Yellowstone wolf update
Soda Butte Pack moves south of Yellowstone
New uncollared wolves appear in the DuNoir

Rose Creek no. 21M joins the Druids  

12-10 and 12-22-97

In my last update I said I had no information about the status of the Washakie Pack -- no. 26F and her five pups. Now I have learned that they are still in the DuNoir area to the north of Dubois, WY and just south of the Washakie Wilderness. There was a report by some hunters (the Wyoming elk hunt has been extended until Dec. 14) that one was dead in Long Creek, but this turned out not to be true.

Even more interesting is the news that there are new wolves in the DuNoir -- three wolves together and one single wolf. The three wolves are all gray. The single wolf is black and was said to have looked like a "reincarnation of no. 15M" (no. 26's mate, shot by the ADC for killing cattle on the nearby Diamond G Ranch in October). None appear to be radio collared.  Folks saw them in both East and West DuNoir Creek.
An article in the Dubois, Wyoming newpaper recently said the Washakie Pack pups are now almost as big as their mother. Robinett at the Diamond G sees them often, sometimes, he said, only 50 or 60 feet from the ranch house.  He has also seen the four uncollared new wolves.

There is also a report that the Soda Butte Pack has moved south of the Park and was seen at Moran in Grand Teton National Park.  Perhaps the new wolves in the DuNoir are the same wolves as seen at Moran -- 30 miles to the west -- the Soda Butte Pack; however, all but this year's Soda Butte pups are radio-collared.

It is now confirmed that the Soda Butte Pack was spotted near Moran, south of Mt. Randolf. This is in the Buffalo Valley, a northeastern arm of Jackson Hole.  Note: the small city of Jackson, Wyoming, is sometimes wrongly called "Jackson Hole."  Jackson Hole is the valley. A flight is planned for today, weather permitting.  The new wolves in the DuNoir are apparently not part of the Soda Butte Pack.

For reference the Soda Butte Pack consists of the alpha female, no. 14F (gray); her daughter from 1995, no. 24F (black), her two surviving pups from 1996, 43M (gray), and 44F (black), and three gray pups born this last spring. The alpha male, no. 13M, "Old Blue," died of natural causes last March.

In other news, number 21M of the Rose Creek Pack, has joined the Druids. This replaces no. 31M, who was recently shot dead in the North Absaroka wilderness south of Cooke City. The interactions whereby no. 21 was gradually accepted into the Druid Peak Pack was observed by biologists.

Number 21 was one of the eight pups born to number 9F above Red Lodge, Montana, back in May 1995 after Chad McKittrick had shot number 9's mate. Number 9 is now the mother or grandmother of over 1/3 of the wolves in the Yellowstone Country.

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  copyright 1997 Ralph Maughan  

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