DAY TEN - Tuesday, October 31


Itís a tad warmer today at 10 degrees. Iíll take it!

My first stop is at Soda Butte midpoint to listen for howling. Nothing yet. I go on to Dorothys and scope for a bit, but once again I am called back east.

Laurie and Dan are at Footbridge, watching 1437M on DPH.

For a better view, I join Jeremy and Rick on the low hill just north of Footbridge. 1437 is bedded on the edge of a slanted ridge of Norris. He is looking intently to the west, howling on and off.

Jeremy finds wolves in the middle flats, traveling away from us. I recognize the alpha male, so I know itís Junctions.

The wolves continue south and come out in the big, open meadow between Norris and the Lamar River Trail.

A gray and two blacks engage in play while the others bed down. Laurie IDís 907 as one of the bedded wolves. I see 8 in this group.

The bedded ones get up and the group sets off once more to the south. It looks like we are going to lose them. We hear more howling, from various directions.

I no longer see 1437 but suspect he is still up on DHP and that he is one of the howlers. More howling is coming from the Confluence area. Eventually I find 1385 there, walking in front of the line of cottonwoods.

Fay and Laurie see blood on 1437ís chest, so heís likely been feeding on something. Perhaps the bison calf?

1437 and 1385 seem to be howling to each other. But then the alpha group howls back. Dan finds them moving towards us following the line of cottonwoods.

We move to Hitching Post. Some visitors follow us out to the first low knobs. One of them sees a black at the edge of the willows. Someone else sees a coyote near the same spot.

Laurie notices birds flitting about, then finds a black wolf. I locate the coyote trotting off to the south with something in its mouth.

I pan into the willow area and see a black wolf dash off to the south. Then I see a gray with his head down, eating something. Itís hard to know where to look but we begin to suspect that this is whatís left of the poor bison calf from yesterday.

Dan finds 1437 again, still on the same ridge, howling again.

But itís nearly 11:30 and itís time for me to head back to Bozeman.

I say my goodbyes and thanks and pack up my scope.

On my way through the forested areas of the Blacktail I see a pretty sight: a gust of wind will dislodge snow from the flocked trees, which drops in a thin, wispy veil, shimmering in the sunlight.

So beautiful!

Today I saw: bison, coyotes, elk, 9 wolves (including 8 Junctions: 907F, alpha male, the pup 1385F and four others plus champion howler Hawks Rest wolf 1437M) and the spirits of Allison and Richard.

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