Western Wild

Dave Showalter's Conservation Photography Weblog

Wyoming

Junction Butte Alphas

March 27, 2014 | 2 Comments

wolf-MF

Wolves 755M and 889F, The Alpha Male (L) and Alpha Female (R) of the Junction Butte Pack in a world of white. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone wolf watching may have changed with the demise of the Druid Pack and decline of the Lamar wolves (due to legal killing on the edge of the park – I can’t bring myself to call it hunting), but it’s still considered the best place in the world to observe wolves in the wild. It’s hard to believe that just last month I watched the Junction Butte Pack’s alpha pair chasing each in a swimming motion through deep snow. It was mating season and the amount of ground these wolves covered in just a few hours, in bottomless snow, left me awestruck. Athletic, graceful, and indefatigable, they briefly tied up on top of a distant round hill, rested for awhile, then continued the chase. Wolves were running everywhere, howling, joining different packs, uncaring of bystanders, appearing on hilltops and racing over rolling sagebrush hills. 755M is a five year old black phase gray wolf, turning gray with age. 889F is a two year old female.

2 Comments

  • Bob says:

    Beautiful. There is no place on Earth like Yellowstone in winter. Your images speak eloquently of its true nature. Glad we got to see the “black wolf” together.

    • Thank you, Bob. Yellowstone in winter is such a transformative experience – when you miss one it leaves an aching that can only be cured by that absolute cold, the white and blue, and the wild. Marla wasn’t able to go this year and we aim to make up for it!

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