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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

01 January 2010 Trip Report

by Wendy

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

~ January 2010 ~

Yellowstone Wolf ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

Friday - 01 January 2010

And now it's 2010

Well, my wolf luck has been so amazing, it was bound to run out. And it ran out today, Jan 1 2010.

We drove east in a heavy snowfall and zero visibility. By the time we got to Boulder it was light, but white out in all directions. We knew we'd never see wolves in these conditions, but the Park needs the snow, so we tried to be philosophical.

Then about 9:00 AM it suddenly stopped snowing and we had GREAT visibility, and Rick got Druid signals. But we could not find them. Some of the best spotters in the Park were looking for them and nobody could find them. Around 10:00 AM I heard a lone howl coming from behind the Peregrine Hills but I never saw the howler. Others heard a response from a pack - probably Druids, but still we could not find them.

While I was scoping, I found a coyote, several bull elk, a bald eagle, lots of bighorns and some fighing COW bison. But around 12:30 PM I had to head west for Bozeman. Chloe and Becky had left about an hour earlier. I said my sad farewells to my friends and drove west over nearly clear roads, which had been coated with thick snow at 7:00 AM.

Yellowstone Wolf and Buffalo ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

I scoped at Hellroaring on my way out and found what looked to me to be a new carcuss near Little Buffalo Creek, with three squabbling bald eagles and dozens of black birds. I didn't see any wolves but I called Rick because I figured wolves might show up towards evening. Well, when I got back to Bozeman I found out that they found the carcuss I saw and they DID find wolves nearby, in fact, 480 and several other wandering Druids. It made me glad to know that the rest of my friends did NOT go wolfless today.

As I drove down the road from the Entrance Gate to the Arch, five young bull elk came trotting across the road. They were in a fiesty mood as one lowered his head and thrashed a willow bush, then challenged his buddy to a head-butting match. These five bulls, with varying sizes of antlers, but clearly young, continued to play-fight and romp and twirl as they made their way across the open flat. I watched happily as did several others. If any of the photos come out I will post them. I kind of chuckled as I had been watching wolves for 8 days but my last sighting was of handsome, healthy, robust young bull elk, who will make those wolves work hard for their living in the coming year.

Thank you Yellowstone for a great visit. Hooray for wildlife!

Yellowstone Wolves ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

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