DAY EIGHT - Thursday, January 2


LAST LOOK

Today I get up extra early again in order to drive straight east.

As I reach Little America I hear Marlene radio Laurie that she is at Slough and just had a gray wolf run past her heading west. I offer to stop and look with her at Crystal but she decides to try Daveís Hill.

While I am scanning from Crystal, I hear a single howl to the north, where the gray very likely was. I never find it though. Marlene comes back to Crystal and tells me of an unusual sighting she had in the Hellroaring area this morning in the dark. She calls it a "pygmy" fox. It had a fox face but its body was really small and its tail was short. She couldn't figure out what it was.

Laurie & Dan arrive and tell us that 755 and 889 are probably visible in Lamar from Fisherman's and that the Lamar's Trash Can carcass is already pretty much consumed. We speculate that 755 probably came back to it later last evening. L & D opt to go to Lamar Canyon West to look down on the Slough area. I go east.

I find Rick at Fishermans, along with Jeff, Doug and others. 889 is in sight on the south side of the valley, sitting on a snow slope. 755 is already on the north side but they say he had been with her earlier.

Dan calls to say heís spotted more Junction Butte wolves at Slough. I take a quick peek at 889F and head there. L & D are on the Knob but I know Iím too late to find parking there. It fills up quickly at this time of year. Besides being a good spot to see wolves, people like to snow shoe or ski down the campground road, so itís almost always jammed.

I set up at LCW on the north side which I prefer.

I see almost everything that L & D see. Almost the whole pack is here, including 869M but missing one black. 911M is also in the area, hanging around. Laurie thinks 911M is the Blacktail pup they used to call Huge.

At first they hang out near the Marge Simpson tree and the flats on either side. Then they move southwest. Two gray wolves hang back at first, but then I watch them follow the scent trails of the rest of the pack.

When they rejoin the pack, 911 heads east over Secret Passage.

By this time itís 10AM, time for me to head back to Bozeman. Lots of hugs and warm farewells.

On the way out I see lots of bull elk near the roads, making many tourists happy. And saw several big horn too, in the Gardiner Canyon.

The roads are clear, although it is extremely windy on the Livingston side of the pass, but traffic is light and precipitation holds off. I am home in an hour 20 minutes, a new record!

Today I saw: bison, coyotes, elk, big horn sheep, 11 wolves (8 from the Junction Butte pack (two blacks and six grays) plus 911M and 889F and the spirit of Allison




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