DAY FOUR - Wednesday, June 30


On my way in today I see mule deer and the Baronette fox.

I decide to set up in a higher lot this morning, in case the pups come down to the flats again. That doesn’t happen but I do see wolves near the eastern trees.

The cast today includes 907F, the limping yearling plus 5 pups (so far) two blacks and three grays. They are much less active today than they were yesterday, so when I hear a radio report of wolves in Lamar, I pack up and head there.

I stop at Trash Can with Missy & Andy (and many others). Laurie & Dan go further to Geriatric while others climb up Exclosure.

A group of Junctions are traveling east through Chalcedony Fan. My high count is 7 but others see 9. They go in and out of the treeline, making for some tricky viewing.

Then I notice two blacks near the lollypop tree, climbing out of the eroded area. I think there was a bison carcass there a year ago, so no doubt some bones remain.

One of these blacks is the alpha male. A little while later, several more wolves join him in the eroded spot, namely the alpha female, 1228F and two uncollared grays. The heat waves are growing, making things difficult.

A visitor looking the other way spots a black to the west, coming down Amethyst bench. I swing my scope that way and find 1276F.

She is scent trailing her pack. We track her progress east for quite a while but then lose her in the trees west of the double foothill.

By this time, the day has warmed almost to 80, so I need to shed layers and go in for a while.

A little after 6 I am heading back to Slough but I stop first at Trash Can to check the eroded area. Finding no wolves visible there, I continue west.

Once set up in the lower lot, I find a single gray adult with a single gray pup in the Lion Meadow. They are slowly climbing the trail when we arrive. Behind them I see two more adults, a gray and a black, shepherding five additional pups up the hill, three black and two gray.

When they reach the Spring Meadow they stop for a drink.

One of the black pups is not tired yet. He bounces back down the trail and seems to be hunting squirrels in his puppy way. Eventually he curves to the east and finds his way home all by himself via the Crescent Rock. Good for you, bold pup!

The clouds grow dark and it looks like rain is coming. Soon it starts to sprinkle so we pack up and head to the cars.

On our way through Lamar we see many cars and people stopped at the Ranch. I ask a man what they are seeing. “Oh, just a bunch of bison and three or four 4 black wolves”. I pull over and relay this to Laurie & Dan.

Laurie and I set up on the south side of the road across from the ranch. The people closest to us are sitting on lawn chairs in the back of their pickup, using binoculars, looking south.

We keep hearing them say “there it is” or “it’s rolling around”. Laurie and I, with our big scopes, see nothing out there but bison! We look at each other, thinking either we’ve lost our minds, or these visitors have.

Most of the visitors are using binoculars, so I abandon my scope and use mine. And just that quickly I find the wolf. We were looking WAY too far away. They are on this side of the river, in one of the many gullies carved by the braids of Rose Creek.

The collared black emerges for a moment, only to disappear again. I think it’s eating something, perhaps something old.

Laurie finally sees it. She thinks it’s 1275M. He pops up three more times and then we call it a night, laughing our way back to our cars.

Today I saw: bison, 2 mule deer, a fox, pronghorn, 16 Junction wolves (including both alphas, 907F, 1275M, 1276F, limping black, plus 3 other grays and 1 other black plus 6 pups: 2 blacks & 4 grays) and the spirits of Allison and Richard.

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