Yellowstone National Park 2013 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
17 thru 28 May 2013
~ May 2013 ~
Friday - 17 May
I left after breakfast with the old work crew and found a pair of nesting Trumpeter Swans in Island Park. A cool day with a high of only 48 degrees. Two moose for the day and the golden eagle on her nest down the Slough Creek road. At 1:15 p.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with two yearlings on the bench south of the Institute. At 3:15 p.m. we had a grizzly on the #2 finger of Norris. At 3:20 p.m. we watched a different grizzly on the #1 finger on Norris. At 6:10 p.m. we watched a gray wolf harassed by three coyotes south of Dorothy's Knoll. At 7:00 p.m. I found a large grizzly in the tree line west of the rendezvous area. At 8:15 p.m. I spotted a dark grizzly south of trash can. I stayed near Silver Gate for the entire trip.
Saturday - 18 May
I woke up to 37 degrees and only warmed to 48 degrees today. A coyote den south of Dorothy's was found and eventually we counted six pups this year to go with the three adults in the pack. At 6:05 a.m. I found a grizzly north of coyote overlook. At 6:10 a.m. we had two grizzlies skyline of Specimen Ridge viewed from coyote overlook (a regular sighting for this trip, a courting pair). At 8:35 a.m. I spotted a black bear north of picnic area. At 10:50 a.m. we had a black, a gray and 869M (still has a major limp) of the Junction Butte Pack moving east from Little America and below Specimen Ridge to the Crystal Drainage where we lost them. At 11:30 a.m. we watched a grizzly sow with two yearlings in the salad bowl. At 12:00 a.m. I found a black bear between Jasper Bench and salad bowl. At 2:00 p.m. we had a courting pair of grizzlies in the snow in the bowl viewed from the Institute. At 5:50 p.m. we watched a black bear sow with one brown and one black yearling cub in Little America. At 8:00 p.m. I spotted a small grizzly on the # 1 finger of Norris.
Sunday - 19 May
37 degrees this morning warming to 50 degrees. Later in the day Scarface walked across the Yellowstone River Bridge in late afternoon. At 5:50 a.m. a grizzly finally arrived on the bison carcass (natural death in trying to have a calf) that is south of Dorothy's half the way to the river. At 5:55 a.m. a gray wolf came to the carcass to join the grizzly accompanied by the resident three coyote adults. At 7:35 a.m. I found a dark grizzly on the lower slope of Norris. At 8:00 a.m. we had a courting pair of grizzlies in the salad bowl. At 9:00 a.m. we watched a grizzly sow with two yearlings on Specimen Ridge. At 9:05 a.m. I found a black bear in Crystal. At 9:05 a.m. a black uncollared wolf of the Junction Butte pack in the Slough Creek bottoms (this place has had several carcasses over the past few weeks and yet another fresh carcass showed up there again). At 10:30 a.m. we had a different grizzly at the carcass area at Dorothy's Knoll which came in from the north crossing the road to get to the carcass. At 7:20 p.m. we watched a cinnamon black bear low on Specimen Ridge. At 8:05 p.m. the two grizzlies returned to the carcass a Dorothy's and a brief fight occurred.
