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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

17 - 19 July 2009 Trip Report

Trip Report ~ by Bill Hamblin

Wolves near Canyon by John William Uhler © Copyright All Rights Reserved

~ July 2009 ~

Mount Haynes by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Friday - 17 July 2009

I left work at noon, tried Hayden Valley with no luck, then went over Dunraven Pass. The little blond grizzly was now just north of the pass, above the road, rolling rocks down towards the road. At 5:10 p.m. the larger blond grizzly was back between Mae West and trash can #58 (apparently the hazing last weekend didn't take). At 6:00 p.m. I found a grizzly with one cub of the year (coy), on the backside of Specimen Ridge (just below gun sight). I finally spotted a black wolf (not a Druid) on the west end of Jasper Bench about 8:00 p.m. At 9:05 p.m. a sub adult grizzly crossed the road just east of Coyote Overlook. I didn't get a campsite in the park, so spent both nights outside the park near Silver Gate (cooler and quieter anyway). The weekend was quite warm, lows in the 40's and 83 on Saturday.

Saturday - 18 July 2009

At 5:30 a.m. I found two sub adult grizzlies near the old bison carcass below Dorothy's Knoll. They were just eating grass, and crossed the road for a good show. The larger one crossed first, the second smaller one ran to the road, then spent 3-4 minutes on the road giving everyone a nice show before it went up and over the hill. Cliff was above the road about 50 feet and the bears crossed pretty close to him. At 6:00 p.m. there was a grizzly high in Salad Bowl. At 7:45 a.m. the small grizzly on Dunraven had moved about 3/4 mile down from the pass, but still just above the road. At 6:30 p.m. the same black wolf (not a Druid) on the west end of Jasper Bench. At 8:15 p.m. a grizzly crossed A-Z meadow. At 9:15 p.m. I spotted a black wolf NE of Footbridge (looked young, like a pup, but in the no stopping area and couldn't get a good look). At 9:20 p.m. there was a small black bear in Round Prairie (it's been there for a couple of weeks now).

Sunday - 19 July 2009

Old Faithful Eruption and Buffalo by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

I messed up and drove by the old bison carcass area, only later to be told a larger grizzly was on it chewing bones. At 7:30 a.m. Dan L. found a collared gray wolf from Agate Pack south of Long Pullout. At 8:30 a.m. I located the alpha female of Canyon Pack from the Grizzly Overlook in Hayden Valley. Buffalo Bob told me about a grizzly in Elk Antler, he was right and I got about 5 minutes viewing (small grizzly maybe that 2 1/2 year that we had been seeing in June with it's mother).

Other News

Other news. Wolf watching still is slow, in fact Rick went all the way to Hayden Sunday morning. The Canyon Pack is the most visible from Grizzly Overlook. Four adults (one black and 3 grays, the alpha female almost white) and one black pup-- in their rendezvous area). Mystery about the Druids. There has been a couple around, and 11 adults seen from the plane, but no sightings of the 9 pups in almost two weeks (but the wolf plane has not flown lately, will fly on Tuesday -- I expect they are way up Cache Creek). With the warm weather we are getting a lot of tourists. This weekend was the second of three scheduled free admission weekends to the park. And bear watching is getting really slow. The eagle chick near 7 mile bridge is still on the nest (but I expect it can leave if it chooses too). The bald eagle chick in Lamar across from Coyote Overlook has left the nest.

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