Wolves in New Location June 28

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karenandbill
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

Wolves in New Location June 28

Post by karenandbill »

We made a snap decision to go into the park on Sunday morning to hopefully see the Junction Buttes on a bison carcass. We debated going because it would be mid morning by the time we got there and rain was in the forecast. We decided to go ahead and ended up having one of our best experiences with wolves ever.

As we were coming into Gibbon Meadows (just south of Norris Geyser Basin) we noticed a few cars parked in the first pullout and some people looking toward and pointing at something in the trees beside the meadow. I figured it must be a black bear, but decided I'd roll down my window and ask. A teenage girl responded there was a "wolfpack" in the trees. So we parked and got out a beautiful black wolf emerged about 50 yards away followed shortly by another one. They proceeded to cross one of the creeks in the meadow, moving generally parallel with the road.

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 010 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 009 by William Reinke, on Flickr

We watched them wander around the meadow generally moving east, stopping occasionally to investigate something or even play, splashing in the water and chasing each other. They just seemed to be having fun.

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 089 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 024 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 074 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 075 by William Reinke, on Flickr

There were two elk grazing in the northern section of the meadow, and as the wolves got closer, the elk actually started moving closer to the wolves. I don't know if they had calves hidden or what. The wolves decided to take on the challenge and it got a bit serious for a time with a wolf getting a bite on the heel of the elk.

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 101 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 106 by William Reinke, on Flickr

The wolves then chased the elk, somewhat haphazardly, into the trees where they all disappeared.

This was a great look and lasted at least 20 minutes. We had only seen a wolf in that meadow once before and that was 4 years ago. Not sure if these are siblings from an existing pack, maybe Wapitis, or if they are a new courting pair. Wouldn't that be great! If anybody has an opinion, please let us know. There was no dominant behavior between the two and they were very playful at times. So I'm hoping it's a new pair.

We did make it to Lamar and there were seven wolves around the carcass. They got up once and with tails wagging got all engaged with each other which was cool to see. On our way back out Karen spotted a loan wolf trotting parallel to the road, presumably heading to the carcass. It skirted a large herd of bison before challenging a bison for a brief period. The bison responded but did not seem overly concerned. After the brief standoff the wolf moved on.

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 122 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Imagewolvesgibbonmeadow 125 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Another great day in the best place on earth!



mdtrot
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: East Texas

Re: Wolves in New Location June 28

Post by mdtrot »

Fantastic report and pics! Thanks for posting.



RikWriter
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Wolves in New Location June 28

Post by RikWriter »

Awesome! Any idea which pack it was?



karenandbill
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

Re: Wolves in New Location June 28

Post by karenandbill »

RikWriter wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:52 pm
Awesome! Any idea which pack it was?
No way to know for sure as neither one was collared. I actually asked Rick McIntyre as he was out watching the Junction Buttes at the same time we were, and his best guess is it was the Wapitis. But as you know, the Wapitis have been very active in Hayden this year and Gibbon Meadows is quite a distance from Hayden. That is why I'm hoping it's a new courting pair. Wouldn't that be great to get a pack established in that area of the park?



RikWriter
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Wolves in New Location June 28

Post by RikWriter »

I saw a lone wolf in that area when I first entered the park on May 19th. I'd heard reports about the Wapitis being in the area the day before, the day the park opened. I never saw more than 7 of them in the Hayden, so it might have been a few others hanging out there.



Nikon_nerd
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Wolves in New Location June 28

Post by Nikon_nerd »

Nice shots and nice report Bill! Great job!



Dorothy
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: Wolves in New Location June 28

Post by Dorothy »

What a great report and wonderful photos! Thanks so much. We aren't going to be able to get back up there until the end of September/first part of October, so don't know if there'll be much to see once we get there, so I appreciate your reports even more! It's almost like being there. Thanks for the report and for the e great photos.



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