The Wolves of Yellowstone...Continued

by Gary Luker April. 09, 2020 295 views
Junction Butte Wolves on ridge..Note blood trail on the right side

Junction Butte Wolves on ridge..Note blood trail on the right side

My third and last Wolf sighting was during the predawn hours of the day following the second sighting. A “kill” of an elk had happened during the night on this ridge and the Junction Butte Wolves were at the kill site feeding on the carcass. The feeding spot was on the hillside where the Wolves had dragged the carcass from the top of the ridge where the kill occurred. A blood trail marked the side of the hill showing where the carcass had been dragged.

Wolf keeping Coyotes at bay

Wolf keeping Coyotes at bay

One Coyote gets by the Wolf to feed on the Carcass at upper right

One Coyote gets by the Wolf to feed on the Carcass at upper right

Some Wolves returned to the Carcass to continue feeding

Some Wolves returned to the Carcass to continue feeding

Watching over the kill site from the ridge

Watching over the kill site from the ridge

A couple of Wolves following the blood trail to the carcass

A couple of Wolves following the blood trail to the carcass

Wolves feeding on carcass

Wolves feeding on carcass

The Coyotes move in after Wolves leave

The Coyotes move in after Wolves leave

Some young Wolves work on what is left of the Carcass

Some young Wolves work on what is left of the Carcass

The young Wolves begin to remove portions of the carcass to take back to the Pack

The young Wolves begin to remove portions of the carcass to take back to the Pack

A young Wolf carrying an Elk leg back to Pack

A young Wolf carrying an Elk leg back to Pack

Another carrying an Elk rib cage back to the Pack..yummy !

Another carrying an Elk rib cage back to the Pack..yummy !

One of the Black Wolves watching a small group of Elk on the ridge

One of the Black Wolves watching a small group of Elk on the ridge

A Black Wolf nonchalantly passes by the Elk

A Black Wolf nonchalantly passes by the Elk

A big blood covered Grey Wolf eyes the Elk.  Predator and Prey eyeing each other.

A big blood covered Grey Wolf eyes the Elk. Predator and Prey eyeing each other.

In closing out this Yellowstone Wolf photo adventure, I was so glad to have had the opportunity to see, photograph and learn about these remarkable animals. I was also made aware of the decades long debate and controversy surrounding the Wolf. On one side are the ranchers and farmers who see the Wolf as a threat to their livelihood and the hunters and trappers who see the Wolf as a source of income or as simply a pest that needs to be killed or as a trophy to hang on a wall. On the other side are the Wildlife conservationists, the Game Management Wardens and National Park Management whose goal is to protect our wildlife and ensure the health and welfare of the various animal species. Bringing the two sides together has been a long struggle but I understand some progress is being made. One undeniable fact however is that an area like Yellowstone Park needs the Wolf as an Apex Predator because actual Yellowstone history has shown that removing the Wolf brings disastrous results across the spectrum of the area when that balance of Nature is interrupted. Here’s hoping the Wolf will be around for a long time to perform their vital role in Nature and to be admired and appreciated by us.

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