Monday - 20 May
38 degrees this morning warming to 52 degrees. We saw four coyote pups today at Dorothy's. At 5:35 a.m. I spotted a large grizzly on Jasper Bench. At 6:35 a.m. two black GPS collared wolves 889F and 890M of the Junction Butte pack on a new carcass north of long pullout. I spotted them because I found a grizzly going away over a ridge. The next hour we had the two wolves joined by another brown grizzly and the original grizzly returned. The brown grizzly found the carcass and the other grizzly and two wolves moved off and eventually out of sight. At 7:30 a.m. someone noticed a black wolf turning gray eating what we thought was a bison calf in a little clearing on Specimen Ridge. At 8:15 a.m. we had a grizzly on the middle ridge south of Slough Creek in Crystal. At 8:00 a.m. along with about 60 cars parked on the road watching the two wolves and two grizzlies. Kathy L. found the black bear sow with one black and one brown yearling cubs in a clearing on a low opening on Specimen Ridge. At 9:30 a.m. I spotted a large grizzly on the bench south of the Institute. At 9:50 a.m. we had a grizzly sow with two yearling cubs crossed the big clearing behind Jasper Bench going to the east. At 10:00 a.m. we watched a large grizzly above the half visible aspen forest on the back side of Jasper Bench. This meant that the sow with the two yearlings had a grizzly to the east and a grizzly to the west so she moved back and forth finally sitting and waiting for the two grizzlies to move on. At 11:00 a.m. we had a courting pair of grizzlies on the middle ridge of Crystal viewed from Dorothy's Knoll. At 11:30 a.m. I spotted a cinnamon black bear in the tree line near the half visible aspen forest. At 4:00 p.m. I found a black bear sow with one brown cub south of midpoint in the tree line. At 4:15 p.m. a grizzly sow with a light yearling cub on the bench south of the Institute. At 5:15 p.m. Scarface in the Slough Creek bottoms. Someone told me a grizzly was in the bottoms and they thought it was Scarface. I walked down to Bob's Knoll and saw him coming in. But before I could get my scope on him he bedded right out in the flats. I spent the next hour waiting for him to get up to make sure it was Scarface. Eventually he got up and it was Scarface. He went to a spot and stayed there. I assumed it was one the old carcasses, but found out the next day that it was a fresh bison carcass that must have died on its own. At 6:45 p.m. we had a bear jam at coyote overlook with a grizzly 200 yards north of the road. At 7:00 p.m. we watched a grizzly sow with one yearling on a high clearing south of ski slope (not the light cub). At 7:45 p.m. the black female wolf of the Lamar Canyon's was looking to cross at 21's old crossing near hitching post. At 8:20 p.m. I spotted two equal sized grizzlies on the #1 finger of Norris for just a minute or so. At 8:35 p.m. the middle gray of the Lamar Canyon Pack crossed the road just east of footbridge pullout and went to eat on a five month old moose carcass (crewing on bones until dark).
Tuesday - 21 May
A three dog day started at 35 degrees and frost on the car warming to 62 degrees that did not feel that warm with the wind. I had a moose in Round Prairie on the way in. At 5:45 a.m. Scarface was in the same place as yesterday (the new bison carcass). At 5:50 a.m. I spotted a black bear in Crystal and a grizzly in Crystal. At 6:20 a.m. we had a large black bear south and west of Lamar Canyon West. At 7:30 a.m. the tall gray of the Lamar Canyon wolf pack was south of YES pullout. At 1:15 p.m. I found a black bear in Elk Creek. At 1:45 p.m. 889F of the Junction Butte pack on the south end of Junction Butte. She crossed the road, bedded and howled for a while until she re crossed the road to the north. At 5:35 p.m. the grizzly sow with two yearlings was on ski slope. At 5:50 p.m. a black bear sow with one brown yearling cub was south of the Institute. At 6:20 p.m. I spotted a black bear in the big clearing behind Jasper Bench viewed from coyote overlook. At 7:20 p.m. Scarface was still on the new bison carcass in the Slough Creek bottoms. At 7:20 p.m. a gray wolf uncollared, a collared gray wolf and a black wolf of the Junction Butte pack bedded down by Scarface and the carcass. At 7:35 p.m. I spotted a grizzly with two COY'S in the rocks south and east of Dave's Hill (kind of behind and higher up from the golden eagle nest). At 7:40 p.m. we watched a black bear sow with one black and one brown yearling cub in Crystal. At 8:25 p.m. John and John from Washington told me to glass Druid Peak from trash can pullout. Yep, they had and I got to watch a grizzly sow with two COY'S on Druid Peak. At 8:30 p.m. I spotted a grizzly south of picnic area.
Wednesday - 22 May
41 degrees in the morning warming to 55 degrees. We had a turkey vulture soaring above the hitching post this morning (a rare sighting, as I have only seen one other in the northern range of Yellowstone). At 5:40 a.m. Scarface was still on the carcass not sharing with anyone. At 7:25 a.m. the black bear sow with one brown yearling cub were on a carcass south of Hubbard Hill in the tree line. Apparently an antelope carcass that middle gray from the Lamar Canyon pack had killed (she was bedded in the area, but I did not see her). At 10:30 a.m. I found a black bear near square meadow viewed from Dorothy's Knoll. At 11:45 a.m. we had a grizzly in the clearing just west of the Pebble Creek Campground. At 2:45 p.m. we had two black GPS collared wolves, 889F and 890M, south of the Institute moving east. At 4:00 p.m. the grizzly sow with two (cubs of the year) COY'S were on Druid Peak. At 5:15 p.m. we had a grizzly on Calfee viewed from trash can. At 6:30 pm. I found a grizzly sow with two COY'S in the big ravine to the north of Slough Creek.
