Yellowstone National Park 2016 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
11 through 17 June 2016
~ June 2016 ~
Saturday - June 11th
I left Idaho Falls just before 3:00 a.m. and made good time arriving in Hayden Valley before 6:20 a.m. It was 44 degrees in Hayden Valley warming up to 80 degrees in Lamar Valley with rain in the afternoon. At 7:30 a.m. 755M the alpha male of the Wapiti Lake wolf pack was bedded near the point of the trees north and east of Grizzly Overlook. I heard that Quad Mom (the grizzly that had four cubs of the year [coy's] a few years ago, this year had two coy's) was in sight at Swan Lake Flats. At 8:55 a.m. a arrived at the bear jam at Swan Lake Flat to see Quad mom and her two coy's digging within 70 yards of the road. She has a big gash in her forehead above her eyes from a few weeks ago, but it seems to be healing well. At 10:30 a.m. I spotted the grizzly sow with two coy's on the Middle Ridge of Crystal (she was also out again at 4:00 p.m. for quite a while). At 10:35 a.m. one black Junction Butte wolf pup was near the den in Slough Creek. At 2:45 p.m. I found a cinnamon black bear in Round Prairie. I did had a THREE DOG DAY today.
Sunday - June 12th
I saw a mule deer fawn at Lamar Canyon West and a moose at Lower Baronette today. It was 43 degrees in Silver Gate this morning warming up to 69 degrees. At 7:00 a.m. a black pup of the Junction Butte wolf pack was near the Slough Creek den (the total count on pups of the Junction Butte's is 4 black and 4 gray; with 10 adult wolves now). At 8:00 a.m. I spotted a grizzly in K Meadow viewed first from the Confluence but longer from Footbridge Pullout. At 9:20 a.m. I found a courting pair of grizzlies on the backside of Specimen Ridge north of Gun Sight viewed from Antelope Creek. At 10:00 a.m. the grizzly sow with two coy's had moved back onto Specimen Ridge. At 11:00 a.m. 911M and 969F of the Junction Butte wolf pack were bedded south of the Institute in Lamar Valley (note: 911M stayed there all day, still in sight near sundown). At 3:45 p.m. we had a grizzly sow with one yearling cub north of Coyote Overlook in sight for over an hour. At 5:20 p.m. I spotted a grizzly digging in the far clearing south of Ski Slope. At 6:45 p.m. we had a large dark collared grizzly with a smaller lighter grizzly north of the Institute. Although in view for quite a while, the light was terrible that time of day looking to the north. I guessed a courting pair of grizzlies.
Monday - June 13th
43 degrees this morning warming up to 68 degrees. A bull moose was spotted in Round Prairie before first light this morning. At 5:40 a.m. I found a small grizzly north between Coyote and Dorothy's Pullouts digging. At 5:55 a.m. I spotted a large dark grizzly crossing north to south in the sagebrush flats south of Hitching Post viewed from Footbridge Pullout. At 9:00 a.m. we had a black bear crossing in Crystal Drainage. At 10:05 a.m. the grizzly sow with two coy's high on the backside of Specimen Ridge viewed first from Elk Creek than from Antelope Creek. She was living dangerously today, out in the clearings over 1/2 mile from any trees at all. At 10:40 a.m. a black bear sow with one yearling cub in a big bear jam at the Petrified Tree Road entrance. At 11:20 a.m. a large black bear ran across the clearing near Roof Top viewed from Antelope Creek. I watched for quite a while to see what had spooked it, but nothing appeared. At 2:55 p.m. we had a small colorful grizzly on Roof Top on the backside of Specimen Ridge viewed from Antelope Creek. At 5:50 p.m. I spotted a small colorful grizzly on Penny Lane viewed from the Confluence. At 6:40 p.m. my last sighting for the day was a medium sized light grizzly above the snow patch on Ski Slope viewed from Coyote Overlook.
