Striking footage of a wolf pack in the Minnesota fall #Video
Retrieved a camera last week and got confirmation that all the Cranberry Bay Pack pups survived until at least the end of October! We suspected at least 3 had survived but this video clearly shows 4 pups.
The video is pretty cool for several reasons: the first is that it is an excellent comparison of the physical differences between adult wolves (the first 3 wolves) and pups (last 4 wolves) in fall. Often pups still have a juvenile appearance, particularly in their face, in the fall even though they are starting to approach adult body size.
That said, without a good look at the pups it can be really hard to tell them apart from the adults. Similarly, some pups in fall can look more mature than others which can make it much more challenging to distinguish them from adults.
Second reason: we got a great view of Wolves V083 (breeding male; second-tagged wolf in video) and V084 (breeding female; first-tagged wolf in video). Neat to see how V083’s coat is turning white quickly as he ages while V084’s stays pretty much the same…both wolves are similar in age.
The third reason this is cool: this trail camera was put on a “random” game trail in fall in the Cranberry Bay territory, which is in the remote interior of Voyageurs National Park. We had never put a camera here before and had no idea if it would be successful…more times than not “experimental cameras” like this aren’t.
Figuring out where Cranberry Bay wolves routinely travel is tough given the scarcity of human trails (hiking, snowmobiles, etc) in their territory. As such reliably getting footage of the pack can be tough. But, much to our delight the wolves used the trail. Even a single high-quality observation like this makes putting the camera out worthwhile.
And seeing wolves travel through natural settings is just more satisfying than seeing them travel down logging roads or ATV trails or snowmobile trails. Of course, most of our cameras are on logging roads, ATV trails, etc. because wolves like to use them...we just think this kind of footage is more aesthetically pleasing!