How I Captured a Once in a Lifetime Photo

It started with a viral video of grizzly 719 (a large male) taking down a large 6 x 6 Bull elk in Yellowstone National Park and buried it on the river bank. It was now 5 days later and I heard a rumor that a wolf pack was now in the area. A grizzly is always an exciting sight, and when the odds are this high of seeing one feasting on a carcass, and a wolf pack potentially in the area as well, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. With an alarm set for 2am I was on the road by 2:30 arriving across the river from the sleeping giant by 6am.

The grey wolf appeared on scene 20 minutes before official sunrise so it was still a little dark and I had to cut through the low-lying river fog to see him. The wolf made its entrance, causing the bear to stand upon his kill and establish himself as the alpha. After a brief introduction the bear, satisfied with his display of dominance, laid back down. That is until the wolf decided to get a little too close.

The wolf made several attempts to reach the elk, all but one to his disappointment. On one daring approach, the wolf came face to face with the massive grizzly, their noses merely inches from each other. The persistence proved worthwhile as the bear gracefully allowed the wolf to reach the deceased animal for a small nibble of food. After a moment the grizzly rose again, resulting in the wolf quickly cowering back to a safe distance.

By the 4th or 5th attempt over the course of a few hours the wolf gave up, and retreated back into the forest from which it first appeared.