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Yellowstone National Park 2018 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

14 through 17 April 2018 - Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

~ April 2018 ~

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

Saturday - April 14th

31 degrees this morning in Gardiner but only 19 degrees in Lamar Valley warming up to 44 degrees. Yesterday a big horn ram was killed by a vehicle near the Confluence in Lamar Valley. The rangers dragged in away from the road south towards the river at Exclosure. At 7:45 a.m. we had ten wolves of the 8 Mile wolf pack at Hellroaring. This morning we had seven black and three gray wolves that eventually moved north into some rocks and out of site. Moving to Little America several wolves were being watched at the Slough Creek Den. I did not go to watch them, stopping instead at Boulder Pullout to glass from there. I did have howling to the north. We watched for a while with no sightings. Then I found a collared gray and a black wolf across the river. Bob H later found the gray moving fast to the east. Then Bruce P found ten wolves running fast to the east. The black and gray were Junction Butte wolves and the ten wolves were the 8 Mile pack chasing the two Junctions. The 8 Mile pack moved to Mom's Ridge for great viewing. They soon found a scent trail of the Junction Butte wolves and headed towards the den area. 1047M was coming down to the den when the ten wolves came down towards the den. 1047M ran towards the campground with most of the ten chasing him. The 8 Mile wolves soon stopped the chase and returned to investigate both the natal and the sage den at Slough Creek, looking in both holes. Fortunately they soon left the area heading back to the west. Later in the afternoon four of the eight Junction Butte wolves returned to the den area. We believe that 969F was in the natal den during the attack. It appeared at the end of the evening that no wolves had been injured. At 10:00 a.m. a grizzly was spotted going north high from Boulder Pullout. Then at 11:00 a.m. Rita R found a grizzly heading south of the Middle Ridge at Slough Creek. The grizzly was in all snow and soon crested the hill and was out of sight. At 12:45 p.m. a black bear with a cinnamon yearling cub was spotted east of Yellowstone Picnic Area. This black sow had two cinnamon cubs of the year last year, so she has lost one of the two. At 3:55 p.m. a cinnamon sub adult (3-4 year old) black bear was near the Yellowstone River Bridge. At 4:00 p.m. a large black bear was near the Roosevelt gas station.

Sunday - April 15th

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

41 degrees in Gardiner but 34 degrees in Lamar Valley this morning warming up to a nice 50 degrees. I had my first vulture flying overhead in Little America today. At 7:45 a.m. all three Lamar Canyon wolves bedded near the bison carcass at Soda Butte Cone. I saw my first bison calf of the year today on Tower Hill. At 10:00 a.m. two black and one gray wolf were moving west on the high snow covered slopes of Hellroaring. 11:30 a.m. a black bear with one cinnamon yearling cub was east of Yellowstone Picnic Area. This sow had two cinnamon cubs of the year last year, has lost one of the two. At 1:30 p.m. Jeff A pointed out 969F coming out of the natal den at Slough Creek for a brief walk-about. At 3:40 p.m. Jort V called with the grizzly with one two year old cub on the south side of Junction Butte. They looked good, and the cub is almost the size of mom.

Monday - April 16th

44 degrees in Gardiner but 33 degrees in Lamar Valley this morning warming to a nice 56 degrees. The small black bear that has been near Hitching Post for a few days was found dead this morning. This is the one that got tossed in the air by a bison. It was a yearling female that was quite a bit underweight. At 11:00 a.m. the black bear with one cinnamon yearling cub was east of Yellowstone Picnic Area. A lot of play, sliding down snow banks, wrestling in trees and chasing around this morning in a playful manner. At 12:10 p.m. the grizzly sow with one two year old cub was again on the south end of Junction Butte. They were out for a while then out again from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. viewed from the Tower Junction area. At 3:10 p.m. we had the sub adult cinnamon black bear east of Yellowstone Picnic area on the north side of the road. It later crossed the road and got chased up a tree by the sow and yearling. At 5:20 a.m. I found a fresh bison carcass at Hellroaring with three black and one gray wolf in the area.

Tuesday - April 17th

Yellowstone Wolf and Buffalo ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

36 degrees in Gardiner but only 27 degrees at Hellroaring this morning warming up to 39 degrees. I had two foxes and a muskrat today. I also had a THREE DOG DAY. Lots of robins and kestrels flying around today. I started today at Hellroaring hoping for something on the bison carcass I had found last evening. Only birds and coyotes. At 6:40 a.m. Doug M (wolf watcher) found a grizzly just west of the Hellroaring Creek. At 8:00 a.m. the grizzly crossed Hellroaring Creek and eventually came to the carcass. But by noon the grizzly had left the carcass. Richard and Rita R did have a grizzly come in from the east at around 2:00 p.m. (not sure if the same or different grizzly). By this evening the carcass was pretty much gone. I am amazed how much meat and little time it takes birds to strip a carcass. At 9:30 a.m. the black sow black bear with one cinnamon yearling cub was again east of Yellowstone Picnic Area. At 10:00 a.m. seven of eight of the Junction Butte wolves were back at the den area in Slough Creek. 969F the alpha female pinned (dominated the other wolf my pinning her to the ground) 907F four times as I watched. One black female entered the sage den for forty minutes or so. At 11:20 a.m. a cinnamon black bear just off the road near Wrecker Grade just west of the Yellowstone Picnic Area. At 2:45 p.m. the grizzly sow with one two year old cub was on the west and north end of Junction Butte. Viewed first from Roosevelt Junction then from Rick's Pullout.

People Seen

Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Rick M, Doug M, Dan and Laurie L, Alan O, Amy T, Rick E, Cara M, Iona P, and Melba C. From California: Bob and Nell H. From the Netherlands: Jort V. From Colorado: Jim and Bobbie F. From Florida: Rick and Vicky K. From Indiana: Jeff and Terri B. From Mississippi: Chuck and Wynelle M. From Canada: Jeff and Jeanne A. From New York: Wendy B. Bear Watchers: From Washington: John G. From Wyoming: Richard and Rita R. From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Montana: Margaret L and Mel. And from Colorado: Ed A. Others seen this report: From Montana: Ken S, Reggie and Linda C, Ken and Sister Marilyn, Evan S. And from Utah: Bob B.

Lamar Valley ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

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