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2019 Camino Guides

Wolf prints?

Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#1
For the last couple of days in the Sierra Norte de Guadalajara, on the Ruta de la Lana, I've occasionally come across huge canine footprints, about 4 times bigger than my Hungarian boarhound's. The lady in the information centre of the Parque Natural del Barranco del Río Dulce was sceptical at first, but when I showed her this pic said she thought it probably was made by a wolf. _20181022_230737.JPG
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#3
For the last couple of days in the Sierra Norte de Guadalajara, on the Ruta de la Lana, I've occasionally come across huge canine footprints, about 4 times bigger than my Hungarian boarhound's. The lady in the information centre of the Parque Natural del Barranco del Río Dulce was sceptical at first, but when I showed her this pic said she thought it probably was made by a wolf. View attachment 47935
Wolves on Camino, I hope not.

Keep safe.

Buen camino.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#4
Wolves on Camino, I hope not.

Keep safe.

Buen camino.
We did see wolves print paws (we thought) on the Sanabres and later, one of us did take pics of a wolf...
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2014: Cam. Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, 2017: VdlP
2018: Madrid and Ourense
#5
Picture on the Sanabres about three weeks ago. My boot is USA 11.5 Wide. It really is amazing how big the prints are.
 

Attachments

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#7
It's definitely possible, the northwestern population of wolves in Spain is estimated at 2,000 in 350 groups. see map below for the distribution. Based on the picture of the paw prints I would guess the pic from the OP is a dog print due to the close spacing of the toe pads to each other and to the heel pad (and the lack of distinct lobes on the heel pad). I saw several LARGE dogs in Galicia (Mastiff and Mountain Dog types) that were taller and heavier than the size range given for the Iberian wolves in this area so I'm sure there are lots of large paw prints in the mud of Galicia that don't belong to wolves but it's interesting to speculate on the possibility that we were walking on the same paths the wolves occasionally used. IberianWolf-Map.png TrackSizeComparison.jpg TrackSizeComparison.jpg
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
#9
Oh my!

I always walk alone.

Something to consider if I walk VdlP.
Sounds scary, I know. Between Hollywood and fairy tales, the big bad wolf has a fearsome reputation. Unless you are secretly a herd of goats though, you have nothing to be concerned about. I grew up in a remote wooded area where wolves were very common. I saw tracks all the time, but an actual wolf less than a dozen times in a decade, and always from a wary distance. They want nothing to do with the giant upright brightly colored primates. As my father explained, we are the scary monsters in the forest. Now, grizzly bears are a different story........
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#10
Seems like very large dogs... the wolf print is typically much closer spaced from the digital pads to the "palm" area. If you look at the paw-print guide, you can see clearly that there is more space in the dog prints. Also, it can be hard to tell sometimes, but all the wolf prints i've ever seen have a very clear inward pointing direction of the foreclaws on the forepaws.
NO debt about it though: that's a *big* canine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#11
Seriously cool possibility, Alan.
May it be so...and if they are there, I hope you manage to catch a glimpse of these beautiful and shy beings. Even though they are not dangerous, it's still quite a pulse-quickening experience to meet a wolf.
:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#12
It's definitely possible, the northwestern population of wolves in Spain is estimated at 2,000 in 350 groups. see map below for the distribution. Based on the picture of the paw prints I would guess the pic from the OP is a dog print due to the close spacing of the toe pads to each other and to the heel pad (and the lack of distinct lobes on the heel pad). I saw several LARGE dogs in Galicia (Mastiff and Mountain Dog types) that were taller and heavier than the size range given for the Iberian wolves in this area so I'm sure there are lots of large paw prints in the mud of Galicia that don't belong to wolves but it's interesting to speculate on the possibility that we were walking on the same paths the wolves occasionally used. View attachment 47942 View attachment 47943 View attachment 47943
We 'met' a Spanish Mastif coming out of Hospital de Orbigo.
It's a BIG dog :eek:

1540271430142.png
 
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Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#13
In the the Norwegian pilgrimmagasin, Pilegrimen, a Norwegian woman wrote about her pilgrimage from south to north along the Spanish/ Portuguese border. She met a group of wolves. She also met a group of wild dogs that seemed to be more scaring.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#15
I would not be concerned. If this was a wolf, there is plenty of live prey along the Camino routes. Wolves are timid by nature and will avoid human contact, UNLESS there is no other food source.

The other complicating factor would be illness, such as rabies in the wolf population. But, the odds are so infinitesimal as to be nil. Hence, I advise that we not get spun up over this.

