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Teton Pack kills a heifer. Wolf control is ordered, but then dropped after heavy snow.

Nov. 18, 2002


The Teton Pack, which has now grown to a very large pack of 23, recently killed a heifer at the Pinto Ranch Near Moran, Wyoming. At least 6 members of the pack participated, and traps were set to capture near the site of the incident with the intent of killing 3 or 4 members of the pack.

The pack did not return, however, and after 18 inches of snow, the traps were pulled and control ended. The pack is expected to feed off of the remains of the annual elk hunt in Grand Teton National Park and/or move up into the Gros Ventre River area where it has in the past lived off of free-ranging and state feedground elk.

Wolves to date have killed only a few cattle the size of the heifer . . . about 1000 pounds. The large majority killed are calves. The pack killed one calf earlier this year. The livestock record of the pack is remarkable, however, given that about 1000 cow/calf pair are allowed to graze inside GTNP every summer, less than 2 miles from the pack's rendezvous site.

Ed Bangs said with 23 wolves, the pack now looks like a herd coming over the hill.

Due to the size of the Teton Pack, dispersals are expected soon. In fact, they are probably underway.

Mike Jimenez tells me the Teton Pack is now on the elk winter range in the general Gros Ventre area. There are lots of elk. Wyoming Game and Fish is not feeding the elk yet.

Meanwhile, the Gros Ventre Pack sill has no radio collars (2 years now). The pack spends much of its time in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. Aircraft are not allowed to fly low over any unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System, so air capture in difficult. Ground trapping is not effective either because of the high grizzly bear density in the area. Bangs said the best visual observation this year was of 5 wolves, which appeared to all be adults, including one light gray wolf which might be the famous founder of the pack, 29M, the wolf escape artist which no Yellowstone Park pen could hold.

Earlier Story. June 6, 2002. Teton Pack has eleven pups.
Earlier Story. Aug. 30, 2002. Wolves make their first cattle kill in Grand Teton NP.

 


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  Copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan

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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209