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Yellowstone National Park 2017 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wildlife Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

28 through 31 October 2017 - Yellowstone National Park

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

~ October 2017 ~

Yellowstone Wolf ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

Black bear cubs by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Saturday - October 28th

I decided to make a quick trip back to Yellowstone National Park for a few days. I left Idaho Falls at 3:35 a.m. and made Hayden Valley before daylight. It was 39 degrees in Idaho Falls and only 30 degrees in Hayden Valley warming up to 61 degrees in the afternoon in Lamar Valley. I had a total of three foxes and one raccoon on the road on my way up. Also there were quite a few swans on the Yellowstone River in Hayden Valley, but surprising to me only one pair on Swan Lake. With nothing in Hayden Valley I moved east and ran into Jon and Karen E at Mary's Bay. At 8:50 a.m. they had been watching a grizzly walking along the lake on the south end of Mary's Bay. It chased a mule deer into the lake and swam after it for a few hundred yards. I arrived as the grizzly was back on the beach walking along the shoreline. A nice sized dark grizzly crossed fifteen yards from the cars to the east. A 3:50 p.m. a found a grizzly with two cubs of the year on the south end finger # 3 on Norris. This family was out for about an hour and a half and finally ended up on the # 4 finger on Norris. They looked in great shape and no signs of slowing down for the winter. I camped in Silver Gate tonight.

Sunday - October 29th

27 degrees this morning with frost on the inside of the windshield when I left camp. It warmed up to 48 degrees but the temperature really dropped in the afternoon. No wolves or bears were sighted all day. I camped outside of Gardiner near La Duke tonight.

Yellowstone Grizzly Bear taken Spring 2014 ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

Monday - October 30th

28 degrees this morning warming up to the low 40's. Today I had a fox, an ermine that was already white, and a flying squirrel. I decided to look outside of the park this morning hoping that with the elk season open I could still find a few grizzlies. Just after daylight I found a large dark grizzly in a lower field that I like to watch. Just a minute later I spotted a light colored grizzly digging 100 yards from the large grizzly. About fifteen minutes later a grizzly sow and two cubs of the year walked uphill thru a long meadow and into the tree line. We also watched several hundred tundra swans flying high above us this morning. Elk season was in full swing and we heard a few rifle shots. We saw one bull elk taken in the large field across from where all the grizzlies were seen. I camped back near Silver Gate tonight.

Tuesday - October 31st

12 degrees this morning with heavy frost on the inside of the windshields this morning warming up only to the low 30's. There was a storm moving into Yellowstone late today so I made it a short day. At 8:00 a.m. the Junction Butte wolves howled north of the Institute. I watched for a while seeing only three blacks and one gray, but the wolf people finally saw all eight. They had a carcass in the area and were bedded most of the time with only a few moving around once in a while.

The road construction is still going on from Roaring Mountain to almost Willow Flats on the Norris to Mammoth road. A friend talked to a construction worker who said they would finish this stretch in the first summer month of 2018, but delay the paving for six months allowing the road to settle.

People Seen

From Pennsylvania: Dusty. From Kansas: Calvin and Lynette J. From Idaho: Jon and Karen E, and Jennings and Carma S. From the Netherlands: Yort V. From Montana: Barb M, Rick M, Doug M, Bob L, Alan and Sue O, Jack G, and Dan and Cindy H. From Wyoming: Larry and Linda H. From Colorado: Dale and Faye. From Virginia: Jason W, and Debbie L. From Ireland: Alwyn S. And from Vermont: Don P.

Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

Yellowstone National Park

Sightings and Trip Report are from the North and Northeast Area of Yellowstone

Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park

Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park

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