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Thread: Any LARGE Wolf packs remaining in Alaska.........?

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    Default Any LARGE Wolf packs remaining in Alaska.........?

    Are there any large wolf packs remaining in Alaska.......?

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    In all seriousness, what size is considered a large wolf pack, as compared to an average wolf pack?

    I always assumed that a pack's home range was large enough to meet their needs. So, in times when prey is plentiful home ranges shrink accomodating the presence of more and larger packs. Then in times when prey is scarce, the reverse is also true.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    In all seriousness, what size is considered a large wolf pack, as compared to an average wolf pack?

    I always assumed that a pack's home range was large enough to meet their needs. So, in times when prey is plentiful home ranges shrink accomodating the presence of more and larger packs. Then in times when prey is scarce, the reverse is also true.
    The largest I ever seen was 125/129 wolves. I have seen photos taken from aircraft of packs up to 200 wolves.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    The largest I ever seen was 125/129 wolves. I have seen photos taken from aircraft of packs up to 200 wolves.
    Are those sustained numbers? Seems like an awful lot of animals to be together for long durations...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Are those sustained numbers? Seems like an awful lot of animals to be together for long durations...
    I would say yes, as long as the prey species was abundant. I ask the Original Question, because I never hear of large packs any more. My sightings were on the headwater of the Noatak River near the Ambler River 41 years ago.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Hmm...

    I would say the prey species around the pack of 125 that you saw would've been decimated rather quickly. What do you think was feeding such numbers? Caribou?

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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    The largest pack I've seen was 19 in 2003 in the Chugach and 11 of them were pups. 125 animals together would definately be an amazing sight though.

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    The social structure would be very interesting to watch in a pack of that size. You would have at least 30 males all wanting to be an alpha. There is no way one male could keep 30 in check so I wonder how it would work.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Hmm...

    I would say the prey species around the pack of 125 that you saw would've been decimated rather quickly. What do you think was feeding such numbers? Caribou?
    Yes, Caribou.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I would suspect that it was multiple packs all in the same area due to a concentrated abundance of prey. I have heard of packs in the 30-40 animal range. That would be incredible to see for sure.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Dang! 125 wolves in one pack? That would be quite an Army of killers. With that info everyone will have to rethink why the Mulchatna caribou herd imploded.

    While I have only guided 14 years in Alaska, the most spotted (by a co-worker-guide) from any camp was 26. We had called that area Paradise Valley for years. The area changed, but I'm not certain it changed only because of the wolf population that had set up house in the valley. The area changed as the Mulchatna herd was in a population free-fall, while the moose population was also decreasing. The caribou are now 99% gone and the moose are doing poor throughout that western Alaska area. But the brown bears are still thriving. With the decreased number of large food/prey species, the wolf population seems to have also decreased in the last six years.

    The most wolves I have ever saw at one time has been six....have been in on three kills, and watched six other missed opportunities at various (long) ranges...

    dennis

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    41 years ago , there was a large decline in Caribou number in the Westen Arctic Caribou Herd with Brucilloucious being consitter'd the Killer.

    Caribou with this affliction, and Ive caught a couple with such, have ***** bloated knees thatseem to be dissolving the cartilage..... Nasty.....cant run fur sure...

    I bet Wove #s sky rocketed with the abundance of food, and declined as well the following years when the herd hit a low of 69,000 animals in 72. Woulda been a blast with short 12 gauge and a snowgo
    The wife grew up on some Caribou to eat, but mostly Fish, Muskrats, Beaver, Lynx, Ptarmigan, Rabbits till the 80's when Caribou came back in good health, and since the late 80's have been 350,000+ to todays 401,000 Caribou they say are around, round yonder.

    The largest Wolf pack Ive seen was 13.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now
    The largest [wolf pack] I ever seen was 125/129 wolves. I have seen photos taken from aircraft of packs up to 200 wolves.
    Oh AGL, "the stories" you could tell, eh"?

    I gather some of your posts here are meant to be so over the top that they are thus beyond belief, but the problem is that sometimes the written word here and sarcasm are not defined or folks can't tell what is sarcasm and what is not.

    So you end up with folks actually believing this line of absolute bs, and trying to explain it away (like "multiple packs").

    I try to sometimes count ducks in flocks. Pretty hard. If there were, say 130 ducks in one flock, I can say that I'd never be able to say that there were "125/129" ducks. Awfully good counting there as they go by!

    As far as reality for me, the largest pack of wolves I've ever seen from the ground had to be counted by the tracks they left (assumed). Friend and I figured a dozen. Not big caribou country here. Largest I've seen from the air was ten. Eastern interior. Understand they can get bigger when the biomass is out there, good productive year putting out pups...but seriously if anyone here believes that a wolf pack could be in the hundreds then they just don't understand the reality of how things work.



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    Member mit's Avatar
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    Nope, all large packs where transfered to Central Park NY,NY!
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Oh AGL, "the stories" you could tell, eh"?

    I gather some of your posts here are meant to be so over the top that they are thus beyond belief, but the problem is that sometimes the written word here and sarcasm are not defined or folks can't tell what is sarcasm and what is not.

