Kathie Lynch: Detailed report on the Hayden wolves

Kathie Lynch sent this story to me on July 21. I was in Yellowstone at the time. The scene for watching the wolves was perfect — sit in the shade at the Otter Creek picnic area and wait for them to appear on the other side of the Yellowstone River about 175 yards away.

Kathie’s report below is mostly about the Hayden wolves, but she does discuss some of the other packs. Kathie told me today that the Hayden Pack appears to have finally moved — to the Alum Creek vicinity (not far), and they can still be seen.

I hiked across the valley and up the canyon to Cache Creek and then up the Cache Creek canyon a way today. I was looking for signs of the Druids. I thought perhaps I heard a distant howl, but I saw nothing but a few old scats. Given the temperature, I’d bet they are with the elk high up on the Absaroka crest somewhere.

Here is Kathie report.

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Awesome! That’s the only word to describe the amazing viewing over the past two weeks of the Hayden Valley wolf pack across the Yellowstone River from the Otter Creek picnic area. Since July 7, the entire pack of four adults and five pups has put on an incredible show for the awestruck visitors lining the river bank. Seasoned wolf watchers and photographers alike agree that this has been their best pup viewing ever!

My best day, July 18, began at 5:30 a.m. with a blanket of fog over the river and no sign of wolves. By 9:30 a.m., the crowd of hopefuls had started to thin, and I debated about leaving for awhile. But, at 9:45 a.m., the cry of “There they are!” went up, and the entire group of four gray and one black pup burst into view on the river’s edge.

We watched with delight as the pups, strung out in a perfect line, gamboled along the shore. They played chasing games, pulled tails, practiced pouncing, explored rocky caves, leap-frogged over backs, straddled logs, and made life miserable for a pair of spotted sandpipers who kept trying to lure them away from a nearby nest. The most fun of all was watching them take turns slipping and sliding down a steep, sandy hillside with front legs straight out and toes splayed wide. Some even went down on their bellies with legs forward and back like a frog!

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Thanks to BE for being webmaster

I’ve been in Yellowstone for about 4 days. I want to thank BE for taking care of the blog.

I came home early. It was a very unpleasant trip — hot and smoky.  Until the heat wave passes and the forest fires abate, I won’t recommend the trip. Outside the Park, the dirt roads have turned to a dusty powder from weeks without rain. I can certainly see why the fish are dying because you could swim in what are usually cold mountain streams. In fact people were doing just that outside the Park boundaries.

July hasn’t been at all good for outdoors recreation from what I have experienced in Idaho and Yellowstone, but May and June were great!