“Moose, watch carefully, the pack is trying to cross the road.” We crept down the road and set up under the OP. From less then 100yrd away, over the ridge, a chorus of howls filled the air. Then on the ridge, 642F appeared and then disappeared as it jogged towards the pups. Then from behind us a lone howl bounced off the falling snow and down to us. It was greeted with another chorus from over the ridge. The beauty of the silence of the falling snow then filled with the howls from Blacktail and Lave Creek Packs was one of those great wildlife photography treasures we’ll never forget!
[swf]http://www.moosepeterson.com/swf_imgs/_bmp9505.swf, 585, 444 [/swf]
The black wolf is the beta 642F (F=female) of the Blacktail Pack. They made a big move north during the night, something they’ve not done for a while. They had made a kill just prior to our arrival at daylight near the heliport at Mammoth Hot Springs. Nate, the wolf biologist who told us the whole store and so much more was standing there telling us how cars on the road were keeping her from crossing (also told a few horror stories of photographers chasing these magnificent creatures) when she finally crossed and appeared on a ridge to the south. It was a great view and we really love this photo because it sums up the morning for us. These magnificent creatures are critters of the wilderness and that’s what we heard, saw, experienced and felt this morning of wolf work.
There was more action with the Canyon Pack since our leaving the Madison. My new friend Jesse has a blog (the wolf biologist) which covers what it is he does as a wildlife tech in Yellowstone. For any wildlife photographer, working with biologists is essential and readers of my work know I credit my success to these selfless folks doing amazing work. Give Jesse’s blog a read, you’ll learn a lot!
Photo captured by D3x, 600VR w/TC-17e on Lexar UDMA digital film