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Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science

Yellowstone's wolves: 831F from Canyon Pack

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Photo details
Photographer: Leo Leckie  (Leo's web site)
Species: Wolf
Date taken: 11-30-2012
Date posted: 12-31-2013
Caption: 831F and young gray, both showing signs of mange.
Notes: This last day of November, became a hike to remember! We were no more than 200 yards down the “trail” of our planned hike in Gardner Canyon when howls from a wolf that became clearer through the chilly canyon winds. As we moved in the direction of the howls, a lone gray Wolf was in a draw about 50 yards away. Another howl answered the gray, and soon the white alpha female of the Canyon Pack came over the ridge right next to us, followed closely by the 831F! The gray greeted 831F, submissively it seemed. The two then climbed a ridge, and we decided to back up further away and give them a little room. I led us up a hill, but at the top was 712M, the big black alpha male of the pack, leading the rest of the pack up the same hill, and all 6 of them turned to look at me at the same time! We were surrounded by the Canyon Pack as they flowed around us on either side, making for the same backcountry area that we had intended to hike. After realizing there was no way we could move to get out of the way, we just sat and enjoyed the moment. The beautiful white alpha female provided the encore, gliding easily through the sage as she joined the others. All nine members of the Canyon Wolf Pack flowed closely around us on their way to their favorite Gardner Canyon lookout point. We then turned around, knowing we would force them to move if we continued. When we reached the road, Dan Stahler of the Wolf Project was smiling, saying “Looks like you two had a hike to remember!”