Federal game officials say they may have identified a wolf pack in the Whitefish Lake drainage.
Area residents report seeing many wolf signs in the area, and last week a biologist captured a 90-pound male in a leghold trap between Olney and Werner Peak. He released it after attaching a radio collar.
“We are still trying to find out if it’s a single or a breeding pair,” said Joe Fontaine of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
If there is a pack, it would be the ninth in Montana and it will be dubbed the Whitefish pack,
“It’s a good place for them,” Fontaine said of the drainage. “There are a lot of whitetail deer. I’m sure they will do fine.”
With hunting season starting soon, Fontaine urged hunters to report any signs of wolves to state or federal wildlife authorities.
Bob Sandman of the Stillwater State Forest said he does not expect any change in forest policy if the presence of a pack is confirmed. The goal of the wolf recovery program is to establish 10 packs in Montana.