Thursday - 23 May
42 degrees this morning warming to 62 degrees. I spotted a moose at Round Prairie and a golden eagle near the confluence of the Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River. A three dog day today. At 6:00 a.m. we had Scarface on the carcass in the Slough Creek bottoms. At 6:10 a.m. we also had a black wolf near Scarface’s carcass. At 6:15 a.m. we watched a courting pair of grizzlies high on the sky line of Specimen Ridge. At 7:00 a.m. the black bear sow with one black and one brown yearling cub were on Specimen Ridge viewed from Peregrine Pullout. At 7:40 a.m. the black bear sow with one brown yearling cub were east of square meadow. At 8:45 a.m. I found the black female and middle gray on a carcass in the river south of Hitching Post. At 2:15 p.m. we had a black bear high in salad bowl. At 4:00 p.m. we watched a large black bear with a smaller light cinnamon black bear wrestling north of picnic area. At 4:05 p.m. we had a grizzly sow with two COY'S on Druid Peak. At 5:15 p.m. a big gray from the Lamar Canyon pack was south of Footbridge Pullout. At 6:00 p.m. a grizzly sow with one yearling was on the last clearing way south of ski slope. At 8:25 p.m. a grizzly was in the Pebble Creek Campground. At 8:45 p.m. I spotted a black bear near Silver Gate.
Friday - 24 May
36 degrees this morning with a high of 55 degrees. A golden eagle was close to the road at the confluence. We had two moose at the confluence, one on K meadow, one at Soda Butte Cone, and one at Floating Island Pond today. The fox den at Yellowstone Picnic area now has two kits. A photographer said that there are more big lens there in one place then he has ever seen together. Dunraven Pass opened today for the year, a few hours later than expected. I had a three dog day again today. At 5:35 a.m. we had a large cinnamon bear south of the Institute in the tree line. At 5:45 a.m. I spotted a grizzly on the middle ridge of Crystal viewed from coyote overlook. At 6:15 a.m. John and Randy from Washington showed me a grizzly sow with one yearling going up the hill north of trash can pullout. At 6:55 a.m. we had a grizzly on the sky line above bear meadow viewed from the Institute. At 7:10 a.m. the grizzly sow with two yearlings was on square meadow. At 8:00 a.m. Wayne from Washington was trying to show me my first elk calf of the year, but a large grizzly had found it before he re-located it. This was high in a small clearing west of the divide ridge viewed from Lamar Canyon west. Later I did see an elk calf that was still living north of coyote overlook. At 8:35 a.m. Scarface was still on the bison carcass in the Slough Creek bottoms. At 8:35 a.m. I found a grizzly way way on Prospect Peak. Soon a pair of grizzlies was located below the first grizzly on Prospect Peak (looked like a sow and a yearling, but too far away to tell). At 8:40 a.m. a gray wolf was found bedded near Scarface and the bison carcass. At 10:30 a.m. we had a grizzly on ski slope which made the grizzly sow and two yearlings move out of sight to the east. At 3:10 p.m. I found a grizzly high and north above coyote overlook viewed from good light in Little America. At 4:00 p.m. I revisited the bison carcass at Slough Creek and found out that Scarface was not there, but a light grizzly now was laying on the carcass. At 5:00 p.m. the black bear sow with one brown yearling cub was seen east of square meadow. At 7:45 p.m. we had a grizzly on the middle ridge south in Crystal Drainage viewed from Slough Creek. At 8:10 p.m. we watched a courting pair on the sky line on the middle ridge viewed from coyote overlook (they were very friendly today and looked like one bear, but really two really really close bears).
Saturday - 25 May
31 degrees this morning warming up to 72 degrees. The Beartooth Highway opened today, a day later than scheduled and was closed on Sunday because of snow. We watched a badger digging just south of Dorothy's Knoll this evening. One chick seen of the golden eagle nest down Slough Creek road (later we found two chicks). We had a whitetail deer near Pebble Creek, unusual as most in that area are mule deer. I also had a three dog day today. At 5:30 a.m. there was a black bear in the rendezvous area. At 5:40 a.m. we had a black and a cinnamon bear on A-Z meadow (courting pair). At 7:30 a.m. we had a grizzly on the carcass at Slough Creek again. It did not get up while I watched, so not sure if it was Scarface or another grizzly (most of the time it just laid on top of the carcass). At 8:10 a.m. I spotted a grizzly in the big meadow behind Jasper Bench. At 8:20 a.m. I found a grizzly high on A-Z meadow. Between 12:30 and 2:30p.m. three gray and one black wolf from the Junction Butte pack were in the area of the bison carcass at Slough, just waiting for the darn grizzly to leave. At 6:00 p.m. we watched a grizzly sow with two yearlings far south of K-2 meadow to the south (I have never seen bears in that clearing before). At 6:10 p.m. I found a grizzly sow with a yearling cub north and east of footbridge pullout (a good sign, first bear of the year in that clearing). At 6:15 p.m. we had a brown black bear on the #3 finger of Norris. At 8:00 p.m. I spotted a black bear on the big clearing behind Jasper Bench. At 8:35 p.m. I found a gray wolf of the Lamar Canyon pack south of picnic area.