Tuesday - June 14th
38 degrees this morning in Silver Gate warming up to a nice 69 degrees. A lone Trumpter swan was again near the Confluence this morning. In the afternoon we heard loud noises north and west of Coyote Overlook. A golden eagle dived three times hitting a fawn antelope with the doe right there. Soon the ravens joined the aerial assault, but the fawn looked not to be damaged by the attack. At 6:25 a.m. the medium sized grizzly was still in the clearing above the snow patch on Ski Slope. At 7:15 a.m. a large grizzly crosses Salad Bowl east to west, then reappears crossing Specimen Ridge, first viewed from Coyote Overlook then later from Lamar Canyon West. At 8:00 a.m. I spotted a small colorful grizzly come over the top of Specimen Ridge into view on the top of A-Z Meadow. At 10: 15 a.m. three gray adult wolves, and two black and two gray puppies were in view near the Slough Creek Den. At 3:20 p.m. we had a black bear below Junction Butte viewed from the road passing the Yellowstone Picnic Area. At 5:55 p.m. we watched the grizzly sow with two coy's is digging back on Middle Ridge.
Wednesday - June 15th
43 degrees and raining this morning, Dunraven Pass also closed this morning, warming up to 65 degrees. I had two vultures again today, these were north of Coyote Overlook. Because of the rain, I did get a campsite at Pebble Creek campground where I spent the rest of this trip. At 6:00 a.m. I started the day with a grizzly high north of Coyote Overlook. At 6:40 a.m. I found a grizzly high above the snow bank on Ski Slope. At 7:20 a.m. we had a collared grizzly on K Meadow. At 7:25 a.m. we watched a courting pair of grizzlies on the #2 finger of Norris (they were out again at 8:30 p.m. tonight). At 8:35 a.m. a gray pup was near the Sagebrush den at Slough Creek. From 1:30 p.m. thru 2:20 p.m. we had the grizzly sow with two coy's on the Middle Ridge in Crystal Drainage (they were out again at 7:30 p.m. tonight). At 6:15 p.m. I found a courting pair of grizzlies north of the Institute, they were out sight for a little while, but came back out at 7:30 p.m. tonight. At 6:40 p.m. 965M and 926F of the Lamar Canyon wolf pack bedded on Norris viewed from the Confluence.
Thursday - June 16th
50 degrees this morning warming up to 73 degrees, nice but windy. At 5:45 a.m. I found a grizzly digging high on the skyline in the clearing just east of Penny Lane. At 6:05 a.m. I spotted a dark grizzly digging north of the Institute. At 6:05 a.m. I also watched the grizzly with one coy high on Druid Peak viewed from the Institute. At 8:00 a.m. we had a dark grizzly digging on Norris viewed from the Institute. At 8:45 a.m. the grizzly sow with two coy's was on the Middle Ridge viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 5:00 p.m. thru 6:30 p.m. two black and 2 gray puppies and three gray adults of the Junction Butte Pack near the Slough Creek den. At 7:20 p.m. my last sighting for the day was a small colorful grizzly digging in bare ground north of the Institute.
Friday - June 17th
37 degrees at Pebble Creek Campground this morning warming up to a nice but breezy 77 degrees. At 6:10 a.m. the grizzly sow with one coy was on Druid Peak. At 6:45 a.m. I spotted a grizzly high digging just the west of A-Z Meadow near the skyline. At 7:05 a.m. the grizzly sow with two coy's was on Salad Bowl (since John G found this family on April 30th, they have only been on Middle Ridge, Specimen Ridge and Junction Butte). This grizzly family was out again at 4:30 p.m. again on the Salad Bowl. From 8:00 a.m. thru 9:40 a.m. four gray and three black pups along with 890M, 907F, and two gray adult wolves were near the Slough Creek den. At 9:00 a.m. 994M the gray collared Junction Butte wolf was located on the Divide Ridge in Crystal Drainage. At 3:30 p.m. a black bear was east of the Horizontal Forest in Slough Creek. At 6:50 p.m. my last sighting for this report was a very large dark grizzly digging on Penny Lane.
Wolf Watchers seen this report June 11th thru June 23rd. From Montana: Amy T, Dan and Laurie L, Melba C, Leo L, Deby D, Rick M, Doug M, Lizzie C, Josh A, and Becky and Chloe. From California: Kathie L, Bill W, and Dorothy D. From New York: Rick and Maureen B. From Wyoming: Larry and Linda H. From Ohio: Dan and Pam M. From Washington: Betzi D, and Larry and Linda R. From Oregon: Bruce and Kelly. From Florida: Ray and Lynn R, and Andy and Missy. From Connecticut: Colleen an Dez. From Minnesota: Ryan and Anna A. And from Indiana: David and Bena. Not seen this report: From Utah: Bob B.
Buffalo Youngsters Playing - April 16th, 2016 - Lamar Valley
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Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park
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