Despite what tree-hugging animal lovers and feel-good Disney movies would lead you to believe, nature is incredibly harsh. It's a reality that hunters know all too well, as we develop an understanding of our place in the natural world and our role in the food chain. It's not all sunshine and rainbows in the woods. Bambi and his girlfriend don't live happily ever after, because one of them gets shot or eaten or starves or dies of disease after a couple years — not to mention that Bambi isn't the monogamy type to begin with, but I digress.
There are predators, and there are prey. Something has to die for something else to survive. With a good chunk of the U.S. embroiled in the wolf wars, this predator/prey relationship is misunderstood by a lot of people. One thing that's not in dispute, however, is that wolves are efficient predators, working in packs with skills and efficiency that few other animals are capable of.
The following video, though it's long, offers a chance to watch a wolf pack in action. The cunning, efficiency and tenacity the pack shows in attacking a moose calf is both impressive and terrifying. Also impressive is the cow moose's attempt to protect her calf. I'll admit, even for a hunter like me, it's a little tough to watch. Maybe because I'm a mama myself.
SPOILER ALERT: The moose loses the fight; she's no match for five hungry wolves. She even continues to stand guard and charge the wolves for several minutes after it's clear the calf is a goner. Whoever filmed this video can be heard speaking to (and shushing) a child as they watch the attack together. That kid got a big dose of nature's reality that day!