DAY SEVEN - Saturday, April 29

A TYPICAL DAY AROUND THE DEN

Itís 28 degrees this morning, a return to normalcy. My leg pain is worse than ever, but I think of the bison calf and it gets me through.

My first stop is at Hitching Post where I find Bill H. He has two bears on the bison carcass today, one eating and the other resting nearby.

We watch them and chat a bit, then I head to Slough.

My first wolf this morning is not 907 but an uncollared gray wandering around the spring meadow. A few elk graze the hillside above the western trees, tempting this wolf.

The gray tries to sneak up on them but they are fully aware and move slightly higher on the hillside. This is enough to discourage the wolf. It turns and heads east, disappearing in the Diagonal forest. This wolf looks kind of husky to me and may be 1340M? He is a three-year-old who lost his collar last year.

Ranger Bill W is here this morning, spending his day off with some wolf-watchers. I update him on our sightings over the last few days.

An uncollared black wolf appears above the den cliff and makes its way down to the natal den. 907 comes out and they greet. They travel down the bracken slope to the Boulder. It looks to me like 907 gets a feeding.

907 wanders down to the spring meadow for a drink while the black goes back up to the natal den and stands on the porch, looking inside. I think this is a yearling wolf, perhaps even born in this den last year.

The black turns and heads downhill, aiming for the eastern trees.

A little later 1276 comes out of the sage den. She remains close by, going only far enough to lick a patch of snow for water.

She seems to sense another wolf is here. She heads up to 890ís tree and spots the black yearling. She bolts over to it, chasing the yearling back and forth, begging for a feeding. The yearling is completely submissive, rolling on its back with its legs up but it does not have food for 1276.

1340M (?) returns from the east. Those three wolves gather behind the eastern trees with rapidly wagging tails. As soon as 1276 gets her feeding from 1340M she rushes back into the den.

A different uncollared black emerges from the natal den and goes down the bracken slope. 907 comes out and sits on the den porch for a bit, watching the activity below her.

One my way east, I stop at Coyote. Bill H has found a new grizzly on the lower part of ski-slope (Amethyst Mountain). Itís a nice-looking bear, grubbing and digging all by itself.

As I continue on, I get a happy surprise when I see the limping coyote patrolling the road near Picnic. I have not seen this courageous canine in several months. He is a trouper!

Today I saw: 3 grizzly bears, bison (and calves), the limping coyote, elk, 5 Junction wolves (including 907F, 1276F, 1340M and two uncollared blacks) and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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