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Yellowstone National Park 2018 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

25 through 28 March 2018 - Yellowstone National Park

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

~ March 2018 ~

Yellowstone Wolf ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

Moose in Winter ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

Sunday - March 25th

I left Idaho Falls and made good time and made Gardiner in five hours. Lots of elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and white tailed deer on the trip. I had a kingfisher off the road also. Lots more snow this year in Yellowstone, like it use to be ten years ago. I had a cow moose in the Blacktail and the blue birds have arrived. Flocks of black rosy finches flying around in Little America and Lamar Valley now, moving thru the area. At 6:30 p.m. Sian J showed me an uncollared black wolf on the Blacktail.

Monday - March 26th

24 degrees in Gardiner but 15 degrees this morning at Blacktail warming up to 35 degrees. I had a fox in Gardiner before daylight and a still white weasel near Mammoth this morning. The bald eagle nest in Lamar Valley across from Coyote Overlook has the female sitting on the nest. At 10:30 a.m. Doug M (wolf watcher) found the Wapiti Lake wolf pack south of Elk Creek with great viewing from the Petrified Tree parking lot. Five black, ten gray and one white wolf currently make up the pack.

Tuesday - March 27th

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

27 degrees in Gardiner but 15 degrees at Blacktail this morning warming up to 40 degrees. At 8:00 a.m. I got a call that there was a grizzly visible from north of the high dirt pullout at Elk Creek. A large male I think, quite viewable walking in the snow about two miles away. It was in view for over fifteen minutes. At 8:45 a.m. the Junction Butte Wolves were bedded in the large meadow viewed from Upper Hellroaring Creek. Seven of the eight were there this morning. Missing was 1109F who has been traveling by herself the last week. The current make up of the pack is six blacks and two grays (the blacks 1047M the alpha male (with a bad limp), 1048M, 996M whose collar is not working, 1109F, one uncollared female and one uncollared male, the grays 969F alpha female and 907F her sister).

Wednesday - March 28th

35 degrees this morning warming up to 37 degrees; however, 6 inches of new snow in the park this morning. Roads were bad until the snow plows went thru then the roads weren't too bad. At 7:20 a.m. I found the Junction Butte wolves low in Hellroaring but we only counted six wolves this morning. Later in the day the wolf crew found the wolves on a bison carcass which it was assumed that the wolves killed. All seven wolves from yesterday were on the carcass. At 8:25 a.m. nine Mollies wolves were found in Lamar Valley North and east of Mid Point Pullout on a fresh bull elk carcass. We had four gray and five black wolves there. At 4:15 p.m. I went to Blacktail with Sian J because the 8 Mile wolves had been seen there after I left this morning. Sian J found them and after about an hour they got up and moved. We had eleven wolves 3 gray and eight blacks (the pack when everyone is there is 13 with four grays and nine blacks). They milled around for a few minutes then all eleven started running very fast to the east. We finally picked up a lone black running for its life several hundred yards ahead of the 11 in hot pursuit. Towards the end we noticed that the single black had found another black wolf and both were running for their lives. The chase finally went out of sight in some heavy trees. I was heading home from the Nature Walk when I got a call that a grizzly was coming to the carcass at Hellroaring. When I arrived the grizzly had found the carcass and immediately tore into the carcass dragging it down hill in the process. I hope the grizzly stays on the carcass, still a lot on it, so I plan to be there at daylight.

People Seen

Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Doug M, Melba C, Rick and Nancy E, Rick M, Leo L, Cliff B Lizzie C, Laurie L, Becky C and Chloe F and Ilona P. From Kansas: Calvin and Lynette J. From the UK: Alan and Kirsty P, and Sian J. From the Netherlands: Jort V. From Missouri: Don and Carol L. From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Colorado: Steve and Robin M, Bear Watchers: From Wyoming: Richard and Rita R. From Montana: Mike and Kathy W, Greg, Tracie, Megan, Kyle, Ryan and Tyler R. Others: From Montana: MacNeil L, Jim and Judy W, Bob L, Ken S, Evan S, Nathan V, and Bonnie. And finally and last Bob B from Utah.

Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

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