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Wolf Wrangling


On this date in 1910, Fred Shirkey had a shredded suit of clothes, a torn up hand, but a smile on his face. Better known near Belfield as the Mikkelson Poet, Shirkey had gained a reputation that winter as quite the wolf hunter, having already turned in two large pelts for forty dollar rewards. On the morning of December 5th, Shirkey came upon another wolf while riding near the Little Missouri. Thinking he would like to try another means of catching this wolf, Shirkey quickly fashioned a lasso and gave chase. Without appreciating the potential difficulties, Shirkey quickly roped the wolf. His horse, being none too happy with the situation, bucked the cowpoke from his back and ran, and Shirkey, becoming tangled in the rope, was left facing, and tied to, the largest gray wolf he had ever seen. Fortunately, a friend arrived in the nick of time and was able to shoot the animal. Thus, the Mikkelson Poet lived to tell the tale of his encounter with 213-pounds of angry animal.

Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job


The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. Wednesday, Dec. 14, 1910: p.2.