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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

20 - 23 August 2009 Trip Report

by Bill Hamblin

Black bear cubs by John William Uhler © Copyright All Rights Reserved

~ August 2009 ~

Black bear cubs by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved


Thursday - 20 August 2009

I left work just after 5:00 p.m. and now have to go down thru Old Faithful, West Thumb, and Lake to get the Hayden Valley. At 8:45 p.m. at almost dark, found a lot of cars at the Wildlife Overlook on the south end of Hayden Valley, and saw a nice size grizzly walking down the river corridor. Apparently there is an old bison carcass in the river, which had been visited by wolves and at least three grizzlies during the last three days. All campgrounds were full so around 10:40 p.m. I made my way out to Silver Gate. Near Dorothy's Knoll, a ranger was checking out a bison calf that got hit on the road. This weekend was the warmest of the year. Got to 91 degees on Friday and 92 degrees on Saturday out in Lamar Valley; and only 50 degrees on Sunday morning.

Friday - 21 August 2009

At 6:40 a.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with one cub of the year (coy) in No Bear Meadow south of Dorothy's Knoll At 7:30 a.m. I found a black bear with two coy's crossing the Salad Bowl (this bear isn't too smart, one of these times its going to run into a wolf and a grizzly and lose those coy's). At 4:25 p.m. I found a lone grizzly in Bear Meadow south of institute.

Saturday - 22 August 2009

At 7:00 a.m. I spotted a small black bear in A-Z meadow. At 8:00 a.m. I found a black bear near Specimen Ridge viewed from Long Pullout. I didn't have a grizzly until 3:00 p.m. and 89 degrees out. A nice size grizzly in a high clearing south of the Slough Creek Campground was out for 5-10 minutes.

Black bear cubs by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved
At 3:25 p.m. the black sow with two coy's crossed the Salad Bowl clearing again, this time going west to east (probably got wind of the grizzly in Crystal). At 7:30 p.m. I found a small grizzly in the second high clearing east of Penny Lane. At 8:00 p.m. I spotted a small grizzly high in the Salad Bowl. At 8:30 p.m. my last sighting was a grizzly in the backside of Salad Bowl viewed from Slough Creek bathroom (probably the grizzly from earlier in Crystal.

Sunday - 23 August 2009

A small black bear high in Salad Bowl was it for the day.

Other News

No wolves at all for the entire weekend. The Druid's still haven't returned to the Lamar Valley, but visit every three days or so for a border check. The Canyon Group has been seen in the Hayden Valley, even crossing the bridge going across the Yellowstone and sometimes near the rendezvous area viewed from Grizzly Overlook. The Agates haven't been seen a lot, but with no pups and three of four members being gray they are tough to find anyway. The Blacktail Pack was still being seen from South Butte, but on Saturday were observed like 4-5 miles away and going away. The road construction near Silver Gate is now into paving, so should complete before the snow flies. With the Madison-Norris closed for the year, my visits and trip reports will get to be a lot fewer, just to far to go on two day weekends. A few more elk on the west side of the park, but not many seen in the north and east yet. A few Unita ground squirrels still being seen, will be interesting to find out if they are going to totally disappear as usual by August 25th, will this year being so wet and green.

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