Sunday - 26 May
31 degrees in the morning with a high of 70 degrees, but real windy so it did not feel that warm. I watched a moose at the confluence this morning. Bad news, the female adult fox that has a den and four kits just off the road in Silver Gate got killed by a car. At 7:00 a.m. we had a grizzly on the carcass at Slough Creek (??? which one, I'm not sure). At 7:15 a.m. there were four gray wolves bedded in the area waiting for grizzly to leave. At 7:30 a.m. Thomas and Kristine from Germany called to let me know that a grizzly sow with two yearlings was in the major drainage straight south of the Slough Creek stop sign (up the quakie and aspen trees). At 7:35 a.m. we watched a black bear on the divide ridge viewed from Slough Creek. At 8:10 a.m. I heard from Ed and Bob from Utah that the grizzly sow with two yearlings went over the top of ski slope. I stopped at Lamar Canyon east and found them still in view. At 10:00 a.m. the grizzly with the two COY'S was bedded in the rocks above the golden eagle nest down the Slough Creek road. At 4:15 p.m. I found a grizzly sow with three COY'S high and south of the #1 finger of Norris. Lucky for me that Ed and Bob as well as Scott M from Montana and Margaret from Bozeman where there. Those COY'S are really small and it took all of us to determine we had three (note: all last year and this year so far, no grizzly or black bears from Thunderer all the way to Elk Creek have three, everything has been one or two). At 5:15 p.m. we had a large grizzly just south of the #1 finger of Norris, but still a mile or so from the sow with three COY'S. At 5:45 p.m. I spotted a large lighter grizzly further west and south of the #1 finger of Norris. At 6:10 p.m. there was a black bear high in salad bowl. At 6:20 p.m. we had a black and a cinnamon black bear courting in A-Z meadow. At 6:35 p.m. Ralph N. from the Institute found a grizzly high south of the Institute almost to the ski line. At 6:45 p.m. Ralph N. also found the black bear sow with one brown yearling cub in a small meadow west of square meadow. At 7:15 p.m. I found a grizzly in the big meadow behind Jasper Bench. At 9:00 p.m. my last sighting was a black bear on Warm River near Silver Gate.
Monday - 27 May
39 degrees this morning and a high of 62 degrees. Late in the evening the Lamar Canyon three wolves were moving west from north of YES pullout (I missed them as there was no parking, and it was the first time that all three have been seen together since middle gray went into the den 4-5 weeks ago). At 5:55 a.m. we had a grizzly in A-Z meadow. At 6:10 a.m. there was a black bear east of A-Z Meadow. At 6:45 a.m. we watched a grizzly sow with one yearling in the same clearing as yesterday high, north and east of footbridge pullout. At 7:30 a.m. Lauri D. from Helena spotted a black bear sow with two black yearling cubs in a little clearing below K Meadow. At 7:50 a.m. Scarface crossed the road at Lamar Canyon east after being seen in the Slough Creek area. At 8:00 a.m. the grizzly sow with two COY'S were less than one half mile off the road down to Slough Campground. At 8:15 a.m. the black bear sow with one brown and one black yearling cub were seen in a low clearing of Specimen Ridge. At 9:45 a.m. we had a black bear sow with one brown yearling cub south of midpoint turnout. At 2:00 p.m. we watched a courting pair of grizzlies high in the salad bowl At 6:00 p.m. the grizzly with three COY'S out again way south of the #1 finger of Norris (we watched her for a long time, and I found her again about 8:30 p.m. -- worried she was not eating, just standing looking around -- but on Tuesday she moved to a greener clearing and was eating well). At 9:00 p.m. I spotted a cinnamon bear near Thunderer trail head.
