Thursday, November 26, 2009

Food for Masses Update

The new group started on Tuesday and it was very fruitful. Steve is supporting and that day we discovered a carcass, saw two young wolves near the carcass. Another carcass (a bull elk) was killed the night before and we observed it for two hours in the AM. Ravens and coyotes and an eagle were the main diners. This carcass was killed by the Blacktail pack. In the PM we returned and two wolves from the Druid pack were feeding on the carcass and we recorded for another hour until a light snow reduced our visibility. The carcass was about 4 miles away and with a 75X scope the ravens and other critters were visible, but with the 60X scopes the images were very tiny. The next morning, Wednesday, we went to Slough Creek drainage to look around. And we found a new carcass. It could have died of old age and when we started watching there were coyotes and ravens feasting. Then we had a report that the Miller pack was coming in our direction. The amazing thing was than after they crossed from the Lamar Valley to Slough Creek drainage they went across the creek and directly to the carcass. The theory was that they could smell the dead bull elk. But they did not hang around for long since there were in foreign territory. Wolves are very territorial and the Slough Creek pack lives in that area and the Druids were visiting nearby. And there were only three Miller Creek wolves and they could easily be outnumbered by the larger packs. The wolves mark, just as the coyotes do, the territory that they claim. Today is Thanksgiving and Linda and I have the day off. We went for two short hikes and are now ready to enjoy two 20 pound turkeys with 15 other people who live and work in the area. It will be fun, but because I have to drive the bus at 7 AM tomorrow, I'll be on my best behavior. Steve

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