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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 27, 2012, 12:07 PM

Fargo wolf hunter returns from United Kingdom

FARGO, N.D. (WDAY TV) - A young Fargo man just returned from the experience of a lifetime. His office is a wide range of mountains and rugged terrain, and his job is getting up close and personal with packs of wolves.

FARGO, N.D. (WDAY TV) - A young Fargo man just returned from the experience of a lifetime. His office is a wide range of mountains and rugged terrain, and his job is getting up close and personal with packs of wolves.

Twenty-two year old Travis Erickson is getting ready with his group to track down European wolves, tranquilize them and take DNA samples.

Travis Erickson: “They’d be out for a good six hours. Five to six hours.”

He just returned to Fargo this week from an eight month internship over in the northern UK. He is the youngest person to be invited. They use GPS collars to track the wolves.

Todd Kurtz, WDAY TV: "Can you see when they're on the hunt then?

Erickson: “You can on the hand held system we use. They'd all be kind of bunched up and then they'd break off and spread out. Then they bring all the animals they need, maybe if they're just going for one that's injured, they'll bring it to the middle and then it’s just a feeding frenzy after that."

Travis got the gig after high performance marks he got in Yellowstone. His group there tracked a pack made up of 24 wolves. They'd tranquilize the animals and move them into safer zones - easier said than done.

Erickson: "They're amazing animals. Even with GPS, they smell you. You have to make sure you have the wind against you. If they pick you up they're going to go and they're going to take their secret routes.."

He told us one time a wolf, which they didn't know had rabies at the time, started waking up on him. It was a little groggy but growling and not happy to see the humans.

Erickson: "They were in the back and we opened it up and I had to shoot one more."

The work they do in Yellowstone came under fire by area farmers there, a group that obviously doesn't want more wolves around to harm its livestock.

Travis heads back to Bozeman, Montana in a couple of weeks to finish up school and then spend his life at a job where he says he'll never be watching a clock go by.

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