Wolves are a hot topic in the Great Yellowstone Ecosystem since they were reintroduced in the mid-90s. Nowadays, they are a thriving species that have brought order and balance to this ecosystem, allowing other species to thrive as a result.
There are several packs of wolves in the surrounding area, about 8 packs surrounding Jackson Hole specifically. Wolves live in packs of about 6 to 10 animals depending on the types of food sources available. If they become too large, they will often split up as they become unstable and their resources cannot sustain them.
We currently have one pack following a herd of bison (American buffalo) that live up near Elk Ranch Flats in Grand Teton National Park. This pack of wolves are following the bison as a food source and will continue to do as long as the pickings are easy. They are likely from either the Lower Slide Lake, Phantom Springs, or Lower Gros Ventre packs.
As this is a relatively low snowpack year for Jackson Hole thus far, we are seeing a lot more wildlife out in the open sagebrush where they can still access food. This is also making it easy for wolves to hunt. Elk are still finding their way to the Elk Refuge and bison are out in easy access for these wolves. Furthermore, the main source of food for wolves has moved out of the mountains and the wolves have to follow.
Since wolves prefer to be private, reclusive animals, the opportunity to see them in action should not be missed. The Elk Ranch Flats offers a great opportunity to views these predators in the safety of a car while still getting the opportunity of a lifetime. Winter is by far the best time to catch a wolf in action with your camera, especially since they stand out from the winter snow. If you do not want to miss this opportunity, we can help. Schedule a tour with us and we will do our best to find you a memory that will last a lifetime.