While they are often still out of sight up in the Lamar River, upstream from Lamar Valley, the 15-member Druid Pack appears to be reclaiming their old territory after they were marginalized in recent years by the surging Slough Creek Pack.
Today the third encounter of the year between the two pack was inferred, although not observed.
The Druids were observed north of highway at Soda Butte Cone on a kill. This is the first time they have been seen north of the highway (recall they used to den just above there on Druid Peak). The 8 member Slough Creek Pack was observed about a mile to mile-and-a-half away and moving away (to the west). Then the packs engaged in a long howling bout. Eventually the Sloughs continued west.
In the previous two instances, it was the Slough Creek Pack moving away from the Druids. No physical contact between them has yet been seen, although it is certainly expected.
In other news, the 13 Agate Creek wolves have been observed in some unusual places. Park Ranger-Naturalist Rick McIntyre said that today he observed them for the first time ever on Hellroaring Slopes, the long time home of many past wolf packs.
The newly named Oxbow Creek Pack, which was recently derived from the Leopolds, uses the Hellroaring area, but it has visited the Tower Junction area at least twice in recent weeks. This is generally Agate territory in fall and winter months.
Thanks go to Rick McIntyre for this information.