Yellowstone National Park 2016 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
30 May through 08 June 2016
~ May 2016 ~
Monday - May 30th
41 degrees this morning warming up to 60 degrees with wind again. At 5:30 a.m. I spotted a grizzly on the west end of Amethyst Bench. At 6:20 a.m. I found a cinnamon black bear high north of the Institute. At 6:25 a.m. we had a black bear high on Salad Bowl viewed from the Institute. At 6:45 a.m. the grizzly sow with one COY was on Druid Peak (they were also in view at 6:00 p.m. in the evening). At 7:30 a.m. we had a grizzly with a yearling on finger 0 from Footbridge Pullout. At 8:20 a.m. we had a grizzly digging on Ski Slope (may have been the blond grizzly we have seen a lot). At 8:45 a.m. I found a grizzly with one yearling in the Slough Creek bowl (I stayed and watched from the Slough Creek restroom but John G and Randi M went up the home and viewed from 300 yards or so (it was out for over 30 minutes). At 8:50 a.m. 907F of the Junction Butte was at the Slough Creek den. At 10:00 a.m. the grizzly with the two COY's was on Junction Butte on the north end. At 10:05 a.m. we had a black sow with one black yearling on Tower Hill (quite a bear jam, just off the road). I saw my first mountain goat kid this year across from Pebble Creek Campground today. At 5:30 p.m. we watched a grizzly hunting elk calves on Bear Meadow viewed from the Institute. At 8:00 p.m. a black bear was in the old Druid rendezvous at the tree line.
Tuesday - May 31st
29 degrees this morning warming up to 62 degrees. Viewed a vulture and a moose today in Lamar Valley. At 5:45 a.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with one COY on Druid Peak. At 6:00 a.m. I found a black bear on #1 finger on Norris. At 6:20 a.m. I spotted a large black bear south and west of Picnic Area. At 6:25 a.m. we had a small colorful grizzly north of Picnic Pullout. At 7:30 a.m. the grizzly sow with two COY's was on the north end of Junction Butte viewed from way down the road at Slough Creek. At 7:40 a.m. we had a large grizzly above Slough Creek den. Between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. I watched the grizzly sow with three COY's in Alum Creek in Hayden Valley. At 11:00 a.m. I spotted a large fat grizzly in the tree line east of Grizzly Overlook in the Hayden Valley. At 3:30 p.m. we had a black bear near Calcite Springs. At 3:45 p.m. two gray wolves, one collared Junction Butte wolves were near the Slough Creek den. At 4:30 p.m. I found a large cinnamon black bear on #1 finger of Norris. At 7:05 p.m. we watched grizzly in the clearing south of Ski Slope viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 7:55 p.m. all four Lamar Canyon wolves were south of Footbridge Pullout howling (no answer from the north den area).
~ June 2016 ~
Wednesday - June 1st
30 degrees this morning warming up to 70 degrees. The warmest day yet in Yellowstone. At 6:15 a.m. the grizzly sow with one COY was on Druid Peak. At 6:20 a.m. I spotted a grizzly on Penny Lane viewed from Footbridge (it was back in the clearing again at 7:30 a.m). At 8:30 a.m. the grizzly sow with two COY's was on Junction Butte. At 8:45 a.m. a gray collared and a black wolf of the Junction Butte wolf pack were near the Slough Creek den. A coyote den with three pups was found today, north and east of Midpoint Pullout. And another coyote den was found south of Fisherman's Pullout with four pups. At 5:15 p.m. a black bear sow with two cinnamon yearling cubs was south of Straight-away pullout in Little America. At 6:45 p.m. I spotted a grizzly high in the bowl viewed from Midpoint. At 7:15 p.m. we had a black bear in the tree line south and east of Picnic Pullout. At 7:30 p.m. I found a large grizzly way south on Norris viewed from Trash Can Pullout. At 7:45 p.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with one yearling on a clearing between Penny Lane and #1 finger on Norris. Richard and Rita R had a brief view this morning, then Margaret P found them tonight viewed from the Confluence.
