Badass of the Week.

M3 the Wolverine

"During the course of the research, which began in 2002 and continues today, I'd followed signals from his radio through remote valleys in the park but never glimpsed him. Oh, he's big, they told me, heavier than his dad, M1 (who lays claim to the center of Glacier and to three girlfriends there). Most wolverines are explosive inside a trap, but they said that M3 went completely nuclear, that trying to jab him with a syringe-tipped pole would demolish your nerves, that it took twice the expected drug dose to knock him down."

There's a reason why Patrick Swayze and his rag-tag band of anti-Communist rebel suburban Russkie-blasting guerillas called themselves Wolverines, and it's not just because their high school intramural class-six-A women's volleyball team had the word emblazoned across their sports bras during competition play it's because wolverines are some of the most serious, hardcore, face-obliterating badasses of the animal world. Ferocious, two-foot-tall killing machines capable of dismembering all who oppose them in a frenzied torrent of gnashing sharp pointy teeth and adorable malevolence and then trotting off into the snow-covered sub-zero wasteland like a pissed-off cartoon character. And of this particular breed of ultimate organic quadripedal embodiment of vicious destruction, one ferocious hero has arisen, crushed his opposition, and publicly declared himself the most over-the-top sub-thirty-pound asskicker North America has to offer Glacier National Park's awesomely-named Male Number 3, better known simply by a two-character name that strikes fear into the hearts of all who stand in his ever-widening path of unconquered determination: M3.

The semi-related North American, Arctic Circle cousins of the infamous Honey Badgers, Wolverines are the largest member of the weasel family, which, quite honestly, doesn't sound all that badass it's like being a Mega Hamster or the World's Biggest Titmouse or something. And honestly, they really don't look like much these furry critters stand about two feet tall and weigh in at 25 to 35 pounds, making them roughly the same size as a Bulldog or a Beagle, only they kind of just look like stuffed-animal Disney version of giant ferrets:

You might have a hard time believing that this thing is more badass than you.
You'd probably be wrong.

In reality, Wolverines have a tooth that points ninety-degrees straight back towards the inside of their mouths that can be deployed with enough force to crack a moose femur that's been frozen in Carbonite for over a year. Wolverines are 35-pound insane killing machines capable of and more than willing to attack every goddamned thing that they see. They've been known to eat fast little varmints such as birds and rabbits, but also routinely devour lynx, coyotes, deer, beavers, caribou, and live moose, running these gigantic, sometimes-predatory beasts down in a flash of brown-furred ultra-kill-fury, ripping them a few new breathing tubes, and then shredding their corpses so goddamned voraciously that the German word for Wolverine translates to "devours much" and the Hungarian word for them means "Gluttonous Badger" (which is pretty damn awesome if you ask me).

Now, just to remind you folks who don't live in the godforsaken wastes of the Yukon, this is a moose:

It's a nine-foot-tall, 600-pound antler-clad vegetarian eating machine that has been known to be on the wrong side of a car accident, obliterate the front end of a fucking Hyundai hauling ass at 60 miles per hour, and then walk away unscathed while the poor chump driving the vehicle is left wondering whether or not his insurance covers something like a head-on collision with North America's largest and weirdest-looking plant eater.

This is a wolverine:

Yet, somehow, despite the notable setback of giving up a 200-to-1 weight advantage to the moose, the wolverines run those fuckers down and maul the shit out of them in the land equivalent of being de-meated by a Piranha feeding frenzy consisting of a single animal.

When they're not murdering creatures fifteen steps up on the food chain from them, Wolverines generally prey on carrion, eating the corpses of the wussier animals that can't hack the insanely-cold temperatures in the Wolverines' natural habitats. If scavenging doesn't sound all that badass, try this on for size usually the best way to get a fresh kill is to find an already-dead motherfucker, get pissed as hell, and then fight and chase off the apex predator that brought the dead creature down in the first place. Wolverines don't have a problem with this. They routinely fight of packs of Gray Wolves (by themselves!), kill Cougars, and have been known on several well-documented occasions to fight off Black Bears, Grizzlies, and GODAMNED POLAR BEARS no big deal, just the biggest fucking bear on Earth, but whatever. Scientists also believe that in prehistoric times, the ancestors of Wolverines routinely fought Saber-Toothed Cats, Dire Wolves, and Mega-Bears. Now, I have no fucking clue what a Mega-Bear is, but it sounds gooddamned terrifying, and you don't expect it being bested in tooth-to-tooth combat with this little guy:

