That Wolf is Too Close!

I left Kansas City around 3:00 am on my 16 hour journey to the Grand Teton National Park. I wanted to get there before dark. This trip was to be only three days in the park so an extra hour or so of good light would be great even if I was tired.  Just before sundown is often a good time to spot wildlife.
After checking in at the motel in Jackson Hole, there was about an hour of light left before sundown.  I headed out to one of my favorite spots. I was a little disappointed because the sun had already gone down behind the mountains making it quite dark in the area.

It blended in so well that I almost missed it. It was the movement that caught my eye. At first I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  I stopped my car and pulled off the narrow road. Park rules state that we must be no closer than 100 yards to wolves or bears. It was only about 35 – 40 yards off the road. It seem to be eating something or parts of something.

I thought the light was too dark to get decent shots so, I stayed in my car and just watched it for several minutes. I knew there were wolves in the park but had not seen any on my previous trips. This was special!

I decided, what the heck! I’ll give it a try to take a couple of shots. Perhaps I can brighten them up in Lightroom.  All these photos have been cropped and edited so you can enjoy what I saw.

As you can see, it didn’t seem to be concerned that I was there.  Several people drove by but no one saw it. However, once I put my camera in view, people started to stop. Yes, I was the start of a “Wolf Jam”.

People didn’t just stop, they started getting out of their cars!  This wolf was too close to do that!

Two young people started walking toward it with their phones to get a picture. I yelled at them to get back in their car. They were way too close!

As you can see, the wolf was not too happy!

Fortunately, it turned and walked away.

As the wolf went away, I was both glad and sad. I was glad to see the wolf  and that no one got hurt. If someone had gotten hurt most likely, it would have been the demise of the wolf. It would have only been protecting its food but….

I was sad  the people had gotten out of their cars rather than staying put and just watching the wolf in its natural environment. Sometimes it’s best to just enjoy the moment. We can’t always get the picture. Memories can last a very long time.

I learned later from the rangers that the pack had killed an elk in that area the day before. The rangers relocated the elk carcass to an undisclosed location because it was too close to the road. They moved it for the safety of the wolves and the people. Evidently, the wolf had come back for some remains that were probably left.

Well, that was my first evening in the Grand Teton National Park. I hope you enjoyed the photos.

There will soon be another blog about my time with a Grizzly and her two cubs so stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bill