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Yellowstone National Park 2018 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

29 March thru 01 April 2018 - Yellowstone National Park

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

Yellowstone Wolf ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

~ March 2018 ~

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

Thursday - March 29th

27 degrees in Gardiner but 16 degrees at Blacktail this morning warming up to 43 degrees. I had a moose near Soda Butte Cone this morning and a fox in Lamar Valley today. At daylight the grizzly was still on the carcass at Hellroaring. It had dragged the carcass downhill and was now a little harder to seen behind a big boulder with a couple of elk antlers on it. At 7:45 a.m. a grizzly was just leaving the bull elk carcass north and east of Footbridge Pullout that the Lamar Canyon wolves had killed yesterday. I only got to view the grizzly for about four minutes but it found the first tree in the heavy forest for a nice 30 second back rub. At 10:00 a.m. one gray and one black of the nine Mollies that came into the Lamar yesterday were visible north of Trash Can Pullout. This made my THREE DOG DAY. About this time I returned to Boulder where the Junction Butte wolves were around but not sighted, they had a fresh kill across the river from Wrecker Pullout. Soon the Junction Butte pack of seven or eight howled west of Junction Butte. Then the Wapiti Lake wolf pack, fifteen strong howled from somewhere above Roosevelt Lodge. Obviously the fifteen wolves howl was louder than the eight. Then the howling from the Wapiti Lake wolves became even louder. The Lamar River Bridge was blocked on and off this morning to tow a large pickup up from near the river, the driver had lost control in the six inches of snow yesterday. A few wolf watchers got thru and headed to Roosevelt Corrals and were treated to the whole pack crossing the road that goes to the Tower Store (closed to car traffic), then tried to cross the road going down to the bridge but traffic turned them around. The wolf watchers got to view some of the best wolf sightings they had ever seen. Around 2:30 p.m. the Junction Butte wolves were located high to the north of Aspen Pullout in Little America, my count was four black and one gray, but I think all were there sleeping.

Friday - March 30th

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

38 degrees in Gardiner and Lamar this morning warming up to about 45 degrees. At 8:00 a.m. the grizzly was still on the bison carcass at Hellroaring, and was still there at 6:00 p.m. tonight. At 9:15 a.m. the Wapiti Lake wolf pack, all fifteen came to the Junction Butte carcass across the river from Wrecker Pullout. Quite impressive as all fifteen ran down the hill to the carcass. The pack has five blacks, nine grays and the white alpha female. At 9:45 a.m. 1047M of the Junction Butte pack was running south and west from the Institute. Apparently the Junction Butte pack had met the Mollies this morning. 1047M crossed the road to the north joining the other seven pack members high on a ridge north and west of the Institute. At 9:50 a.m. two Mollies were moving towards the river corridor from south and east of the Institute. All the wolves looked good but I think the Junction Butte eight pushed the Mollies nine back south for a while. That made a three pack day and 25 wolves for the day.

Saturday - March 31st

28 degrees this morning warming up to just 30 degrees. I had four bedded moose east and south of Footbridge Pullout and a cow moose and two yearling calves in the willows near the S Curve on the Blacktail. Kim C showed me a fox high in the Salad Bowl from Dorothy's Pullout this afternoon. At 7:00 a.m. the grizzly was still on the bison carcass at Hellroaring, and was there this afternoon. At 2:40 p.m. Sian J, Becky C, and Chloe F showed me an unusual looking black bear near Midpoint in Lamar Valley. A small bear with his rear quarters much higher than the front. Our guess was a back injury or it was having trouble discarded its winter plug.

~ April 2018 ~

Sunday - April 1st

21 degrees in Gardiner but 11 degrees at Hellroaring this morning warming up to a breezy 38 degrees. At 7:00 a.m. the grizzly still on the bison carcass at Hellroaring, was still there this evening. At 8:20 a.m. one black and one gray of the 8 Mile sub group (4-6 members) were howling north and east of Upper Hellroaring. This morning I believe we had three packs in the area. To the west the 8 mile pack (11 or so, but unseen by me), to the east at least four of the 8 mile sub group and to the south the Junction Butte pack. At 9:30 a.m. all eight of the Junction Butte pack was located on the slopes of the large meadow at Hellroaring, still howling at the others. At 1:45 p.m. the small black bear from yesterday was eating grass and maybe pine cones north the Confluence in Lamar Valley.

People Seen

Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Rick M, Doug M, Lizzie C, Becky C, Chloe F, and Melba C. From the UK: Sian J. From Colorado: Steve and Robin M. From Missouri: Don and Carol L. From the Netherlands: Jort V. From California: Bill and Karen M. And a member of the Wolf Team from several years ago: Peter M. Bear Watchers: From Wyoming: Richard and Rita R. From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Idaho: Kim and Joyce C. From Montana: Doug M, Sarah W and family, and Greg, Tracie, Megan, Ryan, Kyle, and Tyler R. Others: from Montana: Nathan V, Evan S, Cliff B, Bob L, MacNeil L, Carl S, Dan and Cindy H, Leo L, Marilyn and Ken (brother, sister). From California: Rick and Nancy E. And lastly: from Utah: Bob B.

Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

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