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Trip Report ~ by John William Uhler

12 May 2012

Yellowstone Black Bear taken May 2012 ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

~ May 2012 ~

Yellowstone Black Bear Sow and Cub taken May 2012 ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler
Saturday - 12 May

Carlene and I left Rexburg at 7:15 AM to meet Mark and Carolyn in West Yellowstone and spend the day in Yellowstone. We had a light dusting of snow during the night, but it was clear and sunny as we head out and the temp is a cool 39 degrees. At 9:00 AM we enter Yellowstone and look forward to an exciting day in parkadise. We did not see any birds on the eagle nest and just a few bison and elk were out in the meadows along the Madison River on our drive to the Madison Junction.

We head north at Madison Junction and plan on spending most of our day in Lamar Valley. At about 9:42 AM we have a large grizzly bear out grubbing in Gibbon Meadows. This is the first time we had seen a bear here and it is fun to watch and share the scopes with those who stop. We head north and we spot a grizzly sow and two cubs in the sage at Swan Lake Flats. We watch and chat with those who stop along the way and ask what we are watching. Soon the grizzlies head over some hils and out of sight so we head on to Mammoth. There are a few white tail deer and elk out at Mammoth and we look for the owl but have no success so on we go towards Lamar.

At about 11:43 AM we stop just past Hellroaring to watch a nice little black bear out grubbing in a meadow by a small stream. This was a nice looking black bear and there were just a few folks there to enjoy watching it and take some pictures. At a little past noon we stopped at the Yellowstone picnic area to eat lunch but it is full so we head east. Just past the picnic area there was a herd of bison and a herd of bighorn ewes on the north side of the road. We stopped and to see the newborn bison calves and we were able to watch our first bison calf birth. We were told that there was a grizzly bear and a black bear higher up the hillside in the trees. We searched for quite a while and finally the black bear sow came out and headed down the hillside and then west. It was joined by its cub, a cub of the year. The cub was quite small and had a hard time keeping up with mom as she looked like she was headed out on a mission. When the bear moved west, the bison headed east and out into Little America. There were quite a few bison and calves as we drove east through Little America. We decided that we would head to the large pullout on the top on The Narrows and eat lunch and see if the Great Horned Owl was on its nest and if there were any owlets on the nest.

At about 3:00 PM we drive slowly through Lamar Valley glassing the hill and dales and river banks for signs of bears or wolves and other wildlife. We see antelope, bison and elk and a bald eagle as we travel along enjoying our day in the Stone.

Yellowstone Black Bear taken May 2012 ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

From about 4:00 PM for about a half hour we watch two mountain goats at the Thunderer pullout on Barronette Peak. We watched them with some nice folks from Utah who were spending their weekend in Silver Gate, Montana.

We spot two sandhill cranes just past the Pebble Creek bridge as we make our way west. Just west of the Yellowstone picnic area there are 14 bighorn sheep by the side of the road posing for pictures. There was a pretty good size group of folks enjoying the sheep. At about 5:30 PM just south the moose viewing area we had a wolf out on the snow. It looked like it was just slowing moving west into the brush. At 5:41 PM, just south of North Twin Lake there was a coyote mousing out in the meadow. It is about 64 degrees as we pass Gibbon Falls. And about 6:30 PM we are out the west gate and into West Yellowstone. We had a great Saturday in the Park and just loved being there and enjoying all there was to see and do with old and new friends. Our milage for out trip was 363 for a nice day trip. Until next time my friends, take care, and enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends!

Two Yellowstone Moose taken May 2012 ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

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