View Full Version : Wolves in the Lamar valley. YNP.
02-22-2012, 02:43 PM
So as I was traveling home from Cooke City MT two days ago I was a little taken back at what I saw. A pack of wolves had killed a buffalo about 100 yards off the road, and were enjoying their feast while everybody and their brother were taking pictures of the scene. It wasn't the sight of the dead buffalo being feasted on that startled me, it was the lack of elk that I saw. The Lamar valley is one of the most critical wintering grounds for elk, and used to have thousands of elk use this area as a wintering ground. In the entire valley I saw 2, yes only 2, elk in the entire valley. What happened to the elk wintering grounds being a sanctuary that the elk could go into to survive the already harsh winters, without having to battle mother natures full force? Not only do they now have to survive mother nature, they no longer have a sanctuary to retreat into during the long months of winter. Even the wolves have had to change their "habits" and resort to killing buffalo because there simply is not enough elk for them anymore. It was not until I got into Gardiner that I saw a large herd of elk, and by large I mean somewhere around 300-400, which is desolate compared to the numbers that used to roam this beutiful country. And when I say in Gardiner, I mean directly in town. Very few elk were scattered more than 400 yards away from town. Something's got to give, hopefully another virus comes in and wipes all the wolves out in one foul swoop!!
02-22-2012, 04:53 PM
maybe that virus you speak of shoould be a well placed dose of sinide (spelling) in that buff carcas.
02-22-2012, 10:08 PM
It's pretty sad what has happened to the Yellowstone herd and many others in the wolf zone there and in Idaho. I havent been to YNP since Dec 04, rite before i shipped off to Iraq. Gardner area was full of elk then. I know alot has changed since then. At that time you could drive down the Madison valley in winter and see herds of over 1000 elk
02-22-2012, 11:06 PM
I have spent uncountable amount of days in yellowstone this winter(snowmobile guide), i have seen a whopping total of 8 elk inside the park. They are right at the south entrance feeding on the Snake River. Talking with guides that are coming out of West yellowstone, the scene is the same. Few if any are seen. So aside from the constant buffalo traffic jam we encounter, its a dang shame what has happened to the elk. I am based out of Jackson, and aside from guiding many Yellowstone trips, another one of the trips is out the Gros Vente drainage, and is booked as our "wildlife" tour. We do see a fair share of sheep, elk and moose, but the thing that surprises me most of the roughly 500 or so elk i have seen out there....1 raghorn 5x5 and a few spikes in the entirety of the whole Gros Vente wintering herd...not a great sign at all.
02-23-2012, 09:43 AM
Its is sad to hear about the lack of elk all over the rocky mountains. Unfortunately I think our children are going to be the ones who feel the loss more than us. Elk hunting the west will be a thing of the past, and something that our children will only be able to read about in books, or see on TV. They will not have the option of purchasing a tag over the counter and being able to get out into God's country and experience elk hunting for themselves. It truely puts a pit in my stomach every time that I think about my kids possibly not being able to have this experience.
02-23-2012, 12:09 PM
I've posted about this before, but it still needs to be brought up again. Last October I went on a wilderness elk hunt to what is refered to as Thorofare in NW Wyoming. It borders the SE corner of YNP. It was a 33 mile 9 hour horseback ride to get there. This historically has been a outstanding elk area. Saw only about 12 head the whole week and only 1 moose and 1 deer. Lots of wolves. Pretty sad situation. this is what we can expect throught the Rockies and also into CA, Or & Wash. Pretty sad!
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