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Is the Washakie Pack Splitting?

Oct. 9, 2002

Recent reports on the Washakie Pack indicated that 4 or 5 cow calves have been killed in the DuNoir Valley area, the traditional center of the pack, but that none of the 3 radio collared members of the pack were in the DuNoir when the calves were killed, leading to speculation that other wolves might be in the area.

Now it is known that the pack of about 12 has split into two groups, and one has all the radio collars.

Mike Jimenez has been trapping the collarless group, and he collared a older male wolf today in the DuNoir. He said he couldn't tell if the pack has split, but probably not yet. Today the "main group" of the pack was about 8 miles away, just north of Brooks Lake near the Teton Wilderness boundary. In addition, a wolf pair seems to have left the pack. One of the pair is collared. They are about 5 miles to the east in the Horse Creek area.

Currently the USFWS is in a control mode on the DuNoir segment of the pack due to the cattle  depredations, but this will end tomorrow unless a second radio collar is installed before then. The cattle in the DuNoir have been partially moved to winter range near Riverton, Wyoming, or soon will be.

The Washakie Pack formed during the winter of 1996-7, one of the first packs outside Yellowstone Park. It was killed off and/or dispersed in mid-1998 by USFWS for killing cow calves, but new wolves, and maybe some survivors of the original pack regrouped in 1999, and have been in the area since, especially the DuNoir, although sometimes the pack makes long excursions to the south, almost to the northern end of the Wind River Range.

Dundee Meadows in the DuNoir. Wyoming

Looking across Dundee Meadows, down the Dunoir Valley
from the Continental Divide.
Copyright Ralph Maughan

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Copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan

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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209