I wasn’t able to manage a trip to Bozeman in March or April this year due to work pressures and a visit from family. I finally arrived in Bozeman on the last day of April. The bonus of coming later in spring is all the green on the ground in addition to the light dusting of snow on the high mountains. I am issued a Kia Sportage – which is new to me. I like it but still prefer an Outback.
Here is a quick recap/update on some of the wolves in YNP
LAMAR CANYON: After their dreadful winter in which the poor mange-ridden pups (and Big T) died of mange, this pack was temporarily comprised of 6 wolves: alpha male Twin (992M), Dark Black (993M) Mottled and gray 965M, plus black females alpha 926F and Little T. 965M had the lowest rank and disappeared during mating season, likely to find a female he could breed. He actually left the Park and was re-collared by Montana. Then in March something happened to Mottled. Then later, something very odd happened to Twin. He was seen rolling down a hill and then lying prone for a while before he got up. He may have been kicked by a bison but there were none seen in the immediate area. The last sighting of Twin was 4/24. It is thought he may have had some kind of neurological disorder. And then, out of the blue, 965M returned to Lamar. However he has a very bad case of mange. In fact, 993 and 926 still have some, which is still worrisome. 926F was visibly pregnant in March, it is unknown right now whether or not she currently has pups.
JUNCTIONS: This pack has about 10 adult members; Alpha male duties are shared between 911M and 890M. Two mothers are 969 and 907. There are 6 yearlings, 4 gray and 2 black. One is collared: 994M. Former alpha female 970M died sometime in April, but the other two mothers denned above Slough Creek and are now raising 8 pups: 4 black and 4 gray. The first pup was seen back in April and the pack has been providing some very steady and wonderful wolf viewing with the adults localized around the den. I have been eagerly reading Laurie’s reports for weeks so I am psyched to finally see them with my own eyes.
PROSPECT PACK: This stays mostly on the Blacktail. The pack consists of alphas 763M and 821F, plus numerous others, usually numbering between 7-10. They have pups but they have not been visible this year as they have in years past.
WAPITI LAKE PACK: One success story this season is 755 and his white alpha female from the Canyon pack have solidified their hold on the Hayden Valley. Even though only one of their pups from last year survived to adulthood, this year they have four pups, three grays and one black. They have been seen, off and on, in the traditional rendezvous area.
P.S. I am not a wolf or wildlife expert, but an enthusiast and advocate, and if you find anything in this report
to be wrong or misleading, feel free to bring it to my attention by e-mailing me at "firstname.lastname@example.org"