I’m still at Yellowstone and there is interesting wolf news.
The Druid Peak Pack, after using alternative dens the last two years, has returned to the area on Druid Peak to den where they did from 1997 to 2005. It is probably not the same dens, but basically in the dense area of conifers on the SE face of the peak.
The area is now closed but surrounded on the road by many wolf watchers. I saw and took a number of photos today of a dark gray yearling along Soda Butte Creek who then climbed up to the road and passed though a large number of people near “footbridge” parking lot.
Apparently this yearling is considered a bit too habituated to human presence and some action may have to be taken, but there is going to be a huge problem with people now that the pack has returned to Druid Peak with the wolves frequently crossing the NE Entrance highway to hunt on the flats below.
Slough Creek Pack
After a year’s absence, the Sloughs have returned to the den area they used in 2006 where they were besieged by the “unknown pack,” which resulted in a loss of all their pups and the near obliteration of the Slough Creek Pack itself.
It was the disruption of the Sloughs that allowed the Druid Pack to rebuild its numbers and retake the bulk of the Lamar Valley a year later.
The Slough Creek Pack’s den hole or holes are clearly visible from such places as the Slough Creek outhouse, Dave’s Hill, and the highway, but only with a scope because the ridge side den is way across Slough Creek about 1 1/2 miles away. There have been quite a few people watching.
I counted about a hundred bison today inside the park. The number is way down. I saw a fresh carcass of a large bison at Silvergate, Montana. Many are believed buried under the snow.
A number of us saw what might be the very first bison calf. The newborn was alongside its mother near the Tower bridge over the Yellowstone where she was trying to find something to eat along the roadway. At that location there is about a foot of continuous snow with higher drifts and a few, usually steep, bare places.
Spring is finally and clearly coming, however. It is way late, but temperatures were much warmer today with melt and warmer for tomorrow. Just one day has resulted in a significant greening near Gardiner, 2000 feet lower down. It is too late for many elk and a much larger number of bison.
Where are the bears!?