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24 - 26 October 2008 Trip Report

Bear and Wolf Sightings ~ Trip Report ~ by Bill Hamblin

Friday - October 24th

I left work around noon and made good time as all the roads were good. I decided to do Hayden Valley and found a black wolf on the old bison carcass at Otter Creek. I did Hayden, couldn't find a bear, but had a collared gray and un-collared gray on the way out of the valley. I heard that a bear was still on the bull elk carcass at North Twin Lake, north of Norris Junction. They were right. A large grizzly had the carcass that was pretty much gone, the Canyon Group (4 grays and 1 black) had killed a large bull elk last Sunday and the grizzly took it away from them (note: the wolves at Otter Creek were the Canyon Group, so they had left it sometime before). Once the grizzly even walked down to the lake for a drink before returning to chase the ravens off the carcass. I spend both nights outside Gardiner and temps were in the low forties Friday night and mid thirties Saturday night.

Saturday - October 25th

Saw a few wolves in the rendezvous area from Coyote Overlook so went down to check it out. 13 Druids near the rendezvous area. Then spotted a colorful grizzly in the tree line, it came out and prompted laid down for about 20 minutes before getting up and moving west. At around 11:00 a.m. found a grizzly walking the ridge high and south east from Slough Creek bathroom. At 4:30 a.m. a grizzly across the river from the Institute.

Sunday - October 26th

I started the morning at Coyote Overlook before daylight. I heard something hit the car and looked up to see a Blue Grouse on the hood. I turned on the wipers, and hollering, but it didn't move. I got up to chase it off, and it didn't leave. I proceeded to glass around and it finally left, but then flew up on the top of the car. After about 10 minutes it got off and then flew to the east. Meanwhile Alan and Sue called and had one of my favorite animals south of the institute, but closer to Dorothy's knoll. A nice grizzly about 2/3 the way to the river. Moving west, Rick had the Slough wolves on a kill at Boulder. I parked in the pullout just west of Boulder, and couldn't see them. Jack G. arrived and parked in the west end of the parking lot I was in and could see them. Had about 10 wolves apparently on a fresh carcass. Heading back to Mammoth I ran into Rick again, who was looking for a carcass reported by Alan and Sue over near Frog Rock. I soon found the wolves leaving a carcass, and got a nice look at 6 blacks and 1 gray of the Everts Group, a new pack, kind of an off shoot from the Leopold pack. Bear watchers seen this weekend: Doug M from Gardiner, and Jack G from Bozeman. Wolf watchers: Laurie from Silver Gate, Rick M, Alan and Sue, Anne and Mike (Emily's friend).

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