    So you end up with folks actually believing this line of absolute bs, and trying to explain it away (like "multiple packs").

    I try to sometimes count ducks in flocks. Pretty hard. If there were, say 130 ducks in one flock, I can say that I'd never be able to say that there were "125/129" ducks. Awfully good counting there as they go by!

    As far as reality for me, the largest pack of wolves I've ever seen from the ground had to be counted by the tracks they left (assumed). Friend and I figured a dozen. Not big caribou country here. Largest I've seen from the air was ten. Eastern interior. Understand they can get bigger when the biomass is out there, good productive year putting out pups...but seriously if anyone here believes that a wolf pack could be in the hundreds then they just don't understand the reality of how things work.


    Could you count 125/129 DUCKS if they were sleeping.......? The 125 wolves is the number I counted. My hunting partner counted 129. The wolves were mostly sleeping in the hot sun. Some of the wolves were with-in 50 yards sleeping, my rough guess is that the number sleeping or resting/laying down with-in 50 yards was about 20 or 25. They were not in the least alarmed. I will grant you that it may have been two different packs but I doubt it. I would also point out that the day before this I had shot a grizzly bear that was eating a fresh killed caribou. There was also another half eaten caribou near by.

    I left the bear skin to be fleshed the next morning, at first light the next day when I returned to flesh the bear, all that was left of both caribou was a few bones the antlers, and some small pieces of hide. The Grizzly large for the area had been completely consumed, the hide was shredded to the point that all that was salvageable was a short necked head mount. I sat there for hours removing the skull and fleshing it, this is when the wolves started returning to the site. They never came closer that about 50 yards, and as I said they (Some) lay there and watched me for more then two hours before moving off.
    Also they never acted aggressively toward me, never growled, they seemed to be as interested in me as I was of them. I will admit that I was a bit fearful, they would get up and move but never closer, they remained a set distance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Could you count 125/129 DUCKS if they were sleeping.......? The 125 wolves is the number I counted. My hunting partner counted 129. The wolves were mostly sleeping in the hot sun. Some of the wolves were with-in 50 yards sleeping, my rough guess is that the number sleeping or resting/laying down with-in 50 yards was about 20 or 25. They were not in the least alarmed. I will grant you that it may have been two different packs but I doubt it. I would also point out that the day before this I had shot a grizzly bear that was eating a fresh killed caribou. There was also another half eaten caribou near by.

    I left the bear skin to be fleshed the next morning, at first light the next day when I returned to flesh the bear, all that was left of both caribou was a few bones the antlers, and some small pieces of hide. The Grizzly large for the area had been completely consumed, the hide was shredded to the point that all that was salvageable was a short necked head mount. I sat there for hours removing the skull and fleshing it, this is when the wolves started returning to the site. They never came closer that about 50 yards, and as I said they (Some) lay there and watched me for more then two hours before moving off.
    Also they never acted aggressively toward me, never growled, they seemed to be as interested in me as I was of them. I will admit that I was a bit fearful, they would get up and move but never closer, they remained a set distance.
    I have seen packs of six or seven on a number of occasions out in the Western Alaska Range. Never anything remotely close to what you are talking about. But, I will say, that I have talked to guys that I consider good sources apparently seeing a large pack in the Rainy Pass area that was close to 30-40 animals. Like I said, I never personally saw that many, but I believe it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I have seen packs of six or seven on a number of occasions out in the Western Alaska Range. Never anything remotely close to what you are talking about. But, I will say, that I have talked to guys that I consider good sources apparently seeing a large pack in the Rainy Pass area that was close to 30-40 animals. Like I said, I never personally saw that many, but I believe it.
    I know pilots who used to shoot them from the air that have seen up to 200 in one pack on the Brooks Range. Frank Graser "Alaskas Wolf Man" talks of packs with 135 wolves in the Savage River country. Mostly what I have seen is two wolves together, twice I have had wolves walk right into camp. They tend to keep there nose down and not look up or around.

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    Kind of a little off the subject, but it reminds me of a cool story. I can remember one time I was guiding a spring bear hunter in the AK range, on the Post river. Anyways, we were both sitting on the side of the river, glassing up on the side of a mountain, when suddenly, my client says to me, "Look, there is a caribou!". So, I glanced up river, just in time to see a lone cow caribou that was running down the river about 100 yds upriver from us. Not more than 2 seconds later, a lone wolf jumped out of the willows to pummel this cow caribou. We watched it tear that thing to shreds, for about a half hour or so from what I remember.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Wolf packs of 125-200 wolves - doesn't happen

    Sorry AGL4now, but it doesn't pass the smell test, not even close.

    Wolf packs don't get that large. Not even two or three packs together. Yes, exceptional wolf packs of 20-30 wolves have been recorded, but nothing close to what you are saying.

    Makes for a great tall tale though for sure <grin>.



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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Counted a dozen (give or take 113) on Togiak Lake this past Summer....Half of 'em being pups....



    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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