Nez Perce pack found on National Elk Refuge at Jackson

1-28-2003, updates 1-29 and 1-30.

Wolf biologists thought the Nez Perce Pack was somewhere safe with plenty to eat. They were right. Today a flight searching for them found 17 of the pack right in the middle of the National Elk Refuge just north of Jackson, Wyoming. They have been in potential plain sight of thousands of people.

Although wolves first came to the Refuge in late 1999, these packs soon decided the wintering (and summering) elk in the mountains just behind (east of) the Refuge were more attractive, for some reason. The Teton Pack today is upstream from the Elk Refuge in the Gros Ventre state elk feedground area, although due to the mild winter Wyoming Game and Fish is not feeding the elk yet.

These are two big packs, the Nez Perce at 17 or so and the Teton Pack about the same. Due to their proximity they are probably aware of each other although they may be separated by a good 5 to 10 miles.

This development ought to make for some exciting wildlife viewing for folks at Jackson, (1-29) and since the initial report, I have learned the wolves have been spotted north of the Elk Refuge near Blacktail Butte and on the Antelope Flats Road. They made an kill at Kelly Hot Springs.

1-30. Today the wolves were up on the foothills and not easily seen. The elk are spread out due to the mild winter. More elk are off the Refuge than on it.

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Copyright 2003 Ralph Maughan
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