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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

14 - 16 September 2007 Trip Report

Bear and Wolf Sightings ~ Trip Report ~ by Bill Hamblin

Friday - September 14th

I actually got on the road a little before 2:00 p.m. I was coming into Canyon when Ralph hit me on the CB. I was thinking of visiting Hayden Valley then go up over the pass to Dunraven a little later in the evening, but he suggested I go straight up to Dunraven. The sow with four cubs had been out earlier in the day, twice, but hadn't been seen since about noon. I arrived and saw a little fox cross the clearing. Nice evening in the high 60's, but no sow with cubs. I headed for Antelope Creek. I almost got to Chittenden Road before the road construction. I finally found out why the new bathroom pullout near Chittenden and the old bathroom pullout before the Gut Road had all that small gravel in them. They were chip/resurfacing the road from Tower Store all the way to the new bathroom near Chittenden. The only place to park was trash can # 57, all the others closed for road construction. Later moving up hill, I found a grizzly grazing high near the skyline in # 1. The plan was to get back to Dunraven by dark to look for the sow with 4. I found nothing until almost dark when I noticed flashes from camera's down the road a little. When I arrived, only the last three cubs were out moving over a hill. I did later see the sow with the other cub briefly going over the hill. Not bad for 3 hours in the park in September and six grizzlies. Ralph had a campsite at Norris and I sub leased a parking spot. Fall has arrived, about 33 degrees in the a.m.

Saturday - September 15th

I started at Dunraven Pass, but no luck. The sow with cubs did not reappear for the rest of the weekend. Mid morning, Carma and Jennings spotted 13 wolves from the Oxbow Pack way to the north from Junction Butte. I thought it might be the Agates, but telemetry proved it to be the Oxbow pack. Just prior to that, I had a grizzly walking way north across the river from Junction Butte. Around 1:00 p.m. I was thinking of eating my $4.95 hot dog at the Tower Store, up at Tower Campground and ran into Rosie/Sarah the red tagged black sow on the way up to the campground. I then had another black bear touching a tent and checking out the fire pit near campsite # 29. Mid afternoon in Lawn Chairs at trash can #57 revealed a small grizzly way across on Roof Top. At 5:15 p.m. I found the grizzly south of the institute (it's been there for three weeks or so now). I also had three wolves across the river in the trees south of the institute. 7:00 p.m. a black bear jam at Calcite.

Sunday - September 16th

Ralph left camp around 5:00 a.m. I assumed it was later and left too. Sitting at Dunraven Pass at 6:30 a.m., I decided to go to Lamar since it doesn't get light until after 7:00 a.m. I spotted three separate grizzlies leaving the small aspen island on trees across from the institute. Ralph spotted a wolf on the bench, the first of 21 that came out and headed for Fisherman's Pullout. 590M from Agate Pack was with them now since the old alpha male was run over last Tuesday. 590M always liked the road too much anyway so they were trying to haze him since he sometimes walked down the middle of the road for quite a ways. I saw nothing on Antelope Creek, but did find three wolves (including the alpha male) of the Hayden pack in the usually place viewed from the Grizzly Overlook. Other news: It was quite crowded in the park with all the campgrounds filled both nights. Not much activity in the white bark pine trees yet, but it's suppose to be a good crop.

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