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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

25 - 27 July 2008 Trip Report

Bear and Wolf Sightings ~ Trip Report ~ by Bill Hamblin

Friday - July 25th

Well in general the bear watching has really fallen off. I had three grizzly sightings for the weekend. I left work around noon and made great time going up. A few more motor homes and campers to get around, but pretty nice traveling. I found a cinnamon black bear in a jam in the narrows east of Lamar Valley around 6:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. found 6 wolves in Slough Creek. Had three blacks and a gray near the den and two black ones in the bottoms. At 8:15 a.m. a large black bear south of Fisherman's pullout. At 8:30 p.m. a small grizzly back east of A-Z meadow. My plans for camping were (1) trying to find a spot at Tower / Slough / or Pebble - all filled. Then I got an offer to share a campsite in Slough, but around 8:00 p.m. the rangers headed down that way, a grizzly in the campground. I had decided not to camp out at Silver Gate, but I hear that they trapped two grizzlies (1) at the Soda Butte Campground just outside of Cooke City where the tent camper was attacked last weekend (a small female grizzly who had been in trouble in Wyoming with cattle before and a larger grizzly near Silver Gate (but apparently neither was the problem bear). Although there hasn't been any problems in the last week. At 9:30 p.m. I pulled into Warm Springs pullout to rearrange my car for the evening. One big grizzly grazing and digging in the clearing, although near dark, quite a sight at about 100 yards. Thinking they might not have gotten the right bear and seeing this large grizzly about a mile from my night campsite, I didn't sleep well at all that night.

Saturday - July 26th

I started at Slough Creek this morning and found wolves in the bottoms at daylight. 44 degrees this a.m. and the mosquitoes were out already. We ended up with twelve wolves, moving single file to the north and east, they were out for 40 minutes or so. At 8:30 a.m. found my only grizzly sighting of the day the sow with two coy's in a small meadow low but behind Ski Slope. At 9:15 a.m. a large black bear south of Fisherman's. AT 6:30 p.m. a black bear in Elk Creek, quite a jam, two rangers on it. At 8:15 a.m. a black bear south of the Institute, viewed from Dorothy's Knoll. The grizzly sow with two coy's had crossed the creek to the west and was in the clearing behind the Half Aspen Forest.

Sunday - July 27th

Zero all morning. I started at Coyote Overlook, moved to Slough, then followed Dan H and the girls over Antelope Creek and to a spot 1 mile north of Canyon. Dan had two gray wolves on or near the road when he arrived. Out of sight when I got there, but still some faint howling. Moving to Hayden, had some howling but no sightings.

Other news: The Slough Creek pup hasn't been seen in over two weeks now. Reports of the 14 adult Druid's and 18 pups still up Cache Creek, viewed from the plane. Have been seeing Oxbow from Hellroaring overlook once in a while, 16 adults with a bunch of pups I here. Seen otters and beaver in Slough Creek just below the first pullout down the road. The two osprey chicks are getting big. The prairie falcon chicks are still around, saw at least three of them, but with the warm weather, they go out of sight into a shaded area. The eagle chick near Madison / West Yellowstone is off the nest, but must be in the area, as the closure signs are still up. The grass is really high now, viewing even large animals like the grizzlies is difficult, grass is as high as the bears in places. Stayed Saturday night at Pebble, nice to talk to Ray again

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