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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal ~ 2008 Trip Report Page

Bear and Wolf Sightings ~ 30 May - 01 June 2008 Trip Report ~ by Bill Hamblin

Friday - May 30th

I got caught up enough at work to leave at noon. At 4:30 p.m. had a black bear at a jam at Calcite (later learned it was Rosie/Sarah the black bear with the cinnamon and black bear cubs of the year). At 6:30 p.m. found a pair of sub adults grizzlies on the second finger of Norris (one really blond). 7:40 p.m. a large black bear high on Salad Bowl. At 8:15 p.m. a little cinnamon bear in Crystal drainage. At 8:20 p.m. a large grizzly walking the skyline high in Crystal. At 8:30 p.m. four wolves (3 black and a gray) at the Slough Creek den. At 8:30 p.m. had a small grizzly near Specimen Trail, then found another small grizzly about 150 yards behind the first--both moved off into the trees to the west. At 9:10 p.m. had two large black bears feeding just off the road (50 yards) at Junction Butte (have no idea of their relationship, but large for black bears). I found a campsite at Tower. #30 was the quietest I have had in a campsite for a long time. It was about 45 degrees at bedtime and around 35 degrees at daylight.

Saturday - May 31th

At 5:10 a.m. had the two large black bears in the same place as last night, right off the road at Junction Butte. At 5:15 a.m. from Boulder Pullout found a nice sized grizzly hunting elk calves right on top of Junction Butte. At 6:15 a.m. had a total of at least 6 wolves near Footbridge. They had made a double kill across the river to the SW. Wolves coming and going across the road and river back and forth to the den areas. At 7:20 a.m. Wayne K. showed me a grizzly on a carcass high NW of Fishermen's (yesterday's wolf kill for the Slough Creek wolves I believe). At 7:30 a.m. found a small grizzly high north of Coyote Overlook. It was lying on the ground, and feeding on something, no sure on what. Passing the Slough Creek area, two wolves were out at the den site. At 8:14 a.m. the scanner announced that both Dunraven Pass and the Beartooth Highway were open. At 11:00 a.m. the wolf biologist found a bedded black wolf in Antelope Creek. Also had signals on 3 others. This is kind of usually as the pack has denned across the river on the backside of Specimen. It's kind of confusing, first they thought Quartz Creek, than Opel and now they think in the middle in Agate Creek; but definitely across the Yellowstone. Heard rumors of a bear jam up Dunraven near the summit. A roadside grizzly with one yearling (I'm afraid it looks like the sow with four coy's from last year-- and only the runt made it. (Bob L and others who filmed/photographed them last year are sure it's the same bear/my thinking is that it was the only roadside grizzly up there last year, so kind of assume 3 of 4 didn't make it). At 12:20 p.m. Doug M from Gardiner had a small grizzly in a clearing above the Tower Store viewed from Antelope Creek. At 5:45 p.m. a large grizzly south of YES Pullout. At 6:15 p.m. Luke and Mayleena had a black wolf south of the Institute viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 6:30 p.m. I found a cinnamon black bear at the low right of A-Z meadow. I spend the last two hours of the evening at Antelope Creek, and Trash Can #57, but could only find a courting pair of grizzlies on the backside of Specimen Ridge.

Sunday - June 1st

At 5:37 a.m. found a large grizzly SW of the confluence working the tree line. At 6:20 a.m. 7 wolves (6 black and 1 gray) north of Coyote Overlook. They went behind the butte just north of Coyote, and came out meeting a nice sized cinnamon black bear in the sagebrush. Those bears can really run with 7 wolves on their tail. I bet it will be weeks before that cinnamon bear strays to far from the trees again. At 6:50 a.m. a large grizzly high north of Coyote Overlook. At 7:30 a.m. a black bear in the Crystal drainage. At 7:45 a.m. three adults and the lone pup at the Slough Creek den site. At 8:00 a.m. a courting pair of grizzlies on the skyline south of the Slough Creek stop sign. At 8:30 a.m. 5 wolves SW of the confluence (Druid wolves). At 9:30 a.m. Calvin showed me a grizzly on the backside of Specimen. At 10:00 a.m. a nice size grizzly in the bottoms of Antelope Creek. At 10:10 a.m. Anne W. from Colorado found a bedded black wolf way back in the bottoms of Antelope Creek. At 10:35 a.m. a nice size grizzly on a carcass 150 yards off the road (Canyon/Norris) about 3/4 mile from Canyon.

Other News: Lots of babies out now; Goat kids being seen at Pebble Creek and Barronette. Two bighorn lambs now at Calcite. Lots of elk calves, many of them NOT in the mouths of bears and wolves. Anne W. showed me a new born pronghorn antelope south of Mid Point

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