Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
02 - 04 November 2012
~ November 2012 ~
Friday - 02 November
I left after breakfast with the old work crew. At Last Chance in Island Park had 50 to 60 swans in the Snake River. At the northern end of Island Park I had six antelope grazing in the meadows (note: I did not see any antelope in Yellowstone this trip, as they headed for lower areas already). As I passed Otter Creek on the way to Hayden Valley I noticed Bob L. and Peter M., Bob was filming and Peter was photographing, a mother otter with three very large youngsters across the Yellowstone River. I headed into Hayden where I found Calvin and Lynette. Calvin was staking out a bison carcass across the river near the Mary Mountain trail head. Lynette was watching for wolves at the double pullouts south of Alum Creek. Apparently 712M was sighted earlier near where the otters were. Soon he appeared heading for the rendezvous sight. He bedded for a while, howling several times. He wasn't out for long as he moved into the tree line. There were about 40 swans or so in the Yellowstone River near Alum Creek. I camped at Mammoth Campground for this trip.
Saturday - 03 November
I decided to start at Hellroaring Overlook for the morning. Sian from the UK joined me before daylight listening but not hearing any wolves. Calvin and Lynette stopped by but headed for lower Hellroaring to glass from there. No wolves were visible all the way to the east so the wolf watchers joined Calvin and Lynette at the lower Hellroaring. The new pack called Junction Butte wolves were around Hellroaring for the last two days but not seen. That was the case today. Finally I spotted a black wolf moving west the other side of Hellroaring Creek. Rick soon called saying two other black wolves were also moving west that way (I only saw one of these two). The last wolf appeared to have a large piece of meat in its mouth as it went out of sight. Out of sight for me at Upper Hellroaring, but still in sight at Lower Hellroaring. Sian headed that way.
Soon Sian called saying they had a grizzly visible from lower. I headed there. It was a nice sized grizzly coming down from the north and heading west. It found and then followed or back tracked where the wolves had come from. We soon were looking for and found lots of birds and a carcass site just out of view quite close this side of Hellroaring Creek. The grizzly and soon one black wolf returned to the carcass site. After a while both left and headed back west. We thought the action was over but soon a black and a gray wolf appeared leaving the sight for the west. Later two more gray wolves, the alpha pair, left for the west. In the evening Sian found two grays, one was a pup, at the carcass area. My count was a least eight wolves. Sian, Lynette and Calvin had seen a few more way to the west. This pack size varies daily, sometimes 7 or 8 and up to 11 (6 gray and 5 black).
Sunday - 04 November
All the roads except the Gardiner to Silver Gate towns were to close on Monday at 8:00 a.m. so this was my last short day in the park. I arrived at Hellroaring overlook well before daylight but didn't hear any howling. The wolf people has nothing at all from the east. So I was soon joined by Rick M. from the east and McNeil L. from the west. The wolves were in the area, probably further west they thought. I got lucky and found 5 grays and 3 blacks bedded in the western side of the large clearing. They were the Junction Butte pack again. Soon they moved north and west and out of sight. But we had them for almost 45 minutes and they even chased a few bison around. Remember that most of this new pack Junction Butte is made up of wolves from the Mollie's pack, that do quite often pray on bison.
The park service had completed re-paving all the road from Mammoth to Tower now, it's quite nice. Construction still is going on at the Lamar River Bridge, the road and bridge are done and being used, Still tearing down the old bridge and fixing up the terrain. Construction still going on at Tower up towards Chittenden Road.
Peter M. had a bobcat in the road coming in from Emigrant on Sunday morning. Lots of elk at Hellroaring now - well over 600 hundred I guess.
Wolf watchers; Rick M, Doug M. from Silver Gate, Peter M. from Montana, Calvin and Lynette from Kansas, Sian from the UK, Jeff from Conn., Betzi from Washington, Barbara from Montana, and Joe from California. Others seen: Bob L., George B, McNeil L, Nathan V. and Jeanne from Chicago.
Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park
|I n d e x|
|Adult Programs||Entrances||Old Faithful Live WebCam||Visitor Stats|
|Amphibians||Entrance Fees||Pets||Volcano Observatory|
|Animals||Fall Closure||Phone Numbers||Waterfalls|
|Bear Management||Fishing Fees||Ranger Led Activities||WebCams|
|Bear Sightings||Fishing Regulations||Reptiles||Wildflowers|
|Biking||Getting Here||Reunions||Winter Closing|
|Boating||Hiking||Rivers, Creeks & Streams||Winter Opening|
|Books||History||Roads||Winter Weather Reports|
|Butterflies||Junior Ranger Program||Schedule||Wolf Project|
|Camping||Lakes||Search Page||Wolf Sightings|
|Campground Maps||Location||Spring Opening||Wolverine Help|
|Challenges||Lodging||Star Talks||Yellowstone ~ the Name|
|Chat Page||Lynx Help||Trip Planner pdf||Young Scientist|
|Clinics / Medical||Mammal List||Trip Reports||Youth Conservation Corps|
|Yellowstone National Park WebCams|
|Old Faithful Live||All Old Faithful||Old Faithful Static||Old Faithful VC||North Entrance||Mt Washburn||Mammoth||YVO WebCam|
|Gardiner, Montana||Silver Gate, Montana||West Yellowstone, Montana||Cooke City, Montana|
|Livingston, Montana||Cody, Wyoming||Jackson Hole, Wyoming||Yellowstone National Park|
|Bighorn Rams||Grizzly Bear at Old Faithful|
|Bison / Buffalo at Old Faithful||Grizzly Bear near Roaring Mountain|
|Black Bear||Grizzly Sow Nursing Cubs|
|Black Wolf||Otters at Trout Lake|
|Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel||Otter at Yellowstone Lake|
|Grizzly Bear at Blacktail Ponds|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption||Old Faithful with Bison|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption Two||Pocket Basin|
|Fan and Mortar||Roaring Mountain|
|Grand Geyser||Rocket and Grotto|
|Old Faithful One||West Thumb|
|Cave Falls||Mesa Falls||Undine Falls|
|Gibbon Falls||Rustic Falls||Upper Falls|
|Lower Falls||Tower Fall||Wraith Falls|
|The Great Outdoors Net||Great Outdoor Recreational Places|
|Gardiner, Montana||World Humanity|
by John William Uhler
Back to: Yellowstone Up Close and Personal