Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Gang of Five

Off-season Jackson Hole is a pleasure for those of us who like to have short visits. Roads are undergoing reconstruction before the major traffic hits, and many businesses are closed for renovations or revamping before the summer season. With few people, the businesses that cater to high-end travelers offer great deals during this quiet time, and Jim and I took advantage of that last weekend. Beautiful lodging, on a rainy and snowy April weekend. We drank excellent draft beers and feasted on German food at a local hangout (The Bird), and spent sunrise out on the National Elk Refuge. We saw dozens of bighorn sheep, at least 1,000 elk, numerous mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and moose - and that was just on the drive up through the Hoback from Pinedale!

While we were watching a herd of elk cross the road in front of us, we noticed a pack of five coyotes making its way across the meadow. We stayed around and watched as the pack hunted for rodents, and running together, actually managed to part the herd of elk so they could travel through. The coyotes showed no aggression toward the elk, but the elk kept tabs the movements of the coyote.

This pack of five coyotes is fairly famous as they treed two juvenile mountain lions on a buck-rail fence a few weeks ago. A NER employee happened by and got some great photos of the incident.

Here's a few images of some of the pack we encountered on Sunday. Click on the images for a larger view.

P.S. This eagle was hanging out behind the visitor center in Jackson. I love the green coloration on the fence post.

1 comment:

Steve Bodio said...

And lots of Rungius at the museum-- my all time favorite pronghorn painting! Looks like it was painted on your ranch...