Yellowstone National Park 2016 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
23 through 29 May 2016
~ May 2016 ~
Monday - May 23rd
34 degrees with about 1 inch of snow on the car this morning. Windy all day warming up to 50 degrees. A cow and a calf moose again but at Footbridge Pullout today. At 5:30 a.m. three black Mollie wolves were on bison carcass south of the Institute. At 5:40 a.m. one black wolf was in the river corridor south of the Institute. We think the lone wolf was the outsider maybe an 8 mile wolf, as later the three Mollie's chased it for a little ways. At 6:00 a.m. all four Lamar Canyon wolves were seen going south on Norris near the Cache Creek trail viewed from Trash Can Pullout. At 8:20 a.m. we had a black yearling Junction Butte wolf near the den site in Slough Creek. At 9:25 a.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with one COY north of Soda Butte east and closer to the road. At 9:35 a.m. I found a cinnamon black bear on #1 finger of Norris. I did have a THREE DOG DAY today. At 2:40 p.m. the grizzly with two COY's were south of the tree line at Long Pullout. At 3:30 p.m. I spotted a grizzly low left in K Meadow near Jennings Rock from Footbridge Pullout. At 4:00 p.m. I spotted a light grizzly high below the snow south and west of Footbridge Pullout. At 4:30 p.m. we had a black bear on K2 also viewed from Footbridge Pullout. At 6:50 p.m. I found a blond grizzly on Amethyst Bench. At 7:20 p.m. I spotted a courting pair of grizzlies in the bowl viewed from the Institute.
Tuesday - May 24th
29 degrees in Lamar Valley warming up to a cold 54 degrees with wind all day and afternoon rain. At 5:15 a.m. we had three black Mollie's wolves near the carcass on Amethyst Bench south of the Institute. At 5:20 a.m. I spotted a blond grizzly near the carcass on Amethyst Bench. At 5:40 a.m. I found a grizzly digging north of Coyote Overlook. At 5:50 a.m. we had two black wolves on a new small carcass south and west of Fisherman's (one probably the lone wolf, the other a question). At 6:35 a.m. we had a courting pair of grizzlies on the skyline in the bowl viewed from the Institute. At 6:55 a.m. I found a black bear in the tree line south and west of Picnic. At 7:20 a.m. I found a black bear near Jennings Rock in K Meadow. At 8:45 a.m. the grizzly with one COY was spotted north of Soda Butte East. At 11:00 a.m. we had a black bear in the tree line south of Long Pullout. At 12:20 p.m. we had another grizzly this one with a 2 1/2 year old cub in the bowl from the Institute (note the courting pair was also in view at this time). These two were out again from 2:15 p.m. thru 7:15 p.m. Towards evening the lone black wolf visited the bison carcass on Amethyst Bench.
Wednesday - May 25th
37 degrees and rain in the morning, warming to a less windy and nicer 54 degrees today. I saw my first elk calf near Mammoth this morning. At 6:00 a.m. we had a black wolf on the carcass at Amethyst Bench (the lone wolf we think). At 6:30 a.m. the grizzly with the two year old cub was on Amethyst Bench chasing bison with no success. At 9:35 a.m. I found a large black bear on #2 sliver of Ski Slope viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 10:00 a.m. I spotted a grizzly digging north of Coyote Overlook. At 10:45 a.m. we had two grizzlies high on #3 finger of Norris spotted just as a brief rain storm came in, when it lifted the bears had disappeared. At 6:20 p.m. I found the courting pair of grizzlies from Antelope Creek high on the backside of Specimen Ridge (right of gun sight). At 7:20 p.m. three black and three gray Junction Butte wolves bedded south near the old Crystal Creek pen (others had seen a few wolves south, but had lost them in the morning). At 8:00 p.m. my last sighting for the day was a dark grizzly digging in the bowl from the Institute.
Thursday - May 26th
38 degrees in Lamar Valley in the morning warming to a nice 59 degrees with p.m. rain. At 5:45 a.m. I spotted a grizzly low on Ski Slope. At 5:50 a.m. I found a grizzly in Salad Bowl going to the west. At 6:15 a.m. we had three black and three gray Mollie wolves in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 6:45 a.m. Margaret P found a grizzly high and right in K Meadow. At 7:15 a.m. John G and Randi M had been watching a grizzly hunting elk calves on Square Meadow or the Diamond. Just as I arrived it found one and spent about an hour finishing it. At 7:20 a.m. I spotted a grizzly in the bowl digging. At 7:40 a.m. I found a grizzly courting pair way to the south of the Institute on the skyline. At 8:15 a.m. all four Lamar Canyon wolves were seen north of Midpoint. At 8:20 a.m. we had a grizzly across the river south and west of Picnic moving to the west. At 8:20 a.m. I found a black bear south and east of the Institute. We hiked into Yancy's Hole today back in about 1 1/2 miles. Quite a few marmots and a few bison that we walked around. At 4:30 p.m. we had a courting pair of grizzlies high on the #3 finger of Norris. Near dark all four of the Lamar Canyon wolves were north and east of Coyote Overlook. At 8:30 p.m. we had a lone black wolf in the river corridor south of the Institute (looked like the lone wolf again). At 8:40 p.m. I found the grizzly sow with one COY back on Druid Peak.
