Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
20 - 24 June 2012
~ June 2012 ~
Wednesday - 20 June
I left Idaho Falls about 5:00 a.m. and made pretty good time. At 7:35 a.m. I spotted a large cinnamon black bear came out on the road about 1.5 miles west of Canyon. I then spent the next three hours in Hayden Valley at grizzly overlook. No bears or wolves. I headed up and over Dunraven Pass and encountered a bear jam at the exit to Chittenden Road. I found one brown black bear cub sleeping in the top of a dead tree about 80 yards off the road. According to John K. the sow and possibly one other cub were out of sight and the grizzly scarface had just gone thru the area. At 6:15 p.m. I found a grizzly sow with one yearling on the skyline north of coyote overlook. At 6:45 p.m. we had six wolves including 755M, 754M, and the 06 female heading west viewed north of Hubbard Hill. At 7:00 p.m. we watched a courting pair of grizzlies in K meadow. At 7:10 p.m. I spotted a grizzly in the bowl viewed from midpoint pullout. At 8:20 p.m. I found a cinnamon black bear in the tree line in the rendezvous area. At 8:45 p.m. I spotted a black bear sow with two black coy's in the tree line in the rendezvous area (believe the cubs were black, but in the shadows and not sure).
Thursday - 21 June
At 5:30 a.m. I started this morning with a grizzly north of coyote overlook. At 5:40 a.m. I spotted a black wolf in the rendezvous area. At 5:50 a.m. we had a grizzly sow with two coy's in the ridge behind ski slope viewed from coyote overlook. At 6:10 a.m. we watched a grizzly sow with two coys on ski slope. At 6:15 a.m. we had a collared grizzly high on A-Z meadow (perhaps the grizzly that lost the two coys earlier in the year). At 6:30 a.m. I spotted a black bear south of fisherman's pullout. At 6:45 a.m. I found a cinnamon black bear south of fisherman's pullout. At 6:50 a.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with one yearling north of coyote overlook. At 8:50 a.m. we a large black bear under the snow crevice south and west of footbridge pullout. At 9:00 a.m. I spotted a black bear sow with two brown coys across river from the confluence (just across the river, then moved all the way back to the tree line). At 2:00 p.m. we had a black wolf of the Lamar Canyon pack south of picnic. At 2:30 p.m. there was a grizzly in the rendezvous area, chases a bison calf briefly then moved back into the trees.
At 7:00 p.m. we had a grizzly sow with one coy low in no bear meadow. At 7:40 p.m. we watched a grizzly sow with one coy on the skyline high above no bear meadow. At 8:20 p.m. my last sighting was a grizzly north and west of Dorothy's Knoll.
Friday - 22 June
At 5:15 a.m. I found a grizzly sow with two coys on ski slope. At 5:40a.m. I spotted a grizzly north of coyote overlook. At 6:50 a.m. I watched a black bear sow with one coy above the # 1 finger of Norris Mountain. At 8:30 a.m. we watched a black un-collared wolf hunt for ground squirrels between the pullouts of hitching post and footbridge and north of the road. The wolf finally caught one after over an hour of digging. It went back to the den area, then returned for almost another hour at about 100 yards from footbridge. At 3:50 p.m. I watched a cinnamon and a black bear hanging together beyond Jasper Bench and below the A-Z meadow. At 7:00 p.m. we had 755M south of Dorothy's Knoll out for well over an hour hunting squirrels and whatever, at one point found a bison calf afterbirth. At 7:30 p.m. my last sighting for the day was a black bear south of Dorothy's across the river in an island of trees.
Saturday - 23 June
At 5:15 a.m. I started the day off with a grizzly sow with one coy in A-Z meadow. At 5:30 a.m. I found a grizzly sow with two coys on ski slope. At 5:45 a.m. I spotted a black bear west of A-Z meadow. At 6:15 a.m. we had a grizzly sow with one coy below ski slope viewed from trash can (in a small opening, I thought they were black bears until I put a scope on them). At 7:30 a.m. we had a black yearling wolf at footbridge pullout. At 8:00 a.m. we had two gray wolves south and east of picnic area. At 10:00 a.m. we had a black male yearling wolf at Dorothy's Knoll (Lamar Canyon). At 3:45 p.m. we watched a colorful grizzly low in A-Z meadow. At 4:00 p.m. I spotted a grizzly with one coy low on ski slope. At 8:00 p.m. we watched a black bear south and east of footbridge pullout. At 8:50 p.m. we found a black wolf in the rendezvous area.
Sunday - 24 June
At 5:30 a.m. we had a black and a gray Mollie wolves south of the Institute. At 5:50 a.m. the grizzly with two coys was spotted on the second ridge behind ski slope. At 5:55 a.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with one coy on A-Z meadow. At 5:55 a.m. I found a grizzly crosses the road just east of coyote overlook going north. At 6:00 a.m. we had a small grizzly north of coyote overlook. At 6:15 a.m. I saw a black bear south of the Institute in the tree line. At 7:15 a.m. we found a dark grizzly in the rendezvous area. At 8:10 a.m. we had a black wolf near Hubbard Hill crosses the road (was cracker rounded by Brian C. the ranger this a.m.). At 8:50 a.m. a small collared grizzly crosses the road near fishermen's pullout, Dan L. called me on the radio and I finally saw it from coyote overlook when it moved far to the south). At 6:00 p.m. we had a grizzly sow with two coys on ski slope. At 8:00 p.m. I spotted a grizzly (I think, it was moving up hill and over the ridge) high on A-Z meadow. At 8:30 p.m. we had a black bear with one black coy below ski slope. At 9:10 p.m. my last sighting for this trip was a small bear high in A-Z (black bear I think).
They will be working on the Tower Junction to Chittenden Road this year starting in mid-July, with road closure at 11:00 p.m. thru 7:00 a.m. (this includes the Tower Campground, campers will have to wait until 7:00 a.m. to leave the campground). The wolf plane spotted four puppies at the Lamar Canyon den site (two gray and two black). They also saw the two gray pups in Sour Creek of the Canyon wolves which have been also seen from grizzly overlook in Hayden. And they spotted two black pups in Antelope Creek with four adult Mollie's (a surprise, they didn't think any of the Mollie's were pregnant). Carl S. talked to bear management and apparently grizzly boars have killed three collared grizzly sows in Hayden Valley this spring/summer.
Other Animals Seen
The peregrine nest at peregrine pullout near Tower store has three chicks in the nest. It is this side of the river this year with only one good place in the parking lot to view them. A badger den appeared just off the road to the south between the Institute and Dorothy's Knoll. One day one of the young badgers was killed by a coyote who took it past coyote overlook west and back to her den (which we have not spotted yet). The two bald eagle chicks are still on the nest south of coyote overlook, and they are huge. The black bears with their coys are still creating jams near Tower (the one with two black coys near Rainy Lake, the one with one black coy near the Yellowstone River Bridge, and the one with two brown coys near Petrified Tree). Lots of antelope fawns in the valley now. Most of the elk have moved up away from the valley but saw a nursery herd in Hayden Valley and a small one in Lamar Valley north of coyote overlook. The sand hill cranes near Floating Island Pond have two colts (way to go "Rusty", a new male adult this year). The coots have chicks at Floating Island along with at least one mallard duck.
Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park
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by John William Uhler
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