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Trip Report ~ by Bill Hamblin

13 - 16 May 2010

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

~ May 2010 ~

Black bear by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Thursday - 13 May

I took another day off and left work around 3:30 PM Little traffic and good roads and the start to a really nice weather weekend. I had a grizzly at Willow Park and then found a small grizzly just off the road at Swan Lake Flats. Quite a bit of traffic near the grizzly so moved ahead of it and ran into Jack G. from Bozeman. I noticed a cow moose running and then saw three wolves right on her. Nice chase for about 4 -5 minutes, with the wolves unsuccessful. I viewed the grizzly and wolves on and off almost to dark. Ralph was up for the weekend and we camped at Mammoth.

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

Friday - 14 May

It gets light about 5:30 AM but it was almost 7:30 AM until I found my first grizzly, in the old Druid rendezvous area. Beautiful weather with highs in the 50's but really a slow day for bears. At 12:30 PM found a black bear at Elk Creek. At 4:30 PM Ralph had a really small grizzly near Crystal Drainage. At 5:15 PM I found a small grizzly north of Slough Creek. At 6:00 PM I spotted a grizzly north of Coyote Overlook. At 6:15 PM we found a grizzly in the second sliver just past Ski Slope. At 7:00 PM I saw a grizzly in the eroded area in the old Druid Rendezvous area. At 8:00 PM the last sighting for the night was a larger grizzly north of Coyote Overlook.

Saturday - 15 May

I started the morning off with a grizzly in the rendezvous area around 6:00 AM. At 6:30 AM the old alpha male from the Silver Pack made an appearance, he hasn't been seen in quite a few days. At 7:15 AM Margaret from Bozeman found a large grizzly north and east of Coyote Overlook - great spot, right into the sun. At 8:40 AM Carla called and had a grizzly with a yearling cub in Crystal. It was out of sight when I arrived, but reappeared later. 9:00 AM the 06 female from 755M's group was at the den site (they have been seeing up to three - two black and one gray - pups in the morning now) - I never saw any all weekend. Ralph made lunch (hot dogs and baked beans) at Footbridge around noon. I located a grizzly sow with one two year old on the fourth finger of Norris. David from Bozeman found a black bear low at the tree line south of the Soda Butte Cone. Till this time the bear watching had been slow all weekend. Around 5:00 PM a wind came up and a little rain with dropping temperatures, but the bears came out. Had a nice grizzly north of Coyote Overlook. Ralph called and had a black bear with a yearling cimimon cub in Crystal, and then I located a grizzly sow with one coy on Specimen Ridge (assume same grizzly that was on Junction Butte last week). Some one mentioned that they had a grizzly with one cub of the year (coy) across the from the Institute, so we ran back in Lamar Valley to find either the smallest yearling or the largest coy in Yellowstone - decided on a small yearling. A black bear north of the Institute was spotted also. Back to Coyote overlook where Margaret and David found two separate large grizzlies on the lower end of Ski Slope. On the way back to Mammoth found a large grizzly south of Frog Rock. Nine different bears in about 2 hours, nice way to end the day.

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

Sunday - 16 May

Ralph and I decided to glass Slough Creek at first light. Ralph found activity at the wolf den site, which turned out to be a small grizzly and eventually all three of 755's Group (the 06 female, 754M and 755M). Just before the sun hit the valley floor, I relocated the grizzly sow with the two year cub on the 4th finger of Norris. The Canadians Karen and Steve had found a grizzly family way to the south of the Institute, so we went back to look. Laurie from Bozeman relocated them way up on bear meadow - a grizzly sow with two two year olds. Then she spotted the grizzly with one small yearling on Square Meadow. A gray wolf was seen returning to the den area near the old Druid rendezvous area. My last spot before leaving, found the grizzly sow with one coy high on Specimen Ridge. Nearby about 15 bighorn sheep grazed, but eventually the grizzly moved them off the ridge.

Other News

The road to Tower store opened. The Tower store opened, and had 4 workers quit before the store even opened. Peragine falcons on the falcon nest at Calcite Overlook. The ospreys on the good nest and the nest straight below the Peragine nest pullout, but not on the two nests across the river. Sand Hill Cranes on nest at Floating Island. The bison carcass still floating in Blacktail Pond (that will really be smelly when something opens that up (been there for over 4 weeks now). Dunraven Pass and Tower Campground open next week. The four "yearling group" of wolves (three black and one gray) still being seen around Wrecker Pullout. The five "maybe old Cottonwood pack" - four grays and a black are still being seem from Hellroaring Overlook. Calvin and Lynette found a cougar one night from Hellroaring Overlook for a few minutes, noticed a bunch of nervous elk and found the cougar. Missed a grizzly with two coy's right off the road near Obsidian Cliff on Thursday.

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