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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

27 - 30 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
Black bear cubs by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Thursday - 27 August 2009

I called ahead and reserved a campsite at Canyon. I left work around 4:00 p.m. and made the campsite around dark at 8:30 p.m. Only spotting a belted kingfisher on the Madison River on the way in.

Friday - 28 August 2009

I went to Lamar for the day. Rick had only a weak signal on the alpha female in Soda Butte Valley but at around 7:30 a.m. the Druid Wolf Pack came back to the traditional rendezvous area. Rick later counted 13 adults (only one missing) and three pups. First time the pups had been seen since July 5th or 6th. The three pups are very small (fox sized) and have mange. Quite a few of the other adult wolves have mange too, but I think the pups have it worst. The wolves were out again in the evening, but with the tall grass, not a lot too see. I found a campsite at Tower Campground, and found out later that Margaret from Bozeman was right next to me for Saturday night.

Saturday - 29 August 2009

I heard of no sightings for bears, so headed for Trashcan to watch the wolf adults and pups. I thought I had a bison high to the north on the sky line, but it turned out to be the only bear of the weekend, a large grizzly on the skyline for about 30 seconds. Had two badgers chasing around just across the river viewed from Trashcan on Friday and only one on Saturday.

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

Sunday - 30 August 2009

Only one black adult wolf visible in the rendezvous area, but I just viewed from the road, guess there were more. On the way out got a great look at the Alpha female (uncollared, the really light one), the adult collared black male and a large gray adult viewed from the Grizzly Overlook. There must have had something to the west, as they soon disappeared going west and I guess across the road.

Other News

Boy do I hate that ride thru Old Faithful, West Thumb and Lake to get to the northern areas. Thinking about doing Grand Teton over Labor Day. I ran into a tour guide based in Jackson who said he had a couple grizzlies on the outside road south of Moran Junction.

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