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Trip Report ~ by Bill Hamblin

18 - 20 June 2010

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

~ June 2010 ~

Black bear by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Friday - 18 June

Well summer has hit. Crowds everywhere. When I entered the West Entrance, Canyon and Madison campgrounds were already full for the day. Weather was a lot warmer, almost short sleeve shirt weather for the weekend. About four miles in the park had a nice large cinnamon black bear right off the road. Then on the downside, Dunraven close to Chittenden Road a bear jam with the grizzly sow with two cubs of the year (coy's) - she was uphill about 300 yards. They hazed that grizzly family last week, but it didn't appear to have worked. She is still creating bear jams, fortunately the Chittenden Road is still closed, which is nice since she frequents that area. I ran into Ralph who said most of the bear action continues to be in the east end of Lamar Valley and the Soda Butte Valley so I headed out that way. I found a small grizzly north of Coyote Overlook around 5:00 PM. Ralph found a large grizzly in the bowl viewed from the Institute. At 6:00 PM I found a grizzly sow with three coy's on Penny Lane best viewed from Footbridge Pullout. Soon after that I found two sub adult grizzlies on the first finger of Norris. The sow with the three coy's moved into the trees and then a grizzly reappeared. We were sharing the scopes telling everyone that the grizzly has three coy's Everyone could only see one coy. Yep, a different grizzly with only one coy came out in the same clearing - Penny Lane. On the way in we had spotted what we thought was a courting pair way back in Coffee Mountain (behind Norris towards Cache Creek), but from Coyote Overlook that made in over four miles. Anyway, later in the evening Ralph found them again from the Confluence (he had them on Norris Mountain the last day or two). At 8:10 PM I found a grizzly with one coy way west of K meadow high near the snow near the skyline. At 9:00 PM I spotted a lone grizzly south of Slough Creek high in the Crystal Drainage. Soon after I spotted the three adults of the newly named Lamar Canyon Pack moving away from the den area. Apparently an old Druid female visited and was slowly pushed out of the area (she had not been seen in quite a time).

Saturday - 19 June

At 5:35 AM Ralph had the grizzly sow with three coy's on the first finger of Mount Norris. One of the sub adults (probably both of them, one not seen) in the clearing to the west of the first finger. Then I found the grizzly sow with one coy on Norris Mountain best viewed from Footbridge Pullout.

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

Sid from California is up and we heard coyote barking and what we thought was a roar, then found a black wolf chasing and being chased by elk in the Soda Butte Creek. This was big news for wolf watchers, since the only black wolf in Lamar/Soda Butte Valleys is 147M of the Silver Pack, who was being seen near the den. Rick finally, with telemetry, discovered it was a Mollie. Apparently about four of them visited this morning but were seen by the wolf plane heading back towards Cache Creek. Had a really large grizzly south of Soda Butte Cone just after we lost the wolf. At 9:00 AM Ralph found a grizzly north of Picnic Area. At 9:10 AM I spotted a grizzly in bear meadow, viewed from the Institute. At 9:44 AM I heard of a carcass south of Fisherman's and it had a grizzly on it (large carcass, maybe a bison). At 10:15 AM got a call from Ken who had a courting pair north of the Picnic Area. After lunch and a nap, I found a black bear near the Yellowstone Picnic area. At 5:00 PM I was watching the Lamar Canyon den area and found the 06 female with all four of the pups. They are all gray (previous reports had a black or two). Also the Silver Pack has four gray pups, but I didn't see them this weekend. At 5:30 PM I found a large cinnamon black bear on the carcass south of Fisherman's. At 6:30 PM the grizzly sow with two coy's in K Meadow. Lots of activity near the Silver Pack den area tonight. I only saw one gray adult, but others had three adults and two pups. I did see one black bear and one cinnamon black bear in that area. At 7:55 PM 147M, the alpha male and only black wolf in the pack was seen. At 8:00 PM a large grizzly moved thru the rendezvous area. On my way back to the campsite, I saw a large black bear near Tower Junction.

Sunday - 20 June

We had a fox near Rainy Lake before daylight, which later got me my THREE DOG DAY. At 6:09 AM I spotted a large colorful grizzly south of Picnic area moving west. At 6:20 AM I saw a black bear in the den area near the rendezvous area. At 6:25 AM, I spotted three wolves (147M and two grays) moving west from the den area. At 6:30 AM someone had the sow with three coy's on the first finger of Mount Norris. At 7:10 AM the courting pair was now north of Coyote Overlook. There was nothing on the "bison" carcass south of Fisherman's at daylight, but around 7:00 AM there was a large grizzly and three Agate gray wolves on the carcass (I only saw one of the wolves). During the next hour we had at least five different grizzlies south and east of Coyote. Pretty much constant viewing of the Agate wolf, the three Silver wolves and four grizzlies in addition the grizzly on the carcass and the one from the picnic area earlier. Ralph found a grizzly in the bowl around 7:45 AM. The grizzly sow with two coy's made a brief appearance in K Meadow around 8:35 AM. And about 8:45 AM I found both sub adult grizzlies on the first finger of Norris (really blond and shiny in the sunlight).

Other News

The grizzly with two coy's was seen again near Grizzly Lake trail head (I still have not seen them). The grizzly with four coy's was again in Swan Flat's Saturday morning. The osprey nest has three chicks in it, various sizes. A least three bighorn lambs are being viewed in the Calcite area. The peregrine is still on the nest, still haven't seen any little ones. Frank and Diane from Michigan are up for two weeks, Bill is back for the summer, saw Becky and Chloe for the first time this year, Calvin and Lynette are back for a while. Anne W, from Colorado left for the summer.

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