Teton Pack has eleven pups.
Cattle threat to wolves lessens.
June 6, 2002
As more observations have been made of the Teton Pack which inhabits the country east of Jackson Hole, the pup count has risen to eleven!
As with last year, and probably due to the abundance of prey, the pack had a double litter. Last year the 2 adult females together produced 9 pups, all of which survived the winter. The pack entered the spring with 12 members, but since then two or three yearlings seem to have dispersed. In fact there was a report (unconfirmed) of two wolves near Ditch Creek, a few miles south of Kelly, WY in Grand Teton National Park.
Last Tuesday, June 4, several of us discovered the Teton Pack's den site and watched 5 black pups and an adult wolf acting as the guardian for pups. We hoped to see the rest of the pack return from hunt (as we did last year), but it grew dark. It was a great several hours, and these were the youngest pups I have had the chance to see in the wild.
We watched from about a half mile away through high powered spotting scopes.
For the last several years the Teton Pack has been threatened in the summer by over a thousand cows on the Hansen-Mead allotment nearby, but the Hansen-Mead family has ended their Grand Teton NP cattle grazing. We saw scores of elk on the field that usually holds these cattle.
The pack is not, however, in a totally cattle free zone. The grazing allotment near Togwotee Pass has not been used for several years, but this year there has been a rumor that it will be grazed, and the cattle trailed right through the wolf den site. Fortunately, this morning the Bridger-Teton National Forest confirmed that due to drought conditions, the Walton family will forego grazing the Togwotee allotment again this year.
In other Western Wyoming wolf news, the den site of the Greybull Pack (uncollared wolves discover last year) has been located. It is inside the Washakie Wilderness.
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