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Trip Report ~ Bear and Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

01 - 03 June 2011

Yellowstone Wolf ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

~ June 2011 ~

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

Wednesday - 01 June

Today ended up being the nicest day for the trip, getting to almost 70 degrees. At 5:30 a.m. the grizzly sow with two two year olds were out south of the Institute. At 6:30 a.m. I found the first of what ended up to be a total of four separate grizzlies in the bowl (appeared to be a courting pair and two separate grizzlies). At 6:45 a.m. I found a lone black collared wolf in the rendezvous area. At 7:15 a.m. Carma found two large grizzlies briefly north of picnic. At 8:50 a.m. Jean and Margaret found a carcass on the east end of Jasper Bench (looked like a fresh bison). Soon a grizzly that Doug from Silver Gate spotted, crossed south near Dorothy's and found the carcass and we confirmed it was indeed a bison. At 11:10 a.m. we had a grizzly in the high middle clearing south of the Slough Creek bathroom. At 4:30 p.m. we found the blond GPS collared grizzly sleeping in the river corridor south of coyote overlook. Between 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. we had two separate grizzlies grazing north of picnic, quite a ways apart. At 8:45 p.m. my last spot was a grizzly north of coyote.

Thursday - 02 June

It was more crowded in the valley this morning with the slide area open between Mammoth and Tower. At 5:35 a.m. we had four different grizzlies near the bison carcass on the east end of Jasper Bench (appeared to be a large bore, a courting pair and a separate grizzly). We think that the boar of the courting pair was one of the wrestling brothers and two got together of wrestle leaving the sow to get a bite at carcass. At 6:00 a.m. I spotted a grizzly on Specimen Ridge. At 7:30 a.m. I found a grizzly north of picnic. At 7:53 a.m. Dan and Lauri called me from Hellroaring, they had a grizzly with one COY (cub of the year). It took me 27 minutes to get there (passed a black bear on an elk calf jam near the Specimen trailhead near the Yellowstone Picnic area. It was a cute COY, with the sow definitely hunting elk calves. I watched for over 1.5 hours with them in sight a lot of the time. All the action in the afternoon was repeat sightings from the morning. Most of the time one to four of the grizzlies were in view from YES pullout all the way to coyote overlook.

Friday - 03 June

Yellowstone Wolves ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

At 5:35 a.m. we had five different grizzlies around the bison carcass site (which had been dragged downhill since last evening). We at first only had four grizzlies but as the light got better we realized that the really large grizzly was actually a courting pair mounted. Later Wayne from Oregon had a sixth grizzly move from the east and eventually arrived in the area. Meanwhile two wolves, one black and one gray were seen south of picnic and they arrived in the carcass area too. Meanwhile moving east, from the confluence Ed from Utah found a grizzly in the rendezvous area. I found a grizzly low on Norris, then Bob from Utah found a second grizzly following the one I found. Eventually we had four different grizzlies on Norris.

Other News:

A big wedding in Chico Hot Springs on Saturday for Mike and Emily (Saturday night was really slow in the valley with the rock slide closing the Mammoth to Tower road and most of the wolf watchers going the long way to the wedding). We have lots of elk calves showing up everywhere now, a really big crop of bison calves this year. There have been numerous grizzlies in Hayden (one sow with a yearling, and a sow with two yearlings--only a few bison and no elk at all in Hayden yet. I'm getting worried about the lack of grizzly families with only two grizzly COY'S that I had heard about (one at Hellroaring and one near Pelican Creek -- one has been seen near Fishing Bridge and Lake but could be the Pelican Creek family). Still no COY'S and no yearlings either black or grizzly in the Lamar Valley (remember that were had 6 COY families of grizzlies in the valley last year - I hope they are just not down to the valley yet. The Quad mom at Swan Lake Flats definitely only has two yearlings this year.

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

Yellowstone Sunset ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

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