Thursday - June 2nd
41 degrees this morning warming up to 67 degrees. We have been seeing a lone Trumpeter Swan in the confluence and it was out again this morning. I hiked with John G, Randi M, Abby, Rick and Maureen B to Clear and Ribbon Lakes in Hayden Valley today (6 miles round trip). At 7:15 a.m. I found a black bear on the #2 finger of Norris. At 7:20 a.m. the grizzly with the one COY was on Druid Peak. At 8:15 a.m. the grizzly sow with two COY's moved to the eastern Peregrine Hill viewed from down the Slough Creek road. At 8:15 a.m. we had three black and two gray wolf puppies and two black and three gray yearling adults and 907F of the Junction Butte wolf pack all near the Slough Creek den. At 11:00 a.m. we had a large dark grizzly leaving an elk calf carcass south of Grizzly Overlook in Hayden Valley (#791, a six year old boar, approximately 500 pounds, he had been eating the calf just across the river prior to my arrival). At 11:20 a.m. the grizzly with the three COY's was in Alum Creek. At 8:30 p.m. my last sighting for the day was a large cinnamon black bear in Round Prairie.
Friday - June 3rd
37 degrees this morning warming up to a very nice 75 degrees. At 6:30 a.m. the blond grizzly was in the bowl and again out at 7:30 a.m. At 7:15 a.m. 911M the alpha male of the Junction Butte pack bedded next to a bison with a bad leg and calving. Nothing happened this day, the calf looked good, but the cow has a very bad limp, probably can not keep up with the herd. At 7:20 a.m. the grizzly sow with the two COY's decided it was time to cross the road from the north back to the south and did so at Long Pullout. She took her time trying several times but the people blocked her from crossing. Soon the rangers showed up and created a clear space and across them came. She took her time, grazing on fresh grass as the tourists and photographers snapped lots of pictures. Strange that she only crosses in daylight. At 11:00 a.m. the grizzly with the with three COY's was out again in Alum Creek in Hayden Valley. At 1:40 p.m. we had a black bear at Rainy Lake. At 1:50 p.m. the black sow with two brown yearling cubs was near the Yellowstone River Picnic area (she is a little late, as most black bears with yearlings have thrown the cubs out to enter courting time with the boars). At 7:45 p.m. we had a small grizzly in the bowl higher up than the blond grizzly, so both grizzlies in sight at the same time.
Saturday - June 4th
36 degrees this morning warming up to a hot 78 degrees. We had a badger digging south of the Institute for over an hour. At 5:30 a.m. Randi M found a small grizzly low right on Ski Slope. At 5:45 a.m. I spotted a grizzly sow with one COY on Druid Peak. At 6:00 a.m. I found a black bear in the tree line south and east of Picnic. At 6:05 a.m. two gray and five black Mollies were south of Picnic. They spent the entire day between Picnic and south of the Institute, most of the time bedded and sleeping just across the river. At 6:15 a.m. I spotted a large cinnamon bear south of Picnic. At 9:00 a.m. three large black puppies, and three gray and one black puppy that were a little smaller around the Slough Creek den. Also seen were one collared gray and one un-collared gray Junction Butte adult wolves in the same area. At 9:10 a.m. we had a black bear high north and west of Slough Creek. At 11:10 a.m. a black (Mollie I think) wolf north of Dorothy's howling to the south as the Mollie wolves bedded south of the Institute. From 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. the grizzly sow with two COY's was back on Specimen Ridge. At 8:00 p.m. all four Lamar Canyon wolves are south of Picnic moving west towards the Mollie bedded wolves (6 count). Soon the Lamar Canyon proceed west towards bedded Mollie wolves they do not know are there. The Lamar Canyon four find their scent and join forces. Just at this time the Mollie's sense the Lamar Canyons and start to move to the east. I was watching from near Midpoint and could see the Lamar Canyons closer across the river going west and the Mollies closer to the tree line going east passing each other. They passed like two ships in the ocean not knowing the others were there. Soon the Mollies figured it out and the chase began. As always six wins over four, so the Lamar Canyon females figured it out quickly and at a full run headed to the north and first the river and then the road. 926F for the first to cross the road, and unknown to her she crossed the road and ran right into the coyote den area where the two coyotes bit her several times as she looked back to see the running Mollies. Little T the three year old female was second to cross and then slowly passed us also looking back to access the Mollie's. The two males hesitated to access the charge, determined they were outnumbered and ran for their lives. 965M crossed to the east of my location while 993M was still heading east all out with all six Mollies in hot pursuit. One wolf watcher was traveling east past most of the action and was traveling at 40 miles an hour and barely gaining on 993M who finally crossed at the confluence. It was over, all the Lamar Canyons crossed the road, the Mollies gathered up the six and milled back to the west. At 8:45 p.m. a black bear with two COY's was high behind #1 finger on Norris. At 8:55 p.m. we had a grizzly sow with one yearling on the #3 finger of Norris.
