    Best comment section ever. Or at least that I can remember.

    I also imagined them somewhere in the Sierra, around Sequoia. I am assuming Mentl’s 100 miles is approximate. A passerby hearing the wolf, or even seeing it, would be likely to assume they’ve seen a coyote, just because our minds tend to default to the most “reasonable” (expected) explanation. Which leads to the interesting idea that the world is probably stranger than we know.

  19. Forewarned76

    Yeah and if she’s not careful she’s going to pull a Grampa Munster

  20. 3Xp4t

    I’ve also just realized that with the insulating buffer our little group has managed to wrap themselves in … Vito might suddenly have an easier time getting in touch with them. He had commented previously that he was having hard time, and I’ve wondered if it was the tech fog and the copper ants, or if Chuckles McClocktitz was putting up interference.

    And, of course, it could certainly be both. But, if the tech smog was part of Vito’s problem …. we may well get a chance to see him put in an appearance in this scene.

    I hope so. I’m sure he’ll have some witty interplay to tease Tula with, either directly now or the next time he puts her in a silk nighty. ;-) :-P

    • 3Xp4t

      Y’know … with wolf-ears and a tail. A luxurious tail.

      B-but Tula-chan. You’re so kawaii!! P-please … may I rub y-your ears ?

      ( In my fantasy fic here, Tula has spent enough time on t3h Interwebz to improvise role-play a scene from Spice and Wolf. A hot doujinshi scene as Horo, the Very Wise Wolf goddess, rather tipsy on appletini … oh, this is just writing itself ! :-P :lol: )

  21. Uhl

    Reminds me of a line from Oliver Twist.

    “Food, glorious food! It’s so sweet and tasty!”

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