On June 8, 2003, I had finally found the Fishtrap pack's den site after several years of looking. I had been howling with the wolves for several weeks during my nighttime surveys and documented the presence of pups and the general location of the den. After the wolves moved on to their first rendezvous site for the summer, I plotted onto a topography map where all my compass bearings had intersected, and within a half hour of entering the area I found the large opening and entrance to the den itself.
The wolves had picked a very secluded spot in a thickly forested area where grassy knolls were interspersed among the trees. Near the top of one of them I found the entrance dug deep into the side of the knoll and angled downward. It was an exciting discovery which no one had yet found. It allowed me to predict more accurately where I could find the pack during certain times of the year, because the den site was an excellent reference point to gage the wolves' travel behavior. I also told the U. S. Fish and Wildlife biologist at the time, Tom Meier, the location of the den, and then he and his assistants came out for a look. He and I got along well and exchanged information all the time, and eventually he allowed me to use the radio telemetry equipment to monitor the collared wolves on my own. So finding the den without the use of radio telemetry seemed all the more satisfying.
To watch the video of the den site click here.
Entrance to the den site
Entrance and the knoll