We all have bad mornings. Sometimes you just didn’t get enough sleep, or you’re hung over, and sometimes, you wake up with a wolf gnawing on your exposed skull. Such was the morning of August 24 for Noah Graham.
Graham, 16, was lying outside his tent on Lake Winnibigoshish when the incident occurred around 4 a.m. After wrenching his head from the animal’s jaws, he proceeded to kick the wolf repeatedly until it finally retreated. Fortunately, Graham’s family and friends were nearby, and were able to stem the bleeding and get him to a hospital, where he was treated for puncture wounds on his face and a 4-inch laceration on his head.
Describing the incident, Graham said he never heard the wolf approach. "There was no sound at all. [I] didn’t hear it. It was just all of a sudden there," he told the Bemidji Pioneer.
Trappers called in by the Department of Natural Resources captured and killed a wolf in the same area early Monday. Preliminary examinations of the carcass revealed jaw deformities—its lower jaw was misaligned and missing at least one canine tooth. According to regional DNR manager Tom Provost, the deformities would have made hunting normal prey more difficult and might have led to the wolf preying on the immobile Graham.