"If old man Echols was here he’d catch her"
Wolf hunter (c. 1909)
Public DomainWolf hunter (c. 1909) - Credit: A. R. Harding

W.C. Echols was a trapper assigned to border patrol in Hidalgo County at the OK Bar Ranch (renamed the SK Bar Ranch in the novel) to hunt any wolves crossing over the border from Mexico via the Animas Mountains from the mid 1920s to 1942.

Echols belonged to an older tradition, using traps rather than the strychnine poisoning favoured by some wolf killers of the period. He was essentially a tracker who read sign left by wolves and placed his traps strategically to outsmart the animals.


McCarthy also draws on accounts of the conservationist Roy T. McBride's 1970 quest for an elusive she-wolf named Las Margaritas, as well as Ernest Thompson Seton's experience hunting the wolf Lobo in the canyons of New Mexico in 1893 for some of the details of the Parham's pursuit of the she-wolf in The Crossing.