Does Aaron Cross intentionally trap a wolf and put the detector into its mouth, or does he just improvise when the wolves happen to surround him?
Aaron Cross intentionally sets a trap, and he regrets that the wolf stepped into it.
After Cross removes the tracker, he could have chosen to leave it behind. But he knew that a moving target (that is heading away from his real position) is optimal. So he sets a trap to get a wolf.
I could not find an adequate YouTube clip (found something as shown below), but the rough events that transpire after the drone blows up the cabin follow (now he knows they are after him):
- Cross runs away a short distance, then covers the tracking device area with conductive wrap that masks the signal.
- Cross shoots the drone from the sky with his rifle.
- Cross mounts a tree, jumps onto a nearby seedling, and bends it to the ground. This is where he constructs the wolf trap -- deliberately.
- Cross goes to the shack and removes the tracking device by cutting it out.
- Cross returns to the trap. He removes bloody gauze from his self-inflicted wound, and lays it out in the open. The blood scent soon attracts wolves. Laying the bloody gauze bandages out in the open is deliberate.
- The next drone in on its way.
- Cross catches the wolf, and force feeds him the tracking device.
- The drone can be heard. Before the wolf runs away, Cross tells him that he should have left him alone.
- The drone operators and observers definitively see the tracking device on the move. They are now convinced they have Cross. The wolf blows up, and Cross is free for the moment.