Residents near the Blue Mountain Recreation Area spotted a lone white wolf early this week and contacted Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  

Wolf Specialist Liz Bradley said wolf sightings are common at this time of year because much of the game they hunt is still down closer to the valley floors.

"There is still quite a bit of snow in the high country," Bradley said. "That means there's game in the lower elevations, and predators such as wolves will follow the game. As the season progresses, we expect them to move up to higher elevations. We do have two packs in the Blue Mountain area. One pack of about four wolves is in the Lolo Creek drainage just west of Lolo, and there's another pack west of Blue Mountain that consists of about five wolves."

Bradley said wolves are shy around people, but could attack a dog off leash from its owner.

"Most of the time, when wolves see people, they're going to run away," Bradley said. "It's important, though, if you do see a wolf and you have a dog with you, to make sure you get the dog on leash as quickly as possible. That's going to be the main threat for you, is trying to protect your dog. Wolves will be aggressive towards dogs, but very rarely will they be aggressive towards people."

Anyone who spots a wolf or a wolf pack near a residential area is asked to contact Bradley at Montana Fish, Wildlife and parks at 542-5500.

Wolf Specialist Liz Bradley