Yellowstone National Park 2018 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
21 through 27 June 2018 - Yellowstone National Park
~ June 2018 ~
Thursday - June 21st
46 degrees this morning warming up to a warm 74 degrees. Someone found a coyote den north of Boulder Lake today. It has four large pups and four small pups. Wolves have been known to share dens with two or more mothers and therefore different size pups; however, the experts say they have never seen this with coyotes. I saw a moose at Round Prairie just before dark tonight. At 5:05 a.m. I found a grizzly sow with one yearling south of the Institute. They must have crossed the road from the north and swam the river before I spotted them this morning. At 5:25 a.m. the grizzly sow with two coys (cubs of the year) were spotted north of Coyote Overlook. At 5:40 a.m. we found all three Lamar Canyon wolves south of Trashcan moving to the east. I found them from Coyote Overlook but really good views of them from Trashcan Hill as they were just across the river on their move to the east. They visited an old carcass on the west side of the Lamar River corridor before all three crossed the road at 21's crossing to the north and back to the den area. Even Small Dot made it across this morning, he is really afraid of the road. He crossed the road at a full sprint. At 6:25 I a.m. I spotted a grizzly in K Meadow viewed from Footbridge Pullout. At 7:10 a.m. three black and two gray wolves (1047M, 1048M, uncollared black male, 907F and 969F) were found south of Hubbard Hill. When the Lamar Canyon wolves moved east this morning they kept looking back to the west, now we know they sensed the Junction Butte wolves were in the area. At 11:15 a.m. we had a black bear north of Lamar Canyon West. At 5:30 p.m. the two white faced sub adult grizzlies were spotted on the # 4 Finger of Norris. At 6:00 p.m. we had a courting pair of grizzlies on K-2 area viewed from Footbridge Pullout. At 8:00 p.m. we watched a large grizzly on the skyline west of A-Z Meadow walking to the west. At 8:30 p.m. we found two equal sized grizzlies on the skyline far south of the Institute viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 8:50 p.m. my last sighting for the day was the Druid sub adult grizzly in a clearing below Druid Peak viewed from Picnic Area.
Friday - June 22nd
47 degrees this morning warming up to 66 degrees. I had a bedded moose south and east of the road near Pebble Creek today. At 5:15 a.m. I spotted a grizzly moving east in the tree line south of Picnic Area. In other years we have always had grizzlies walking the tree line south of Chalcedony all the way to the west side of Amethyst Bench. This year only a couple have been seen. I think the large amount of bison now in the northern range has caused them not to use this area. At 5:35 a.m. the two equal sized grizzlies were still on the skyline far south of the Institute viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 6:00 a.m. the Druid 2 1/2 year old sub adult grizzly was in a clearing below Druid Peak viewed from Picnic Pullout. At 6:35 a.m. we had a grizzly sow with two yearlings on Norris viewed from the Confluence. At 7:00 a.m. Bob and Nell H found a grizzly sow with one coy in the first of two large meadows south of the Institute viewed from Dorothy's Pullout. I found them again at 6:00 p.m. but they had moved to the second further south clearing behind Ski Slope viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 7:15 a.m. we had a black wolf on the west end of Jasper Bench heading west. It was a Junction Butte wolf, but I did not hear which one it was. At 7:30 a.m. we watched a black bear in the clearing under A-Z Meadow viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 8:20 a.m. Rick M found a lone small colorful grizzly in the same clearing as the sow and coy grizzly. Both the sow and coy and the small colorful grizzly remained feeding in the same clearing for about one hour. At 8:40 a.m. I spotted a courting pair of grizzlies in the Salad Bowl viewed from Dorothy's Pullout. After they chased a small herd of elk they split up each going a different way out of the clearing. At 8:50 a.m. we had a large black bear in Secret Passage to the north and west of Fisherman's Pullout viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 12:00 a.m. I spotted a black bear south of Boulder Lake Pullout. At 12:30 p.m. we watched the two light faced sub adult grizzlies again on the # 4 Finger on Norris. At 7:20 p.m. I found a large black bear on the first meadow behind and south of Ski Slope.
Saturday - June 23rd
It was raining in the morning and lasted for a couple of hours, which meant low clouds and low visibility. 47 degrees this morning warming up to 66 degrees. I watched the two golden eagle chicks in the nest down the Slough Creek road past the gravel pullout. I saw a bull moose in Round Prairie late in the day today. At 6:45 a.m. four black and two gray wolves of the Junction Butte wolf pack were seen on Jasper Bench. They disappeared for a while but reappeared on Amethyst Bench and moved to the east in good view for well over one hour moving to the east. At 7:15 a.m. I found the grizzly with one coy in the second clearing to the south and behind Ski Slope. Around 10:00 a.m. I found them again in a large snow bank by the same clearing and the sow and the coy played together for over twenty minutes. At 7:40 a.m. Doug M (bear watcher) found a courting pair of grizzlies on Penny Lane. At 7:50 a.m. Doug M (bear watcher) found a large grizzly on the skyline in the clearing just to the east of Penny Lane. At 8:15 a.m. Doug M (bear watcher) found the two sub adult grizzlies on the # 3 Finger on Norris. At 4:15 p.m. the sub adults were in view again still in the # 3 Finger on Norris. At 8:30 a.m. I found a dark medium sized grizzly on Druid Peak from Picnic Area (it was not the Druid 2 1/2 year old sub adult). At 8:45 a.m. I located the same grizzly in a clearing just west of Druid Peak still moving to the west. At 10:40 a.m. we had a small cinnamon black bear north of Lamar Canyon East. At 2:20 p.m. we watched a black bear north in Lower Barronette. At 6:15 p.m. I found a large cinnamon black bear with a smaller black bear (courting pair) just above the Slough Creek den area.
