Story Behind the Pictures by Todd Yankauskas
It had been a very long and harsh winter and it was very obvious that these awesome animals were not at their best. Constantly on guard from the visible threat of the numerous wolves running about, these mangy moose walked around with their ears doing the work of radar. At times, the herd of nearby elk which would be spread out across the flats would suddenly group together as the wolves circled the area. But the good news, even though the moose were not as picturesque as most visualize them, they were very plentiful throughout the park.
Moving on up towards the Willow Flats the willows blazed like fire and the moose seemed to be a much healthier, less stressed but still cautious. There too, the wolves roamed about in search of prey. Up near Flagg Ranch a grizzly walked about as three moose stood in the middle of the river while wolves looked upon them. Hours later, even with the predators gone the moose continued their stand in the river.
We saw about fourteen wolves in a three-day period in Jackson Hole. The biggest concentration of wolves was near Kelly and the road to Antelope Flats. Also we saw more near Willow Flats, Moran Junction turn-off and up near Flagg Ranch. The elk were surrounded near Kelly out in the sagebrush/flats.
One morning a car was pulled alongside the road between Kelly and the turn-off to Antelope Flats and a person was there with spotting scope in hand. Come to find out we were told that there was a fresh kill in the field and that a pack of wolves made for a quick feast before departing. After further investigation, the carcass looked very dark, almost black. Couldn't tell if it was an elk or moose. But yes, we definitely saw wolves near Gros Ventre. Heard even more near the elk refuge.
After leaving the Tetons, it was time to view the moose in Grand Lake, Colorado. Arriving in Grand Lake was as though we arrived in the middle of winter. It was snowing and in some areas we were told that road crews worked hard to move over ten feet of snow off certain roads.
The good news though was that the moose seemed much healthier and relaxed in comparison to Wyoming. After talking to a park ranger, we were told that the first wolf in the not so far off area was sighted this past March. Two bulls laid close to the road near the entrance of the park. In another month or two these bulls will begin to show their awesome display of dominance.____________
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