Another reason why my 'accidental' three-part lifetime rabies vaccination in 2006 was a good thing...
 

Oravasaari

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Fistera (2015), Leon to Fistera (2016), CF, Salvadore, Primitivo (2017), CF run/walk 2018
#17
Look out for this fella on the San Salvador a couple of days out of Leon.
I thought he was tracking me and feeling brave, decided to get a closer look - then realised he was made of metal. Possibly, Ender and his mates decided to erect it after a night on the vino!
Yes, I remember seeing that on my spring 2017 Cf-SS-Primitivo, it's just after La Robla as you begin to get into the mountains. You have to give it double-take before you realise it's a statue!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#18
I would not be concerned. If this was a wolf, there is plenty of live prey along the Camino routes. Wolves are timid by nature and will avoid human contact, UNLESS there is no other food source.

The other complicating factor would be illness, such as rabies in the wolf population. But, the odds are so infinitesimal as to be nil. Hence, I advise that we not get spun up over this.

Another reason why my 'accidental' three-part lifetime rabies vaccination in 2006 was a good thing...
Also you don't want to be bitten by a half crazed Perigrino that's foaming at the mouth!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#19
Sounds scary, I know. Between Hollywood and fairy tales, the big bad wolf has a fearsome reputation. Unless you are secretly a herd of goats though, you have nothing to be concerned about. I grew up in a remote wooded area where wolves were very common. I saw tracks all the time, but an actual wolf less than a dozen times in a decade, and always from a wary distance. They want nothing to do with the giant upright brightly colored primates. As my father explained, we are the scary monsters in the forest. Now, grizzly bears are a different story........
Reminds me of a story from Canada:
A greenhorn tourist arrives at a backwoods equipment store and proceeds to buy like crazy.
Seeing he's onto a good thing the salesman asks if he wants to buy some bear bells.

"Bear bells? Never heard of them."

The salesman shows him some little brass bells - the round ones with a little loop on them.

"What are they for?" the greenhorn asked.

"Well you sew a few around each of your trouser cuffs and when you walk along they jingle. The bears here this and keep away from you."

"There are BEARS in these woods?"

"Oh sure, we got black bear, brown bear, even some grizzlies!"

"How can you tell which ones are around?"

"Oh, that's easy. Just look at the bear scat - the droppings. Around here black bear scat contains a lot of berries and nut fragments as well as fish bones and the like whereas your brown bear scat has more bits of bone and fur."

"And grizzlies? What about grizzlies?"

"Oh, their scat generally tends to have little brass bells in it."
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#21
Still in Canada. We were camping on a little island on a lake in Northwestern Ontario, sitting around the campfire chewing the fat (actually we were eating the fish we'd caught earlier) when wolves on the mainland started to howl.

You hear them in the movies and think "mmm!", you hear them in a pitch black night in the Canadian wilderness and a chill runs up your spine. But we sat there, smug in the thought that we were safe on our little island and passed the bottle around.

A few months later I was chatting to a Park Ranger from the Isle Royale National Park, south of the border in Lake Superior. She laughed when I said that we felt safer, being on an island and said "You DO know wolves can swim?" - NOW I do!

She also said she had been working with wild wolves for nearly 15 years and had never heard of an authenticated report of a wolf attack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#23

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#24
Yes maybe But the wolf is progressing south. Now we have 10 wolves in Madrid province.
In the case of Guadalajara province (OP), wolves are strictly protected (comunidad de Castilla la Mancha)
And can travel enormous distances - 70km in one night? Apparently 12,000 wolves across mainland Europe - but no attacks on humans!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
#25
For the last couple of days in the Sierra Norte de Guadalajara, on the Ruta de la Lana, I've occasionally come across huge canine footprints, about 4 times bigger than my Hungarian boarhound's. The lady in the information centre of the Parque Natural del Barranco del Río Dulce was sceptical at first, but when I showed her this pic said she thought it probably was made by a wolf.
I have been in forested areas of Scandinavia where wolves are present but rarely seen. Wolves seem to avoid humans and go after easier targets like sheep and goats.
Usually the most dangerous animal in the forested areas of Northern Spain are the wild boar (Sangler/Singularis Porcus). When a sow with piglets is startled she drives her piglets before her and follows up in the rear looking for danger ahead. If she sees a human, she will charge and a 100KG animal with, tusks, teeth and trotters can spoil your day. While not being attacked I have seen a large family of wild boars cross a forest track at speed. The most dangerous bit was the Spanish beaters/hunters who followed later. Remember those Hi-Viz rain jackets and back packs during hunting season:-?
 
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