While waiting last night at our observation point for a wolf to come by so we could place our second tracking collar, we continued to scan across the fjord for wolves visiting the remains of the muskox kill from 3 days ago. After several hours, we finally spotted first one wolf and then a second heading away from the remains. They approached what, through the spotting scope (from a distance of 4 miles), appeared to be a large, dark rock with several white rocks lined up on either side. There were two wolves that kept hanging around the rock and moving back and forth behind it. We couldn't recall seeing a group of white rocks lined up along the shore quite like this, and we began wondering if they might also be wolves, although for quite some time none moved except the 2 behind the rock. Then suddenly when we took another look, one of the white rocks was gone!
That's when we began to see that the arrangement of the whole group of rocks was odd, unless the dark rock was a fresh muskox kill, and the cluster of white rocks was our wolf pack! That turned out to be the case, so we spent the rest of the evening watching at least 8 wolves, including the collared wolf, according to the signal. Unfortunately, a candidate wolf for our second collar never appeared near us, and we resigned ourselves to just having one collar out to follow for the next 2 years.
However, we took great satisfaction that we were getting excellent location data from our collared wolf and that the animal is the breeding male of this pack.These facts and what we will learn from them will warm us for the next 2 years as we check and plot the locations e-mailed to us, thus bringing us back to this remote study area and the great time we had.