Trip Report ~ Bear and Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
17 - 21 July 2011
~ July 2011 ~
Sunday - 17 July
I got up early and left Idaho Falls around 3:30 a.m. I found the grizzly sow with two cubs of the year (coy's) just south of grizzly overlook in Hayden Valley. This is the grizzly that mauled the man on Wapiti Trail on the 6th. She's a large sow and really brown with little silver on her back. I found the Dunraven sow on top of Dunraven Pass as well and Carma and Jennings from Rexburg leaving for the weekend. At 2:40 p.m. I spotted a black bear at Rainy Lake. At 7:00 p.m. I found a large grizzly in the rendezvous area, my last sighting for the day. I stayed outside the park for the evening, a little cooler for sleeping for sure.
Monday - 18 July
At 5:30 a.m. I found a small grizzly south east of footbridge pullout. At 5:50 a.m. I spotted a grizzly in the rendezvous area. For the next hour we had wolves in view on and off. Two grays had crossed the road before daylight, but the rest tried after daylight. Two more grays were just north of the road at footbridge howling and wanting to cross. They finally crossed with the two adult males. One gray was still north of the road, reluctant to cross. It howled and then the four south of the road howled back. The four south spent a lot of time in the river and then slowly moved south and over the ridge. Meanwhile, we watched a grizzly in the river corridor near the rendezvous area viewed from footbridge. At 8:30 a.m. I spotted a grizzly on the top of Norris Mountain. At 9:15 a.m. I found a nice sized grizzly south of trashcan, just beyond the river. At 8:00 p.m. we watched a grizzly on the second finger of Norris. At 8:15 p.m. my last spot was a large grizzly in the tree line of the rendezvous area viewed from hitching post. I found a campsite at Pebble for tonight and the next two nights.
Tuesday - 19 July
At 5:50 a.m. 754M was over a mile south of the confluence then moved uphill on Norris. At 6:00 a.m. I spotted a small grizzly on Norris mountain. At 6:20 a.m. we had a grizzly south of the confluence. At 6:30 a.m. I climbed the hill above the confluence and when someone said a bison was crossing the river at 300 yards, we noticed it wasn't a bison but a large grizzly. At 7:00 a.m. and for the rest of the day we had a grizzly 100 - 150 yards off the road just west of the Institute. At 7:25 a.m. I found a dark grizzly west of the rendezvous area. At 3:00 p.m. we had a black bear at upper Barronette.
Lots of mountain goats with kids and two large bighorn rams in view at Barronette. At 4:40 p.m. I found a black and cinnamon bear together on A-Z. At 8:00 p.m. my last sighting for the day was a colorful grizzly south of picnic.
Wednesday - 20 July
At 5:45 a.m. I watched a grizzly south of the institute (still only 100 - 150 yards from the road just west of the Institute). At 6:00 a.m. we had three wolves (754M, 755M, and the dark gray male yearling) on some type of carcass north and east of coyote overlook, viewed from fisherman's. The light was OK until the sun came up, then a blur. A small grizzly moved in to get a bite of the kill, but was chased over the hill. At 6:15 a.m. I found a grizzly on A-Z meadow, out for well over a hour).
Thursday - 21 July
Thursday July 21st. I got up at 3:30 a.m. and headed south for the Hayden. Hayden was still foggy at 7:00 a.m. so I headed home for a few days.
My first snake in the park, a 24 inch garter snake near hitching post. A badger also near hitching post. Beavers several nights in the Soda Butte Creek just south of hitching post. The red-tailed hawk still has two chicks in the nest.
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by John William Uhler
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