Idaho wolf update for mid-May 1997
The last Idaho wolf update I posted was on May 7. Readers may want to consult that report plus those dated 8-19-96, 12-6-96 , 2-24-97, and 4-22-97 for background. Most of this information is from the Idaho Gray Wolf Project of the Nez Perce Tribe. Some is direct quotation.
Locations are not given for all the wolves present because radio transmitters have failed on some, some are not located due to topography, and none of pups from last year (yearlings now) have transmitters.
As is the usual practice I will follow the format of the Idaho Gray Wolf Project and report the particulars by national forest (almost all of central Idaho is national forest).
Bitterroot National Forest (northeast central Idaho and
part of Montana)
The Selway Pack has moved a considerable distance since the early May report (from northwest central Idaho to northeast central Idaho and Montana border area). In early May the pack was located west of Meadow Creek just south of Red River Hot Springs. This is on the Nez Perce National Forest. They were most recently located at Blue Joint Meadows just inside Montana. A few days earlier they had been in the headwaters of Hells Half Acre Creek. This Bitterroot National Forest country has been the heart of their territory.
The alpha female wolf B10F appears not to have denned this year. The pack probably has four members. The alpha male is B5M.
Captive wolves B7M and B11F remain in the deep wilderness pen at Running Creek on the Selway River inside the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. For the second year together, it appears there are no pups. They will be released in June, probably north of U.S. Highway 12 (excellent wolf habitat with few wolves to date).
Beaverhead National Forest (SW Montana)
Wolf B31M was observed in Horse Prairie Creek in the Big Hole Mountains, Montana, on May 20. On May 10 he was located at the head of Tolan Creek on the Bitterroot National Forest. In early May, no. 31 had been located near Elk Summit in the Lochsa River drainage. He has travelled a considerable distance to the the SE. One might recall from earlier reports that no. 31's radio collar seemed to be failing. Apparently the problem has corrected itself.
Clearwater National Forest (north central Idaho) and Lolo
National Forest (extreme western Montana)
Wolf B15F was located as she has been for two years on the Idaho/Montana Bitterroot Divide north of U.S. Highway 12. During the last flight she was in Granite Creek inside Montana.
Not located were wolves B14M and B20F. Neither have been located for several months now.
Payette National Forest (west central Idaho)
The Chamberlain Basin Pack's alpha male B9M and two pups were located on a kill at Club Meadows. Several days later they had moved on to Chamberlain Creek and were seen between two groups of cow elk. The alpha female no. B16F was at her den site. This is all in extremely remote wilderness country (Frank Church Wilderness).
Wolf B22F and her associate were located at the confluence of Spring and Sunnyside Creek in the Monumental Creek drainage near the western boundary of the Frank Church Wilderness. This pair have usually been located somewhat in the South Fork of the Salmon River drainage. Thus, they have moved a bit to the east.
Wolf 33M was last located on April 28 in the Gold Fork drainage just east of Arling Hot Springs. He has not been located in May.
Boise National Forest (western Idaho)
The as yet unnamed pack (nos. B30F, B28M, and B19M) consisting of adult wolves was once again found near Stolle Meadows and Warm Lake.
The Landmark Pack, B6F, B8M and pups were located in two places. No. 6 was at her den in Pistol Creek (inside the Frank Church Wilderness). B8 was located in the Burntside Creek drainage.
Salmon-Challis National Forest (east and south central
B23F and B27M remained in the rugged upper Loon Creek country as they have been for over a month (den?).
B25F and B32M were again located south of the Bear Track Mine. They have moved very slightly in the last two months (den?).
B29M and B37F were located north of Prairie Basin. This is the same as in the last report (den?).
B35F and B18M were located near Challis Creek lakes in the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River drainage. Previously they were located in the Cottonwood Creek drainage.
B33F and an unknown male wolf were located in the Camas Creek drainage. This was there general area in the last report (den?).
Wolf B24M was not located this time. He was last located in February in Pistol Creek (Frank Church Wilderness).
Sawtooth National Forest (south central Idaho)
B12M was again located in the Casino Creek drainage (near the head of Little Casino Creek) at the northern end of the White Cloud Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
The INEL "wolf"
The gray wolf project sent out a flight to investigate reports of a wolf near the northern edge of the Snake River Plain. They got no visual sightings nor radio signals.
© 1997 Ralph Maughan
Not to be reprinted, archived, redistributed, etc., without permission.
Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209 208-236-2550