Hunter Justin Bailey got too close for comfort with nature on Tuesday, when his faithful dog came flying out of the woods chased by a pack of wolves.
The 33-year-old from Keewatin was out hunting ruffed grouse with his son Andrew, 3, and nephew Brock, 5, when his German wirehaired pointer Henry came bounding out of a thicket.
Hot on his heels was a wolf, who chased the pup to Bailey's truck where the dog jumped through the window to safety.
"Almost lost my best friend today," Bailey wrote on Facebook. "Sent him in for a grouse and he came flying back with a pack of wolves hot on his tail....he won't even get out of the truck now.
Bailey and the two boys watched the scene unfold from the side of the road, but things were about to get even more real.
Two more wolves appeared out of the woods nearthem, while three more showed themselves 100 yards down the road, he told the Duluth News Tribune.
The original wolf was still circling the truck, with Bailey yelling at it before putting the kids inside the vehicle as the animal looked on.
He even fired a shot of his 20-gauge shotgun to scare them off, but he told the newspaper: "They didn't even flinch."
The encounter hasn't put the kids off of hunting. They continued their search for grouse 10 miles away from where they met the wolves, and Bailey told GoMN his son was into his hunting clothes first thing Wednesday morning, ready to get back into the woods.
For some reason, he's getting harassment
Since sharing his story on Facebook and with the local media, Bailey says that he has been on the receiving end of "harassing messages and phone calls."
These messages, it seems, are from people criticizing him for putting his son, nephew and dog in danger.
In a post on Friday he hit back, saying: "I took them hunting to educate them on the outdoors and pass on a tradition I enjoy and they also enjoy. Just as anything else in this world there are dangers. They were never in harms (sic) way or threatened by these wolves."
"My dog was yes, but he is a smart dog and was never harmed," he continues. "The threatening phone calls and people saying child protection services need to step in is absurd. I'm not a bad parent for enjoying the outdoors with my family. It's our way of life."
In Minnesota, killing gray wolves is illegal unless in defense of human life under federal law, as they're protected under the Endangered Species Act.
While Bailey fired his gun to scare off the animals, he did tell the News Tribune he would have shot them for real had they posed any danger to the kids.