First, they can travel to the elk. That's why they return to the Lamar Valley each December. During some years they stay longer than during others. In 2012, for example, when they began the year as the largest pack in Yellowstone, they remained for much of winter and spring.
The Mollie's second option is to switch to bison. Bringing down a bison-an animal ten times heavier and armed with sharp horns and deadly hooves-is dangerous and may take days. To improve their odds of success, the pack sorts and sifts, seeking a vulnerable animal. Bison are most vulnerable during winter, and from January through April at least 80% of the Mollie's diet is bison.
We hope that you enjoy this short video that Mary produced of the Mollie's demonstrating a skill the pack developed out of necessity. And a skill that no other pack in Yellowstone uses regularly on bison.
Rick Lamplugh lives near Yellowstone's north gate and is the author of the Amazon Bestseller In the Temple of Wolves: A Winter's Immersion in Wild Yellowstone. Available as eBook or paperback. Or as a signed copy from the author.