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Yellowstone National Park 2018 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

18 through 21 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

Wednesday - April 18th

23 degrees in Gardiner this morning warming up to a nice 44 degrees. At 6:35 a.m. we had three separate grizzlies on or near the bison carcass in Hellroaring. The large one controlled the carcass while the two others bedded nearby. The smaller one finally got bored and moved off to the east. The medium sized grizzly went towards the carcass when the large one moved away, but the large one saw the medium sized grizzly and immediately returned to reclaim the carcass. We left with the large grizzly still on the carcass and the medium grizzly waiting for the large one to leave. At 8:00 a.m. the black bear sow and her cinnamon yearling cub were near the Yellowstone Picnic Area. At 8:45 a.m. 1047M, a black collared wolf and one of the two gray females was sighted near the Slough Creek den, I did have a THREE DOG DAY today. At 12:45 p.m. seven black and two gray wolves of the 8 Mile pack were bedded above the carcass at Hellroaring that was now devoid of any grizzlies. This pack has been running with ten wolves (7 black and 3 gray), we believe all the wolves were there with one of the grays bedded out of sight. At 1:50 p.m. the grizzly sow with one two year old cub was on the southwest side of Junction Butte viewed from Rick's Pullout.

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

Thursday - April 19th

31 degrees in Gardiner but only 24 degrees in Lamar Valley this morning warming up to a nice 56 degrees. A cow moose and her yearling calf were at Geode Pond this morning eating willows. I saw my first unita ground squirrel today. At 5:45 a.m. John G and I saw two separate grizzlies on the old bison carcass at the Soda Butte Cone. The carcass is about 100 yards from the road and the grizzlies moved off as soon as the third car arrived to watch. At 7:45 a.m. Richard and Rita had two separate grizzlies in view from Hellroaring Overlook. I got there in time to see the first one moving high west of the tornado drainage. The second grizzly moved around near Hellroaring Creek and was out for over an hour. At 8:20 a.m. we found a group of elk bunched up and finally located their reason, the four black males of the Junction Butte pack arrived to check out the empty carcass at Hellroaring. We had a group of school kids arrive and showed them all the grizzly and the four wolves. In late morning we found a new untouched bison carcass north of Boulder Pullout. At 12:00 a.m. a black wolf arrived to open up the carcass. It soon left leaving it to a lone coyote and ravens and one bald eagle. At 2:00 p.m. the black bear sow with the yearling cinnamon cub was east of Yellowstone Picnic Area. At 4:15 p.m. one cinnamon black bear was east of the Yellowstone Picnic Area.

Friday - April 20th

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

34 degrees in Gardiner this morning but 28 degrees in Little America this morning warming up to a warm 60 degrees. At daylight we were surprised to find nothing on our new bison carcass north of Boulder Pullout. But at 7:50 a.m. a medium sized grizzly arrived to claim the carcass. At 10:00 a.m. we spotted 1047M the black alpha male still with a bad limp, 907F the beta gray female and one black wolf near the eastern trees at the Slough Creek den (others had spotted most of the wolves there this morning). At 12:30 a.m. Richard and Rita found a small grizzly digging in the Yellow Grass Meadow in Slough Creek. At 2:00 p.m. Jort V found the grizzly sow and one two year old cub about to cross the road to the south east of Long Pullout. We had not spotted them yesterday, but now believe they had been on the Peregrine Hills yesterday and this morning. This pair and the small grizzly were the first grizzlies we have seen digging for something to eat. All other sightings have been grizzlies on carcasses, or grizzlies traveling to and from carcasses. At 3:00 p.m. a nice sized collared grizzly came to the bison carcass north of Boulder Pullout. After about forty five minutes it moved off to bed. I did have a THREE DOG DAY today.

Saturday - April 21st

36 degrees in Gardiner but only 28 degrees in Little America warming up to a warm 64 degrees. At 6:20 a.m. a large grizzly was leaving the bison carcass area north of Boulder Pullout. At 6:30 a.m. John G found a nice sized but smaller grizzly coming from the west, moving thru Buffalo Ford to the carcass. At 6:45 a.m. the nice sized grizzly arrived at the carcass to discover a larger grizzly still on the carcass (the carcass was in some heavy sagebrush). The nice sized grizzly claimed the carcass for a while. After a bit the larger grizzly returned to reclaim the carcass. The nice sized grizzly stayed around. At 6:50 a.m. 1047M the black alpha male of the Junction Butte wolf pack arrived on the carcass site. After a while the larger grizzly escorted the nice sized grizzly away from the carcass and 1047M got his fill. He headed back to the den area and apparently dropped off meat to both the natal and sage dens at Slough Creek. John G later in the morning found one of the three grizzlies above the mixed aspen conifer forest in Slough where it bedded in some snowy sagebrush for about six hours. At 11:00 a.m. John G found a small grizzly in some rocks north and west of the Slough den area. We believe that this small colorful (lots of blond hair) grizzly was last year’s 2 1/2 cub that we observed in Slough Creek and later on the western end of Lamar Valley. At 2:15 p.m. Larry M told me about a grizzly in Lamar Valley. It was a small dark grizzly moving west in the tree line south of the Institute. This grizzly was post holing thru the snow and not making very good time traveling to the west. This afternoon we stayed at Slough Creek to glass the area. We had a wolf or two at the eastern trees at the Slough Creek den several times including watching a black wolf enter and stay in the sage den. At 3:15 p.m. Randi M. made a good spot of the grizzly sow with one two year old south of Lamar Canyon West Pullout but observed from the Slough Creek restroom. After about forty five minutes they moved over the ridge and out of sight.

People Seen

People seen this report. Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Doug M, Rick M, Bob and Elizabeth N, Laurie and Dan L, Don and Paula V, Alan and Sue O, Ilona P, and Barb M. From California: Bob and Nell H. From Indiana: Jeff and Terri B. From Florida: Rick and Vicky K. From New York: Wendy B. From the Netherlands: Jort V. From Colorado: Jim and Bobbie F. From Idaho: Craig C. From Oregon: Chuck and Char. From Utah: Julie A. Bear Watchers: From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Wyoming: Richard and Rita R. From Washington: John G, and Randi M. From Montana: Jack G, Chuck and Deb, Doug M, Alan C, and Shari and Kate. From Ohio: Jim and Twyla E. From Utah: Larry M and Steve. From Idaho: Carma and Jennings S with grandson, and John and Carlene U. From California: Cole W. Others seen this report: From Montana: Cliff B, Bob L, Reggie and Linda C, Ken S, Jim W, Evan S, and Cara M. And from Utah: Bob B.

Lamar Valley ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

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