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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

10 - 11 August 2007 Trip Report

Bear and Wolf Sightings ~ Trip Report ~ by Bill Hamblin

Friday - August 10th

I left work about 2:00 p.m. and had a windy ride all the way to Yellowstone. I found Ralph N. tucked under Chittenden Road keeping out of the wind. I only found one grizzly, and it was way across on the backside of Specimen Ridge near roof top. Nice evening with a few early clouds and clearing later.

Saturday - August 11th

The temperature was 43 degrees at Tower campground in the a.m. but 31 when we arrived at Trout Creek in Hayden just before day light. My plan was to watch some grizzlies in Hayden since Antelope Creek and Lamar (except for carcasses) has been really slow. I found the first two lone grizzlies quite a ways back near the tree lines, separate bears. Ralph then found a sow with two yearlings and a really large dark grizzly also quite a ways back near the tree line. I located two wolves back across the road (we hiked west), and across the river near the tree line. I assume they are from the Mollie’s Pack. They were around for over 45 minutes, just looking to the north. Later, I picked up the four adults including the white alpha female, (which I saw for the first time) just to the north of where the Mollie’s were out before. Later, we spotted the five pups playing across the grizzly overlook (still viewed from above Trout Creek) so we were quite a ways away. They soon ran off in a hurry to the tree line. We assumed that the adults had come back and they were running to greet them. But no, soon two tourists showed up in the area. That was it for grizzlies for the weekend. The last one was spotted around 9:00 a.m. After gassing up I headed back up Dunraven to find a spot for a nap. Ralph pulled me over to tell me some tourist reported a grizzly with two coy's right on top of Dunraven Pass. Sure, we headed for naps. The old bathroom pullout and the new bathroom pullout near the exit to Chittenden Road are half full of light/small gravel. I assume they are working on the shoulders to the roads, but they might be thinking of sealing the roads up Dunraven too. There was a bison carcass in the river corridor near the old Lamar Picnic area, with a grizzly on it. Darn thing was there Friday night and most of Saturday until about 4:00p.m. When I arrived at 4:10 p.m. the grizzly moved into the brushes just off the road, and so I never saw that one. Alvin from Pocatello showed me video of a sow grizzly with four coy's on Dunraven. I missed her again. I headed for Dunraven and spent Saturday night and Sunday morning there, hoping to get a look at her. No luck. Earlier in the week a bison died or was killed south and west of the Grizzly Overlook in Hayden and had 12 grizzlies at one time on the carcass, mostly sows with cubs (one with two yearlings, one with one yearling, and two with one coy each, plus a couple of sub- adults). A couple of Utah bear watchers had staked out the site and figured 20 grizzlies had been there at one time or the other. Most of the larger grizzlies earlier and the sows and smaller grizzlies came later. Saturday night we noticed a new fire over near Gardiner and another one near the south end of the Yellowstone Lake that moved the smoke into the area. Antelope Creek was particularity smoky this morning.

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