We actually don't really know much about the Gulo Gulo -- they're super elusive, cross ridiculously huge distances in short periods of time, and there are only like 300-500 left in the Lower 48 United States. We do know that their gigantic oversized claws work like climbing crampons (when they aren't dismembering corpses), and that they don't actually go SNIKT SNIKT when deployed. We know they're insanely strong for their size one of the greatest documented size-to-strength ratios ever recorded, according to the people who record those things professionally. They can resist sub-zero temperatures, and they have anal scent glands that make them smell almost as bad as skunks, a detail that has gained them the awesome-sounding nickname "Nasty Cats". If you were really into puns, you might say they would be truly bad ass, but that would be really terrible.

They're also ferociously hardcore. The most famous story about them, of course, is that when a wolverine gets one of his paws stuck in a bear trap, he's been known to GNAW HIS OWN LEG OFF Aron Ralston-style to escape. Are you kidding me?

A lot of what we do know about Wolverines comes from research that's being done on the wolverine populations of Glacier National Park, and of those creatures studied, none comes come close to Male Number 3 in terms of ultimate badassitude.

It's fitting that M3 has the world "Male" in his official given scientific name, because this Alpha Male beast is a raging cesspool of testosterone production who is so ultra-aggressive that the researchers working on the project simply nicknamed him "Mr. Badass".

Basically the story goes like this: The scientists at Glacier are trapping Wolverines in ultra-heavy traps constructed from eight-inch-thick wooden logs, luring the creatures in by tempting them with a nice fresh beaver carcass, then tagging them and releasing them back into the wild. Plenty of the wolverines trapped this way have been known to break out of the fucking cage by clawing and/or chewing through the walls overnight. M3 is the only one to ever break INTO one that way. Oh yeah, and it wasn't because this apex predator was dying to dig into that beaver carcass either it was because M3's arch-nemesis (Male Number 6, basically M3's version of Trevelyan from Goldeneye) had been trapped in there and M3 wasn't fucking above cleaving his way through eight solid inches of timber to get a chance to attack his hated enemy and chief rival. Forget mercy. Forget kicking someone when they're down this guy will shred your damned face off the second he gets the opportunity. He's just hard like that. So don't fuck with him.

He's also so wide ranging, covering an Empire of Badassitude that spans about 500 square miles, and is so adept at evading capture and detecting (even with a GPS chip in his ear) that the following clip is the only footage available of this ferocious killer in his natural habitat it's a clip of M3 the Wolverine blood-raging after a cameraman and his team of researchers. If this animals' guttural battle-cry doesn't totally fucking terrify you, you are incapable of knowing fear:

Born around 2002, M3 is now the Alpha Male wolverine in Glacier National Park and the ultimate symbol of wolverine badassitude. Not only is he more drug resistant than Ozzy, but in the weeks after being fitted with a GPS tracker by an enterprising, stupidly-brave, presumably-deceased scientist armed with a ten-foot pole and a suit of +2 Chainmail, he summited the highest peak in Glacier National Park 10,466 feet covering the last 4,900-feet by running straight up a sheer cliff face in the span of 90 minutes. Through 20-inch deep snow. In the middle of January, when temperatures were in the single digits. His tracker didn't explain why, but we can only assume the answer involves teabagging the summit just out of principle.

Traveling alone, or with his son M23 (kind of like how Logan's daughter was named X-23 I presume?), M3 ranges about 500 miles up and down the Montana/Alberta border, covering a territory that's about twice as large as the predatory range of your average Grizzly bear. He passes river basins, scales ice falls, crosses glaciers, and digs out of avalanches, constantly ranging the North American wilderness in an endless quest for battle, food, and whatever passes for hot wolverine babes these days.


The Wolverine Way

The One Thing Wolverines Can't Take On

Chasing the Phantom

The Phantom and the Filmmaker

Wither the Wolverine

National Geographic



The Complete List

About the Author

Miscellaneous Articles