Trip Report ~ Bear and Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
20 - 23 October 2011
~ October 2011 ~
Thursday - 20 October
Two corrections from my last report. (1) Swan Lake is not frozen over yet. And (2) the Canyon Wolf Pack pups may have been traveling with the pack, but now are back in Hayden Valley near their old rendezvous area.
I left late morning and found the grizzly sow with two yearlings in Trout Creek. I watched them from 11:00 a.m. to about 1:30 p.m. The weather was good for this time of year, lows in the 40's in Mammoth, colder out in the valleys, and highs in the mid 50's. I finally arrived in Lamar Valley to see cars at the old picnic area with 754M and a gray yearling bedded across the river. 754M still has a major limp, not putting much weight on one of his legs. Lauri was out and towards evening called from above the confluence with sightings of the rest of the pack. I climbed the hill and had the five pups playing and all the other adults missing one of the yearlings. They had an elk trapped in the Lamar River and were attempting to complete the hunt. Note: Friday and Saturday the elk held her ground and Saturday afternoon a group of tourists ventured off the Cache Creek trail to get close to the wolves and succeeded in pushing them off the area. The elk soon escaped. I have never seen one elk hold off 11 wolves for so long. There has been a lot of bear activity in Cooke City and Silver Gate. Two different grizzlies have been seen in Cooke City, sometimes in the daylight. Silver Gate has had black bears including one small one that has been breaking door handles off the cars; and one larger one that has been passing by Anne's cabin often. They captured the black bear late in the weekend and the breaking into cars stopped.
Friday - October 21st
The wolf action was still going on at the confluence. I spotted several wolves several times during the day. At 9:30 a.m. I found a black bear in Slough Creek grazing across from the campground.
Saturday - October 22nd
I found two separate grizzlies south of the Institute. The first was high out behind bear meadow about 2 plus miles away. The second, a smaller colorful grizzly, was in the bowl and moved down later coming into the valley and moving east towards the Lamar River. I only saw two of the eleven wolves still staking out the elk in the Lamar River.
Sunday - October 23rd
I slept in and did Swan Lake Flats and then Hayden with no bears. I missed two wolves at Canyon Junction and one on the Chittenden Bridge.
I missed four moose in Round Prairie on Saturday. A nice bull and three cows together. I missed the grizzly with one coy east of Fishing Bridge. Apparently when they closed Fishing Bridge they left out a container of lard which the grizzly with coy found. Still lots of open water and with it ducks and geese a plenty. The colors are at their peak and starting to drop leaves now.
Wolf watchers: Rick, Laurie, Calvin and Lynette, Marlene, Becky and Chloe, Anne, Jim and Jolene (from Iowa left Friday a.m.), and Doug from Silver Gate. Bear watcher: Doug from Gardiner was out.
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