Roaming wolf pack recaptured again.

10-27-97 with update


We had a tremendous weekend in Yellowstone observing the Rose Creek Pack (story later). When I drove out the entrance gate I mentioned this to ranger. She said that it had been quite a week for wolves and that "six wolves from Dillion (MT)" had been brought though the entrance gate that day.

It turns out that the six wolves that recently left Yellowstone again, ended up a hundred miles away again near Dillon. They were located by tracking their radio collars and apparently recaptured without incident this last weekend. They were located on private land with sheep nearby. The pack had not harmed the sheep, not did their nearby presence mean they were going to attack the sheep. Livestock are still common this time of year on lower elevation range in SW Montana. However, because the pack had "one strike" against it, it may have been wise to recapture the pack since the pack doesn't have much of a track record except for number 29M's two dramatic escapes from the Nez Perce enclosure. The second time (Oct. 15) he dug his pack mates out and they made a daring getaway, but unfortunately it wasn't into the middle of Yellowstone.

It is not clear why the pack heads to Dillon. The first time it was thought that 27F was leading the pack and looking for a mate, but then ADC shot her. The second the hypothesis cited was that 29M and 37F were looking for two of their pups that may have been lost during their first journey. The pair mated and 37 whelped three pups inside the Nez Perce enclosure last May.

I assume the pack is now back in a Yellowstone Park wolf enclosure. How long they will be held, I don't know. The wolves in this pack, which is of heterogeneous origin, have spent much of these lives in a Park pen, especially the the three Sawtooth yearlings that are in the pack. The alpha pair, no. 29M and 37F are likely brother and sister and were brought from British Columbia in 1996.

They were first spotted on the Blacktail (state) game range. There were plenty of deer and elk there for them to eat. Number 29 and 37 did regurgitate partially digested deer when they were tranquilized. There is no evidence the pack killed or harassed any livestock. They will probably be kept in the now-strengthened Nez Perce pen for several months.


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© 1997 Ralph Maughan


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Ralph Maughan; PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209
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