2022—Howling Wolf

At first, we heard the wolves howling. We’d heard reports of wolf sightings all week but they were always the day before, or hours earlier in the day. When we made our final stop of the day Friday at Madison Junction, one of the volunteers asked if we’d seen the wolves. “What wolves?” I asked. “Eight sighted right here,” the volunteer said. And, the chase was on. Word gets out fast in Yellowstone when there is a wildlife sighting and especially when it’s a wolf, everyone knows. Moose and Dan, our driver, were on the hunt. We got away from the crowds that were still hoping to see the wolves at Madison Junction that were now long gone. We stopped near another snow coach down the road and heard at least three wolves howling. How exhilarating to hear that sound echo across the meadow. The adrenaline was high. We were chasing both the wolves that had been so elusive all week and the deadline to be out of the park by 5 PM. Our hearts were pumping. We drove in the direction Moose expected the rest of the pack to be along the Madison River and found fresh tracks on the side of the road and heard more howling. Finally, we made our way further down the road and there was the wolf jam. Every snow coach and sled within 15 miles had converged on the sight and the occupants had disgorged to crowd the edge of the road with gawking viewers. Amazingly, the wolves were spread out in a large meadow near the Madison River. What a thrill to see them. At least five were in easy view and the one closest to the road, pictured here, howled and howled. It is a sight I won’t soon forget. We were told this is the Wapiti Pack. How exciting to end our winter trip to Yellowstone National Park with wolf sightings. It was the icing on the cake of an already remarkable and special winter adventure in Yellowstone.