Wolf tracking in Yellowstone
Yellowstone USA, world renowned as the oldest national park in the USA. What a great opportunity and privilege this was for me to visit this beautiful place in Wyoming USA. The absolute beauty of this unspoiled and undisturbed piece of nature was breathtaking and probably the highlight of my tour to the USA. Working with predators for a immense part of my life, this opportunity to visit Yellowstone National Park and to come face to face with the top predator, the wolves was a lifelong dream and a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I signed up for a course called “Three days in the lives of wolves” and was part of a group that was tracking down wolves every day under the supervision of wildlife biologist Brad Bulin.
What an interesting person he was, whenever he opens his mouth this guy was talking sense and so much so that you wish he will never stop talking. When you watch him operate the way he described and the passionate way he tracks the wolves down, you totally understand his passion for these predators and his devotion to Mother Nature. The pure joy of watching him actually living his passion was contagious and overwhelming. Knowing that part of Yellowstone off hand and working there with wolves for years he kept us on the tracks of these majestic predators for days.
My first encounter coming face to face with the wolves was an unforgettable experience, a moment in time, a picture set in my mind which will never be forgotten nor destroyed.
What a privilege to see these animals, walk on their tracks and listening to that beautiful unforgettable sound, the howl of the “top dog”. A truly unique sound giving you goose bumps and sending shivers down your spine every time this howl echo out and faded into the snow covered mountains of Yellowstone.
Tracking down the biggest pack of wolves in Yellowstone was not easy, but with the guidance of Brad we were with them every day. Watching, learning and experiencing, sometimes up close and other times trough the spotting scopes, but always with a visual of them. And off course, my camera was working totally and utterly overtime. The way the pack operates is unique with the hierarchy within the pack definitely visible, with the alphas controlling and ruling, the rest obey and follow. The youngsters, well they like all youngsters always playful and sometimes out of place, but with the strict rules within the pack they were always reminded of their rightful place within the pack.
One of the highlights was to see how the pack operates in tracking down and killing their prey, the strategic and organized way these predators instinctively operate to secure food was astonishing. From the moment they were closing in on the herd of elk, the way they identify the sick, injured or young elk up to the time when they are feasting on their prey – everything happens in a quiet, organized, strategic well planned way with every predator in the pack knowing exactly what his responsibility is in securing a successful hunt.
Seeing and living with these predators up close in the wild was without doubt an extraordinary experience and as the course was named “Three days in the lives of wolves” this was truly a window looking inside the daily livelihood of these magnificent predators still roaming free in Yellowstone.