My wife and I saw wolf prints once when we were backpacking in Voyageurs N.P. in Minnesota. While she wasn't looking, I attached raw strips of meat to her pack, hoping that would lead to some cool pictures, but no luck...
Anyway, I have neither seen nor heard wolves in Greater Yellowstone yet, and it frustrates me; it is that missing piece I need in my experiences there. I actually might have heard one bark, and I might have seen scat, but it was hard to tell for sure from a coyote.
Anyway, I'm seriously weighing a winter trip this year so I can hang out for a bit in the Lamar Valley.
Wow, I'm stunned that, given your experience, you haven't seen any wolves. I'm usually there in June, and it's normal to see at least one a day from the road. Winter should be similar.
This is my only wolf print from YNP, but we've seen them in Isle Royale; I've also seen possible prints in the Porkies (MI) but dogs are allowed there so ID is debatable.
For YNP, I think the best thing is to follow the auto tourists because of all the wolf freaks with radios and walkie-talkies sharing info.
We just got back from a YNP trip as well. Managed to see a black wolf roaming the Lamar Valley at 530am one morning. Also saw a wolf track (4-5 inches from top to bottom) on the Pebble Creek trail. It was on the ridge before the trail drops down to the Warm Creek TH. Saw a ton of coyotes. Funny how many of the road tourists think the coyotes are wolves:)
Glad you saw your wolf!
I'm always cautious to identify trail sign as wolf instead of coyote (scat or track). This one was the size of my 120-pound malamute's prints.
If you look closely you can see that it came from a black wolf.
(We were hiking after a rainstorm and there was a black wolf a quarter mile away.)