I had recently heard from a friend of mine that he’s seen fresh wolf tracks in along a road that goes through a beautiful mountain valley not to far from my house. This area is located in the Shoshone National Forest east of Yellowstone National Park. The rugged Absaroka Mountains surround the picturesque valley. This past Friday afternoon I took a drive to have a look myself. After leaving the highway I had only driven a couple of miles when I saw something standing on the road a few hundred yards ahead of me. Pulling up my binoculars I saw 2 black colored wolves feeding on a freshly killed calf elk. I then saw seven more wolves on a hillside not to far off the road.
The wolves moved away from the elk and I was able to get a series of nice images of the wolves. There were 5 gray and 4 dark colored wolves in the pack and one wolf had a radio collar.
This next image, though it’s not a great photo, shows all 9 wolves in the pack.
The reason the wolves are in this valley is food. The area is a major winter range for several thousand elk, the primary food source of wolves in this region. Later that afternoon I located another elk kill indicating the wolves have been in the area for a while hunting these elk. I would guess they’ll stay in the area untill the elk migrate back into the high country this spring.
On Sunday my wife Lorri and I rode up to look for the wolves again. Even though it was the middle of the day we quickly found them not far from where I photographed them on Friday. I got this shot of one of the wolves when it crossed the road in front of us.
I plan to get up there again this week for another chance to photograph them.