Wolves in the Lamar valley. YNP.
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!!