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Yellowstone National Park 2014 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

01 thru 07 April 2014

Yellowstone Wolf ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

~ April 2014 ~

Yellowstone Grizzly Bear taken Spring 2012 ~ © Copyright Frank Smith All Rights Reserved

Tuesday - 01 April

I left Idaho Falls at 7:30 a.m. and headed for Yellowstone National Park. I decided to go up through Ennis for a change, instead of going through West Yellowstone. I had great roads and saw about 200 elk, 150 pronghorn antelope, and 50 mule deer. Nearing Gardiner I found lots of bison, elk, deer and antelope. The high temperture was 44 degrees in the park today. I got a break and got to check into the cottage early. I headed to Hellroaring Overlook to watch six of seven of the Junction Butte pack including the four collars 890M, 870F, 869M, 907F, and two of the three pups (total seven in this pack now (one black 890 and six grays). Most of the wolves were bedded, but around 4:30 p.m. a couple got moving around. Soon Becky and Chloe shouted that there was a grizzly bear with them. The griz went directly to a fresh winter killed bison carcass that the wolves were on earlier. Nice to have both a grizzly and wolves the first day in the park.

Wednesday - 02 April

As I headed into the park, it was 27 degrees and snowing, roads were bad as it only got up to 35 degrees, but the roads cleared for the trip back to Gardiner. From mid-morning to early afternoon all seven of the Junction Butte pack were in view from Hellroaring Overlook. Visibility wasn't good.

Moose in Winter ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

Thursday - 03 April

Low of 27 degrees warming to 39 degrees. The morning started with a grizzly, a different one on the carcass at Hellroaring Overlook. He didn't stay long, but returned about 5:30 p.m. again. Snowy again with a lot of poor visibility.

Friday - 04 April

15 degrees this morning, but warmed into the low 40's. Calvin and Lynette and Sian found the 8 Mile Pack on the Blacktail this morning. They had a count of seven (5 blacks and 2 grays and all pups); I was only there for a little while and counted four. At 7:20 a.m. a grizzly was on the carcass from Hellroaring Overlook. At 8:20 a.m. I saw one gray of the Junction Butte on a carcass in Crystal Drainage (apparently two grays there, I only saw one). At 9:50 a.m. both of the Lamar Canyon wolves in sight in Lamar Valley. 925M and 926F put on a show north of Picnic and west for over an hour. I did find a fox and coyote today, so I had a THREE DOG DAY!

Saturday - 05 April

30 degrees this morning warming to 42 degrees. I saw a couple of snowshoe rabbits near Mammoth on the way in. Today was a three wolf pack day. But first at 6:45 a.m. I found a grizzly on the carcass as Hellroaring Overlook. At 7:30 a.m. back to the Blacktail to watch three of the seven pups of the 8 Mile Pack. At 8:40 a.m. 925M and 926F north of Midpoint in the Lamar Valley. At 1:00 p.m. Sian found six of seven of the Junction Butte pack going up and over Specimen Ridge (869M was missing today).

Sunday - 06 April

34 degrees this morning warming to 42 degrees. One swan flying above the Lamar River and one fox today. I had a THREE DOG DAY today, but little else. At 7:15 a.m. 925 and 926 north of the Institute in Lamar.

Yellowstone Bighorn Ram ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

Monday - 07 April

30 degrees this morning warming to 47 degrees. I saw one snow shoe hare near Mammoth and one mountain goat above the Institute. I had a three wolf pack day today, but no bears. Ralph had howling well before daylight south of Floating Island Lake. At 7:00 a.m. Sian and Lynette heard howling in Hellroaring. Sian found all seven of the Junction Butte pack on the slope. Soon after we heard a group wolves howling to the west, but could never locate them. While looking for the wolves to the west, we had a howl 200 yards in front of us at Lower Hellroaring and 763M showed himself. Moving quickly into the Lamar 755M and 889F were north of coyote overlook. On the way back to Gardiner, three moose on the high part of the road between Geode Creek and Phantom Lake eating willows.

Friends Seen

Wolf watchers: Sian from the UK, Calvin and Lynette from Kansas, Becky and Chloe from Montana, Rick M, Doug M, and Peter M all from Montana. Also Alan and Sue and Iona P from Montana. Bear watchers: Ralph N., Doug M. (from Gardiner), Scott and Peggy from Idaho and the Rich Family (Greg, Tracie, Megan, Ryan, Kyle, and Tyler) from Montana. Others: Bob B. from Utah, Cliff B. from Montana, Don and Carol from Missouri, Jim H. from Gardiner, Bob L. from Gardiner, Jim and Judy W. from Montana, and Jim and Bobbie F. from Colorado.

Other Wildlife / News

Lots of bison, and a lot of bison still outside of the park. Lots of elk. Lots of mule deer. The pronghorn antelope still near Gardiner or outside of the park. Bighorn sheep in the usual places outside the park, Gardiner to Mammoth, near Wrecker, across from Footbridge, and across from Boulder Pullout. Golden and bald eagles mainly near the carcasses. Bluebirds, magpies, ravens, geese and ducks. Only a few sandhill cranes and no ospreys yet. Red-tail hawks and a couple kestrels.

Coyote mousing at Nature Trail ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston Yellowstone Wolf and Buffalo ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston
Yellowstone Wolves ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston Yellowstone Sunset ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

Yellowstone Coyote taken Spring 2012 ~ © Copyright Randal W. Horobik All Rights Reserved

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