Sunday - June 5th
40 degrees this morning warming up to a warm 83 degrees. At 5:30 a.m. four black wolves and one gray Mollie wolf were south of Coyote Overlook on this side of the river. At 6:00 a.m. I spotted a cinnamon black bear behind #1 finger on Norris. At 6:05 a.m. I found a light grizzly on K Meadow. At 6:05 a.m. we had a grizzly sow and one yearling on #3 finger on Norris. At 6:10 a.m. we watched a black bear high behind #1 finger on Norris. At 6:40 a.m. the grizzly sow with one COY was on Druid Peak. At 6:50 a.m. a black sow with one cinnamon yearling cub was below Druid Peak in a small clearing. At 7:45 a.m. the grizzly sow with two COY's were on Specimen Ridge. At 9:45 a.m. I found the grizzly sow with three COY's at Alum Creek.
Monday - June 6th
42 degrees this morning warming to 85 degrees. The swan was back at Footbridge this morning. At 6:50 a.m. I found the grizzly sow with two COY's high on Specimen Ridge. At 8:30 a.m. three black and two gray pups along with one gray collared and an un-collared black yearling near the Slough Creek den. At 9:15 a.m. a gray collared and a gray un-collared wolf were south in Crystal Creek. I hiked up Slough Creek about three miles today with John G, Randi J, Kathie L, a young girl from Germany, and Rick and Maureen B. At 5:10 p.m. I found a grizzly with one yearling cub on #1 finger of Norris. At 8:15 p.m. we watched a black bear in the tree line in the old Druid rendezvous area. I also had a THREE DOG DAY today.
Tuesday - June 7th
44 degrees this morning warming up to 78 degrees with pm showers. At 6:15 a.m. I spotted a black bear sow with one cinnamon yearling on Druid Peak At 6:25 a.m. I found a black bear in the tree line south of Midpoint. At 6:35 a.m. we watched the grizzly sow with two COY's on the Middle Ridge of Crystal Drainage viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 6:40 a.m. we had a small grizzly on the skyline west end of the bowl viewed from the Institute. At 9:10 a.m. the grizzly sow with three COY's again in Alum Creek. Today they were farther back near the power lines. The cubs were putting on a show today. For fifteen minutes they chased each other all around the sow not slowing down at all. Two cubs are white faced and larger than the darker smaller cub. The smaller cub stopped a few times getting under the sow but usually chased after the other two. At 9:25 a.m. I spotted a large dark boar in Alum Creek. At 11:15 a.m. a gray yearling of the Wapiti Lake pack was near the point of the trees from Grizzly Overlook in Hayden Valley. At 7:15 p.m. two black and one gray pup and two gray and one black adults of the Junction Butte pack were seen near the Slough Creek den.
Wednesday - June 8th
At 6:15 a.m. I started the day off with a grizzly high south and west of Footbridge in some deep areas. I left to go west and John G and Randi M had a second grizzly in the same area. Unusual! I pulled in to the Institute where Richard and Rita R had had six or seven grizzlies. At 7:00 a.m. I found a small grizzly in the bowl moved off going south and east. At 7:15 a.m. we had a colorful grizzly in the bowl digging. At 7:30 a.m. in terrible light Richard and Rita R found the grizzly sow with one COY now north of the Institute. At 8:00 a.m. Dave from Utah found the black bear sow with one cinnamon cub near the grizzly family, they soon moved away after scenting them. At 9:00 a.m. I found the grizzly sow with two COY's in the Middle Ridge of Crystal viewed from Coyote Overlook. They were out for over 1 1/2 hours. At 9:30 a.m. a light grizzly was on Ski Slope in view for about one hour. At 11:10 a.m. we had the black bear sow with two cinnamon yearlings south in Little America from Straight-away Pullout. I am taking Thursday and Friday off to visit my apartment for a few days in Idaho Falls.
I will return on Saturday. I am planning on seeing a lot less grizzlies as John G, Randi M, Terri from Wyoming, Margaret and Jean and Richard and Rita have left or are leaving soon.
From Montana: Emil, Alan and Sue O, Pete B, Peter M, Jim H, Linda T, Nathan V, Frank Y, Kevin and Tammy, Carl S, MacNeil L, Dan, Cindy and Kelly H, Bob L, and Cliff B. From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Oregon: Dale and Elva P. From Utah: John S. From Iowa: Bob A and Steve S. From Arizona: David and Phyllis. From Wyoming: Dick P. From Colorado: Jim and Bobbie F. From Idaho: Ray L and Kathy. From Pennsylvania: Ray and Darlene R.
Buffalo Youngsters Playing - April 16th, 2016 - Lamar Valley
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