2023 MARCH VISIT - March 16-20


March Winter Study began on March 1 and will last through March 30. This year, the project has two crews; one following the Lupine Creek Pack and other The Rescue Creek Pack. This leaves out the long-studied Junction Butte Pack.

SHRIMP LAKE PACK: now officially four wolves: Alphas 1228F and uncollared unknown gray, plus two pups sired by her first mate (uncollared black, now deceased); one black female and one gray male. Their territory is the Soda Butte Valley east to Baronette.

LUPINE CREEK PACK: this offshoot of the Eight Mile Pack fluctuates between 6 and 8 members. Some younger wolves are comfortable spending time with both packs. The pack includes the uncollared black alpha female and gray 1232M, an uncollared gray adult female, 1387M (black pup), 1388F (gray pup), and an uncollared female (gray pup). Some days one or two additional uncollared grays may be present with the pack.

Towards the end of Winter Study, six members of the Lupine pack were chased by the eight members of the Rescue Creek pack east of McMinn Bench on Mt. Everts. Observers believe all the Lupines escaped unharmed and reconvened a bit later after the Rescues continued east. Their territory includes Mt. Everts to the western Blacktail Plateau. (Overlaps with Eight Mile to some extent)

RESCUE CREEK PACK: is now comprised of 10 members, 7 black and 3 gray, including uncollared black alpha female (originally 8 Mile), uncollared large gray alpha male (originally Junction); 1273M (black-Junction), 1393M (black-Junction), uncollared black male (Junction), uncollared gray (Junction) and 5 pups: 1392M (black), 2 uncollared black males, and 1391F (gray)

Their territory is from Rescue Creek to Tower, Blacktail Plateau (Overlaps with Eight Mile to some extent. They often stay south of the Yellowstone River while in the eastern portion of their territory.

JUNCTION BUTTE PACK: This pack currently consists of 24-25 wolves 15 of while are pups born in 2022. Alphas: uncollared black male (Prospect) and 907F (gray, 10 yrs old, pregnant); males 1339M and 1340M (both large grays, 1340 lost his collar); 1276F (black), 1382F (black, former alpha), 1386F (black AKA New Mom), 1341F (gray), 1383F (black “thermal girl”), 1384F (gray, “fluffy”), 1385F black pup, 7 uncollared black pups and 7 uncollared gray pups. Their territory ranges from Cottonwood Creek to Slough to Lamar to Cache Creek. They often stay north of the Yellowstone in the western portion of their territory.

EIGHT MILE PACK: This pack has lost members in recent years to the hunt and to the offshoot Lupine Pack. Currently 10 members, all gray except 1271F (black).

Alphas 1326M (former Wapiti) and 1328F; 1271F (black) ,1389F, 1390M, 2 yearlings and 3 pups. They range from Gardiner’s Hole to the Blacktail. I have only rarely seen this pack in the last several years.

WILLOW CREEK PACK: this is a new pack, formed in 2022 by former Mollie wolf 1239F and three Wyoming wolves (possibly from the Pahaska Pack). Newly collared 1407 is the alpha male. Other adults include one gray and one black, plus three pups, all gray, one is newly collared #1408F. These wolves have mainly been observed by the plane. I included them in this update because I saw 1239 a few times in the Lamar in the recent past and because it’s possible she and her pack might visit Lamar during the spring & summer months. Territory is Upper Lamar including Willow Creek.

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