Tuesday - 28 May
39 degrees in the morning, and I made this a short day heading home for a couple of days. At 6:45 a.m. my first spot was a large black bear in the rendezvous area. At 7:00 a.m. I found the grizzly with three COY'S near where we had her last evening. At 7:45 a.m. Don told me about a grizzly sow with two yearlings that were bedded on ski slope (one big pile of grizzlies). I took Dunraven Pass on the way home. Lots of construction and about a 10 minute delay. Low clouds this morning, but the backside of Specimen Ridge was clear and I found a courting pair of grizzlies high on the ridge from trash can 57.
Road construction from Tower Junction to the Tower store is still going on. Their work week is Sunday to Thursday, with half hour delays and nightly closure from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. meaning that you cannot get out of Tower Campground until 7:00 a.m.
Wolf watchers: Larry and Linda from Wyoming, Jim and Joellen from Iowa, Pam and Denny from Utah, Rick M, Doug M from Silver Gate, Kathy L, Gerry from Scotland, Kathy M. from Colorado, Lauri and Dan L., Thomas and Kristine from Germany, and Ray and Lynn formerly from Illinois. Bear watchers: John and John and Randy from Washington, Wayne from Washington, Bob, Larry, Mark and Gary (the Raven Group), Jim and Twyla from Ohio, Hank from Washington, Ed and Bob from Utah, Margaret and Jean from Kansas and South Carolina, Ralph N. Margaret from Bozeman, Scott M. from Montana, Blake and Stacey (eagle eye) from Pocatello, Idaho, Doug M. from Gardiner, and Lauri D. from Helena. Others: Bob L, Alan and Sue, Jim and Judy W, Ray and Darlene from PA, Jim H, Mike M, and Josh S. from Utah, McNeil L., Carl S., Ken T, Linda T. and Nathan V.
Yellowstone National Park
Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park
|Yellowstone National Park Trip Reports|
|Yellowstone National Park Trip Reports|
|Yellowstone Wildlife Videos|
|Bighorn Rams||Grizzly Bear at Old Faithful|
|Bison / Buffalo at Old Faithful||Grizzly Bear near Roaring Mountain|
|Black Bear||Grizzly Sow Nursing Cubs|
|Black Wolf||Otters at Trout Lake|
|Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel||Otter at Yellowstone Lake|
|Grizzly Bear at Blacktail Ponds|
|Yellowstone Geyser and Thermal Videos|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption||Old Faithful with Bison|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption Two||Pocket Basin|
|Fan and Mortar||Roaring Mountain|
|Grand Geyser||Rocket and Grotto|
|Old Faithful One||West Thumb|
|Yellowstone Waterfall Videos|
|Cave Falls||Mesa Falls||Undine Falls|
|Gibbon Falls||Rustic Falls||Upper Falls|
|Lower Falls||Tower Fall||Wraith Falls|
|I n d e x|
|Adult Programs||Entrances||Old Faithful Live WebCam||Visitor Stats|
|Amphibians||Entrance Fees||Pets||Volcano Observatory|
|Animals||Fall Closure||Phone Numbers||Waterfalls|
|Bear Management||Fishing Fees||Ranger Led Activities||WebCams|
|Bear Sightings||Fishing Regulations||Reptiles||Wildflowers|
|Biking||Getting Here||Reunions||Winter Closing|
|Boating||Hiking||Rivers, Creeks & Streams||Winter Opening|
|Books||History||Roads||Winter Weather Reports|
|Butterflies||Junior Ranger Program||Schedule||Wolf Project|
|Camping||Lakes||Search Page||Wolf Sightings|
|Campground Maps||Location||Spring Opening||Wolverine Help|
|Challenges||Lodging||Star Talks||Yellowstone ~ the Name|
|Chat Page||Lynx Help||Trip Planner pdf||Young Scientist|
|Clinics / Medical||Mammal List||Trip Reports||Youth Conservation Corps|
|Yellowstone National Park WebCams|
|Old Faithful Live||All Old Faithful||Old Faithful Static||Old Faithful VC||North Entrance||Mt Washburn||Mammoth||YVO WebCam|
|Entrance Cities and Gateway Towns|
|Gardiner, Montana||Silver Gate, Montana||West Yellowstone, Montana||Cooke City, Montana|
|Livingston, Montana||Cody, Wyoming||Jackson Hole, Wyoming||Yellowstone National Park|
|The Great Outdoors Net||Great Outdoor Recreational Places|
|Gardiner, Montana||West Yellowstone, Montana|