Interview with Montana Wolf Biologist
The part of me that is most wolf-like is... my feet: big and always on the move.
Living in the wild I have developed a deep appreciation for… the sounds of life and the beauty of silence.
The one modern convenience I miss the most while in the backcountry… is a hot shower.
Whenever I first return to the “civilized” world the first thing I do is… turn on NPR and eat ice cream.
The one time I remember being really afraid… was when I nearly drowned in a sailing accident in a fierce storm.
Living nearly two decades with the “Magic Pack” I can tell you that wolves… will forever mess with your mind and heart, good on them.
One thing that I would probably do over if given a second chance… would be to spend more time painting the wildlife and landscapes that I treasure. Never enough time to do art.
Well, if you really want to know, I absolutely can’t stand… dishonest people.
I’m old enough to remember… when pay phones cost a dime. Hey, what’s a pay phone anyway?
I can live without electricity, but I can’t live without… wild places and thought-provoking books.
The biggest public misconception about wolves? It’s… that wolves are black-hearted. They are just trying to stay alive like everybody else.
The one tip I can give you about living off the grid is to… be flexible—everything takes at least twice as long as you think it’s going to.
When bird hunting I always… trust my dog! He knows better than I.
Other than wolves, the Montana animal I find most intriguing is… the raven.
The one bad habit I can’t seem to break is… my love of sweets.
Please tell me it isn’t true that… there are so many environmental disasters in the world and more to come.
The best part of my job now is… wolf conservation, which is working collaboratively with people.
I can’t help it if I sometimes… am not patient. I work on that every day but it doesn’t happen quickly enough.
Right after I’m done with this interview I’m… leaving on a horse trip with FWP colleagues into the Great Bear Wilderness to capture and radio-collar a wolf in the Middle Fork.
My first encounter with wolves in the wild left me… yearning for more.
* * * *
Diane Boyd received her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Minnesota in Wildlife Management, and her Masters and PhD at the University of Montana, Wildlife Biology. She started working with wild wolves in 1977 in Minnesota with Dave Mech. Since then she’s conducted wolf research in: Northern MN, Isle Royale, MI; Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada; Montana, British Columbia, Canada; Alberta, Canada; Romania, Italy; Arizona & New Mexico (Mexican wolves). Presently she is working for the MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks as Region 1 Wolf & Carnivore Specialist. Her special interests include oil painting, bird hunting, dog training, hiking, classic & skate skiing, fly fishing.