A Walk on Yellowstone's Wild Side

A Walk on Yellowstone's Wild Side

Wolves battle for territory. Coyotes endure love triangles. Wolverine fathers show their kits the ropes. Few places offer more intimate wildlife viewing than Yellowstone in winter.

By Jeff Hull
Published: January-February 2013

But on this night the silence is different, loaded and expectant. And then I hear it: The howl of a wolf floating from across the valley, piercing the great darkness. The lone, dolorous notes seemed not lonely, but insistent with hope. It seemed a song of knowing--knowing that if it kept being sung, it would be answered. And then it was--another howl drifted beneath the stars.

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Jeff Hull

Jeff Hull, a freelance writer in Huson, Montana, is the author of Streams of Consciousness, a collection of outdoor essays.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine


Bullets or wloves

We, humans, do not totally understand the reasons other species do what they do. Instant painless death from a bullet, says you but not always happens. Humans also set traps for animals and they suffer greatly in these.

the Wolves of Yellowstone

I was in Yellowstone two weeks ago, staying at Mammoth Springs. We met a woman from England, who had a house in the area, who purchased this just to be near the wolves as she loves them, and works hard at conservation efforts. She was passionate about tourism bringing in more dollars than hunting, and felt this a viable way to promote not killing wolves. It was surely, a beautiful time to visit, without crowds, and with all this beauty of snow, and ice and steam. We watched the bison up close, the elk, and other wildlife. Even caught a woodpecker on film, in action. A fox we had spotted while skiing actually later came walking down a path in the woods, directly toward me. I would have veered off, because I wasn't sure about such a close encounter, but just as I contemplated this, he scampered into the woods. But I felt a connection. A deep connection, and under my breath the whisper, from me, and from him, about LOVE. So I am not sure the wolves do not care about us. They seem to "know" something deep about who cares and who doesn't. And there is a connection, a bond, that can be forged, even, for the very first time, as in the crows who did, clearly follow me, and talk to me.

My son and I were on that

My son and I were on that field seminar with Jeff. Just amazing seeing these animals in the wild. While in popular myth and lore they regularly stalk people, we had a hard time getting closer to them than a mile and did most of our observing through scopes. If you haven't seen Yellowstone in winter, it's dramatically different than from the summer.

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