Researchers from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have investigated recent sightings of wolves harassing elk on Mount Jumbo in Missoula and say that the pursuers appear to be a different type of canine.

Montana FWP Missoula-area wildlife biologist Liz Bradley says that a wolf sighting on Mount Jumbo would be "completely believable," but that does appear to be what multiple people saw last Thursday.

While photos (shown above) taken last week show a canine that could easily be a wolf chasing elk, Bradley says others who watched the same scene saw that same canine disappear into some trees and then reappear.

FWP photo
dog track 1

"Eventually, that animal came through the timber and then bee-lined to the south where a man at the Hellgate Conoco watched it proceed south to the L-trail and then join up with a hiker and another dog near the bottom of the L- trail," Bradley said.

To double check the reports FWP sent a wolf specialist to check the tracks on Tuesday, February 9.

FWP photo
Dog 2

"Some of the tracks were melted since it occurred last Thursday, but they were able to find the tracks and confirm that there were two sets of tracks up there, but they were both dogs," Bradley said. "They were able to track them out and both sets of tracks led back to the L-trail. We are very confident that they were dogs and not wolves."

Much of Mount Jumbo is closed during the winter to provide habitat for elk, Bradley says people should call 911 if they see unleashed dogs or people off trail atop Mount Jumbo.

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