I always try to get to Yellowstone during the "shoulder" seasons, if I can. I have found that March and November are the least-visited months, so if I can arrange a trip then, I do. As long as one is prepared for bad weather, it's a great time to visit. So this year I chose the Easter holiday week at the end of March and happily found that nearly all of the few visitors in the Park were wolf-watching friends of mine.

After my Christmas visit, in the wake of all the wolves killed in the hunt, my expectations for good wolf watching were significantly lowered. But there was a difference this time, from all other trips I have made since 2000: I did not see a single wolf in Lamar Valley for five days straight.

News from the wolf-world has not improved. Although the hunt is finally over for the the warm months, a new one will be starting, most likely even sooner than it did last year, and the methods humans will now be allowed to use will include snares, electronic calling devices, and baits. There will likely be longer seasons and higher quotas within them, despite the fact that none of this is sensible from a scientific point of view. The education of those who willfully misunderstand wild wolves has failed, and the Montana legislature has now capitulated to them.

I will continue to raise my voice for wildlife. I will continue to work for change so that wildlife management might return to the path of science and rationality.

Amidst these concerns, Yellowstone is still a comforting place to be, for its slower pace, its timeless beauty, its delightful sights, sounds and smells. And especially for the company of good-hearted friends.

P.S. I am not a wolf or wildlife expert, but an enthusiast and advocate. If you find anything in this report to be wrong or misleading, feel free to bring it to my attention by e-mailing me at ""

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me (in visor) with Allison at the 2001 Loonion

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