It is the season when pups are born in Yellowstone and across NW Wyoming, half of Montana and most of Idaho.

All of the northern range wolves have denned. It looks like only the Agate Creek Pack will have a den area visible from the road. It’s the same one as last year — visible by scope with a lot of space between it and the road. The Slough Creek Pack did not den again where they met disaster last year. Their densite was put under siege by the “unknown” wolf pack. All of their pups were lost. They chose a new den site for 2007.

So far it looks like none of the interior Park wolf packs have denned.

This winter there was a big fight between Mollies Pack and the Druids. Mollies was probably was looking for country with more elk and fewer grizzly bears to defend their kills from. On paper, it would seem like Mollies would take the Druids. Mollies had 5 big adult wolves and five pups. The Druid adults were only the now-long time alpha male, 480M (once known as “the new black), the new alpha female 569F, and 302M who has never been a fighter. The Druids have 7 pups still with them.

The Druids won, however, sending Mollies back to the Pelican Valley. Doug Smith told me the difference was probably due to the immense ferocity of the Druid alpha male 480M, who rallied the troops so to speak. He had been in wolf fights below, including some of the Mollies that are now dead. It isn’t clear the Mollies had fought another wolf pack despite their reputation for killing bison and battling grizzly bears.

Smith said the Hayden Pack of 4 very light colored wolves is “a pack on the run.” The have been forced out of the Hayden Valley by Mollies on one side and the Gibbon Pack on the other. The Hayden pack has been on the northern range. He said they are currently in Leopold Pack territory, a big pack against which they would have little chance.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

12 Responses to Yellowstone northern range wolf packs have all denned

  1. avatar DV says:

    Very cool. Checked out the Druids in late-March. Saw 380 and 308, plus a gaggle of pups. Hope it’s a good year for the wolves in Yellowstone.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know which wolves (still alive) are directly related to 10M and the 21M lineage?

  2. I have seen preliminary papers on this and similiar matters.

    They have been presented at our wolf conference, but not final versions that I am aware of.

  3. avatar Jim says:

    I hope the Hayden pack finds a little space for themselves. I really enjoyed watching them last Sept. take on a grizzly and win. At that time though, there were 5 of them. Did the pack lose a member?

  4. avatar DV says:

    Which wolf conference? I’m conduction work in Boulder County, Colorado, ranging from Rocky Mountain National Park south to I-70 to document (photo and written) areas in this locale that would make prime wolf habitat. Basically, trying to display that with tolerance, wolves could thrive here. I’d be interested in attending this conference.

  5. We cohost the North American wolf conference every year in April, usually at Chico Hot Springs, MT.

    This year it is April 24-27 at Flagstaff, Arizona. I’ll post the agenda again.

  6. avatar Gerry says:

    Druid alpha male is 480 . 380 is Slough alpha female


    Thank you for catching the error. I changed it now. webmaster

  7. avatar J. Delaney says:

    Ralph–Did the Druids head up Cache, or Amphitheater? Any idea about the Sloughs? The Agates seem to be back in their normal denning area…

  8. I didn’t ask Dr. Smith where the other packs denned.

  9. avatar Morgan says:

    Thank you so much for all the information!! I am so excited to see and watch all the pups of the wolf packs!!

  10. avatar c depaul says:

    love reading all the news on yellowstine wolves…

    i was wondering when details of the denning process would start showing up.

    love kathie lynches reports!!!!

  11. avatar Jeff says:

    I’m curious to know the number of wolves that den in the Jackson Hole area. Seems like news outside of Yellowston is always sparce other than the constant shootings in Sublette County.

  12. I don’t report much wolf news outside Yellowstone Park any more because you can never tell if the USFWS might get coerced into killing off most of the Wyoming wolves outside Yellowstone Park.

    Sadly, times have changed. People do tell me where they are, however, but I generally keep mum.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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