We all know it happens out there, but we just don’t see it.
To be truthful, I hate seeing a big buck go down like this. They have outsmarted all sorts of predators for many years and grew to be a large member of their population, contributing yearly to the genetic pool.
Really though, it’s just like hunting. It’s best for the deer population for predators to take out old mature bucks that have already had the chance to pass those genetics along.
But, I still just hate to see it. As a hunter, I think it’s the urge to want to be able to harvest the animal myself. Along with the general distaste for predators that chase the same animals we do. And you don’t even have to ask a farmer about wolves… they hate them.
The reality is that predators are good for the environment where they naturally occur though. Just like we have seen with the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone. They just make things complete and work right.
Deer are one of a wolf’s favorite meals, along with just about anything they can get ahold of from moose and elk, to bison, and even smaller mammals. They love all wild meat that is in their respective areas.
A man, an oil field worker, was driving down the road when he came across two wolves having their way with a massive whitetail buck.
The deer, still living, cries out as the dogs happily eat away at its hind quarters. You can see all involved are absolutely exhausted, so you can imagine a long and grueling, chase preceded this footage with the deer unable to continue on. Even the wolves look gassed.
The buck struggles to get up and every time he does, the wolves immediately pull him back down with ease.
The deer fights with all he has but ultimately the wolves win. They happily rest as the deer takes its last breath.
Nature is an unforgiving place.
Yellowstone Grizzly Steals Elk Carcass From Wolves
Work smarter, not harder.
In the wild, it’s first come first serve, survival of the fittest, only the strong survive, and most critters will go to extreme lengths to make sure they get fed.
But… even in the wild, there’s such as thing as freeloaders, and I’m not talking about scavengers.
One particular grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park came up with a genius idea to follow along a wolf pack in search of its prey. And no, the grizzly was not there to make friends.
According to The Hill, this grizzly was following the Junction Butte wolf pack as they were in the midst of an elk hunt back in October of 2021. The wolves tracked down an elk, and when they captured it, the grizzly made sure it wasn’t gonna leave hungry.
It jumped in and stole the carcass, taking home a nice meal.
This “rare phenomenon” is known as kleptoparasitism, which is where one animal steals the resources of another animal/pack of animals.
The National Park Service (NPS) weighed in on the rare occurrence:
“This bear seems to have figured out that following the wolves in the morning will increase its chances of encountering a high-calorie meal.”
The NPS also said that wolves will typically yield for bears, because it puts their own safety at risk, knowing that they don’t stand much of a chance against the much larger creatures, and they simply wait their turn.
Keeping Up With The Wolves
According to the NPS, it’s a rare occurrence because following a wolf pack around takes a lot of energy for the bear, but can be very rewarding, as an elk carcass is high in protein and fat, which is pivotal for hibernation.
“On the morning of October 21, 2021 visitors watching wildlife in Yellowstone’s northern range were amazed when they saw an adult grizzly bear seemingly hunting elk with the Junction Butte wolf pack. Wolves and bears typically compete with one another for prey, so why might this be happening?
Typically, wolves will yield to incoming bears. Since hunting is dangerous and often unsuccessful, it’s better for wolves to wait their turn at a carcass that has been usurped by a bear than it is for them to continue hunting.
From the bear’s perspective, it takes a lot of energy to follow a wolf pack around, but the reward is high if it successfully takes over a carcass. A fresh elk carcass is a wonderful source of fat and protein for a grizzly bear preparing for hibernation.
This bear seems to have figured out that following the wolves in the morning will increase its chances of encountering a high-calorie meal.”
Ever work on a group project where one dumbass doesn’t do any of the work, but still gets a good grade?
This is nature’s version of that…
Minnesota Wolf Pups Are Too Cute
Just when you thought the video of a wild little wolf pup trying to howl was the most adorable thing we’ve ever posted to this website, we’ve got a new contender for that crown.
A trail camera in Voyageurs National Park in Northern Minnesota recently captured not just one little wolf pup, but an entire litter of pups scampering around their den.
“The Half-Moon Pack had the largest litter of any pack this year with 8 pups.
The largest litter we have ever documented was 9 pups so this was pretty close to the record!
A large litter of pups does not necessarily translate into more wolves in that pack come winter. The pups have to run the “summer” gauntlet, so to speak, of surviving low food availability/starvation, avoiding disease, and evading predators.
Case-in-point: the Lightfoot Pack had 7 pups last year but all of the pups died.
We know that a few pups died of starvation and one was killed by the Half-Moon pack. We are not sure what killed the others but suspect starvation.
And so the Lightfoot Pack remained only a breeding pair this winter despite their large litter. We will see whether the Half-Moon litter fares better!”
This isn’t the only litter of wolf pups creating a buzz though.