Friday - May 27th
37 degrees this morning warming up to 60 degrees. At 5:30 a.m. Terri from Wyoming found a grizzly digging north of Coyote Overlook. At 6:00 a.m. I spotted a black bear on A-Z Meadow from Coyote Overlook. At 6:40 a.m. the grizzly sow with two COY's were found across the road to the north on Junction Butte. They had crossed a morning or two right in front of Anne W from Colorado. At 6:50 a.m. two black pups of the Junction Butte wolf pack at the Slough Creek den. At 7:35 a.m. Kim and Joyce C found a courting pair of grizzlies plus what appeared to be a 2 1/2 year old cub trailing them on the skyline south of the Institute. At 8:25 a.m. I found a courting pair of grizzlies on the back side of #1 finger of Norris. At 8:40 a.m. we had a black bear sow with two black COY's on the #4 finger on Norris. At 10:00 a.m. we watched a black bear near Jennings Rock in K Meadow. At 10:30 a.m. six black and one gray Mollie's wolves south of Footbridge spotted by Barb M of Montana. At 11:15 a.m. three black Lamar Canyon wolves were north of Picnic Pullout. At 5:20 p.m. I spotted a courting pair of grizzlies on Penny Lane. At 7:30 p.m. we had two grizzlies one large, one small on Calfee viewed from the Confluence. Just after we spotted them another rain storm moved thru and when it cleared they were gone (probably a courting pair). The Mollies were hunting elk calves on Norris and got at least one. The courting pair of grizzlies were moving west on the upper parts of Norris and soon ran into the wolves and tried to find there catch. Good viewing from Trash Can of the wolves and courting pair interacting.
Saturday - May 28th
37 degrees in the morning warming up to 58 degrees and windy. We had four vultures in the valley again this morning. I spotted a large moose near Warm Spring going in at dark tonight. At 6:15 a.m. six Mollies wolves (5 black and 1 gray) bedded on Norris. At 7:00 a.m. all four Lamar Canyon wolves were north of Midpoint. At 7:25 a.m. I found a light blond grizzly in the bowl digging. At 10:10 a.m. the grizzly sow and two COY's were on Junction Butte (they like the north side and were viewed from the lower Slough Creek parking lots and then occasionally from Rick's Pullout and Elk Creek). At 10:15 a.m. a gray un-collared Junction Butte wolf at the Slough Creek den. At 11:20 a.m. we had a black bear south of Footbridge. At 12:00 noon I found all four of the Lamar Canyon wolves exactly where the Mollies had bedded this morning. They were scent marking over the Mollies scent. At 6:00 p.m. we watched a black bear near Jennings Rock in K Meadow. My first antelope fawn this morning on Dead Puppy Hill. Late in the evening 993M crossed the road and then bedded 200 yards up to the north near the far end of Soda Butte valley. He was in view for a good 30 minutes, lots of people got a pretty good look at him.
Sunday - May 29th
31 degrees warming to 65 degrees. We had a nice badger digging for over an hour in various places south of the Institute. At 5:25 a.m. I spotted a black bear high left in the Salad Bowl viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 6:00 a.m. the small blond grizzly in the bowl digging, then reappeared again and stayed out until after 7:00 a.m. At 7:00 a.m. five black Mollie's wolves were seen south of the Institute. At 8:15 a.m. we had a black bear on the Middle Ridge of Crystal viewed from the Slough Creek restroom. At 9:30 a.m. the grizzly sow with two COY's on Junction Butte viewed from Elk Creek. At 10:00 a.m. I found a large black bear west of Calcite Springs. At 10:15 a.m. a black wolf was seen with parts of an elk calf in the bottoms of Antelope Creek (probably a Junction Butte yearling). At 12:30 p.m. 755M of the Wapiti Lake pack was on a carcass in east side of Alum Creek in the Hayden Valley. At 1:30 p.m. the grizzly sow with one yearling called Raspberry and Snow bedded in a snow bank near Lake Butte east of Fishing Bridge. At 5:15 p.m. a large black bear at the Roosevelt Junction (had cars backed up 1/3 mile in all directions). At 7:00 p.m. we had a black pup of the Junction Butte sleeping on the porch of the den in Slough Creek. At 8:00 p.m. we watched the grizzly sow with one COY in view on Druid Peak.
Bear Watchers: From Montana: Ralph N, Doug M, Mike and Kathy W, Jack G, Jim H, David B, Chuck and Debbie, and Shari and Kate. From Washington: John G, Randi M, John B, and Gene. From Utah: Dean and Jeri D, Luke and Maleea, Ed and Sara S, Mark and Dave and Kevin and Pam. From Wisconsin: Tyler. From South Carolina: Margaret P. From Kansas: Jean S. From Minnesota: Mark S, Virgil and Marlene S, Kevin and Barb B. From Colorado: Don and Shirley. From Wyoming: Terri, Paul B, Richard and Rita R, and Richard B. From Kentucky: Ron. From Missouri: Don and Carol and Fred and Linda. From Ohio: Jim and Tywla E. From Illinois: UPS Mike and Theresa, Richard and Usula B, Chicago Bob and Margaret, and Michael. From Idaho: Jon and Karen E, Blake M, Stacey and Blake, and Carma and Jennings S.
Buffalo Youngsters Playing - April 16th, 2016 - Lamar Valley
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