A classic case of Oregon-man-said, Oregon-officer-said here.
Oregonian Josh Trautman was out hunting for mushrooms with some family members when he allegedly saw the biggest wolf he has ever seen.
Trautman reportedly went uphill from the rest of the group and found a patch of the mushrooms he was searching for (morels) and began to collect them. That is when he said the wolf began to move down the hill and take notice of him.
The mushroom hunter tried to stay calm and avoid any sudden movements as the large wild animal stopped within 20 feet of Trautman. He says that the wolf sniffed the air as it looked upon his family members farther down the hill, then turned its full attention to Trautman and charged to attack.
The victim says that the animal violently ripped at his arm and face until he was able to fend it off with the nearby mushroom bucket he was using.
He estimated that the wolf he was forced to fight away weighed around 200 pounds. However, wildlife officials in Oregon have been unable to confirm that the event occurred and believe that the attacking animal was actually a domestic dog.
DNA samples taken from Trautman’s shirt and bucket revealed that the wolf he allegedly battled with was actually a male dog.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife released a statement, which revealed:
“On Tuesday, April 11, ODFW was made aware of a Facebook post by a person who stated he was attacked by a wolf. ODFW takes seriously any report of a wild animal attack.
The shirt and swabs from the bucket were sent to a forensics lab for DNA testing.
The lab detected the DNA profile of a male domestic dog on multiple samples collected from bite marks on the shirt and on swabs from the bucket the victim used to defend himself.
No wolf DNA was detected.”
Trautman stuck to his story however, and told Capital Press:
“I knew I had better protect my arm the best I could, so I fell over on the arm that was bleeding and got into a fetal position.
It went for my head and face. It tore into part of my jaw, close to my jugular. It started going for my head. It was trying to kill me.
It never barked, never did anything a dog would do. A dog will usually give you a warning. … There was nothing until the attack. I will never forget its face.”
Following the attack, Trautman was suffering from severe head and arm wounds. Medical responders were able to meet him and his family about an hour after the attack to treat his wounds, but they were too extreme to be taken care of on site.
Trautman was then “life-flighted” from the area to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Oregon and had to undergo an over three-hour surgery to repair his arm.
Regardless of what kind of animal attacked Trautman, it was evident from his serious injuries that it was a vicious encounter.
The exact specifics of the wolf/dog may not be agreed on, but those living in the area are still concerned about the wild (or non-wild) animal that might be on the loose.
The victim is skeptical of the ODFW’s testing that showed no traces of wolf DNA. Individuals in the area have decided to put up trail cameras in hopes they can catch a glimpse of Trautman’s attacker.