DAY FOUR - Sunday, February 19

A WOLFLESS DAY

My day starts promisingly with a fox in Laurieís driveway. Itís 13 degrees at 6:25, with an inch or two of overnight snow on the car. I follow tracks (coyote or fox) for the upper third of the drive.

At Trout Lake it looks like visibility will be decent, but by 9AM no one has found wolves. The Junctions are still in the Hellroaring area but they must be down low, in a place they can be seen.

We scope from Lower anyway and we do hear faint howling. We also hear a response, a lone voice coming from behind us to the south. I search for 1382F but canít find her, either. Instead I see three coyotes on the hill were she was bedded yesterday.

Around 10 we get a report of wolves on the Blacktail, but when we get there, we find out itís just signals of the Rescues Ė no-one has actually seen them.

The sun tries hard to come out but remains trapped behind thick haze. Itís frustrating to have decent visibility but nothing in view.

We go back to Lower and scope from there a bit. I find some bull elk and another coyote.

Then the snow starts to fall and the wind kicks up so we head east. The snow grows heavier as we go and by the time I reach Exclosure Iím in a sudden white-out. Luckily, itís over quickly but the wind is steady. I remind myself that if I can get through the Soda Butte Valley, Iíll have the protection of trees the rest of the way.

In Silver Gate the wind is really howling, lifting snow off the roof and scattering it in thick swirls. Iím glad to be inside!

Today I saw: bison, 4 coyotes, elk, a fox, and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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