Sunday - June 24th
37 degrees this morning warming up to a warm 74 degrees. I found a moose north of the road near the Soda Butte Cone before daylight this morning while brushing my teeth. A new badgerden with two cubs was found north of Soda Butte East today. At 6:20 a.m. we had a medium sized colorful grizzly running on the # 2 Finger on Norris. At 6:30 a.m. I spotted a large brown grizzly high in the # 2 Finger on Norris (he was out in the same clearing at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon). At 6:45 a.m. I found a small grizzly on the skyline above the snow cornice high south and west of Footbridge Pullout. At 7:10 a.m. we had a black Junction Butte wolf on Jasper Bench. At 8:00 a.m. Doug M (wolf watcher) found the grizzly with one coy in the last meadow south and behind Ski Slope (they were in view again tonight at 8:00 p.m. but had moved to The Bell clearing). At 8:10 a.m. a second black Junction Butte wolf on Jasper Bench leaving some type of carcass on the east end of Jasper Bench; the wolf was moving off to the west. At 8:45 a.m. Doug M (bear watcher) found a dark grizzly in the high meadow just east of Penny Lane. At 9:00 a.m. Doug M (wolf watcher) found the grizzly sow with two yearlings on Penny Lane. At 10:20 a.m. I spotted the two light faced sub adult grizzlies on # 3 Finger of Norris. At 5:00 p.m. I found a medium sized grizzly high in the A-Z Meadow viewed from Dorothy's Pullout. By 7:00 p.m. this grizzly had moved to the Bowl with good viewing from the Institute. At 8:25 p.m. 926F and Little T crossed the road and river to the east of Footbridge moving south and after ten minutes or so out of sight in the trees. At 9:00 p.m. Small Dot was seen north and east of the road again from Footbridge. True to his nature, he couldn't get across the road with the traffic. He howled a lot and received an occasional howl from the two females now high to the south east. He was seen briefly from the Soda Butte Cone but then doubled back to try to cross the road between Footbridge and Hitching Post. When I left the area, he was still north of the road and the females to the south.
Monday - June 25th
42 degrees this morning warming up to a warm 81 degrees. A lot of emergency vehicles with flashing lights at the Confluence at daylight. Apparently they had been there most of the night. Two hikers had been stranded across the Lamar River and were cold and couldn't go back the way they came in. They finally got a rope across and provided some clothing and food before rafting over and picking them up after daylight. We had a mountain goat west of the # 1 Finger on Norris the last few days. I have never seen them that far west on the south side of the road. On the south side of the road the mountain goats go as far west as behind the Institute. I viewed a vulture and a golden eagle in Lamar Valley today. At 5:40 a.m. four black wolves of the Junction Butte wolf pack were south and east of the Institute. At 5:45 a.m. the grizzly sow with one coy were spotted high on the skyline south of the Institute viewed from the Institute (they were in view again tonight around 6:00 p.m.). At 5:50 a.m. Rick M found a grizzly in the trees above Amethyst Bench as the four wolves moved past it uphill. At 5:55 a.m. we had a large grizzly in the Bowl viewed from the Institute (he was in view again at 5:55 p.m. still in the Bowl). At 6:10 a.m. I found the grizzly sow with one yearling in the Bowl viewed from the Institute. At 6:45 a.m. Small Dot south and east of Footbridge trying to cross the road to the north, to my knowledge he did not cross today. At 7:25 a.m. the grizzly sow with two yearlings were spotted on Norris and viewed from the Confluence. The cubs looked really big this morning so I assume I was watching the second set of sow grizzlies that both have two yearlings. At 8:20 a.m. I spotted a small grizzly on the skyline south of the Institute viewed from Coyote Overlook (this grizzly was in view again tonight at 5:30 p.m.). At 8:50 p.m. my last sighting for the day was a grizzly in K-2 Meadow moving to the south.
Tuesday - June 26th
45 degrees this morning warming up to 77 degrees. I watched one of the two golden eagle chicks on their nest down the Slough Creek road this morning. This one is the larger of the two and has some brown showing on it now. At 5:40 a.m. 1048M of the Junction Butte wolf pack was spotted on Jasper Bench moving west. At 5:50 a.m. we had the grizzly sow with one coy near the Bell clearing viewed from Coyote Overlook (they were in view tonight again between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.). At 6:15 a.m. I found a grizzly digging on Penny Lane. At 6:20 a.m. the grizzly sow with two yearlings swam the river and crossed the road south to north just east of the Soda Butte Cone (these cubs looked like yearlings smaller than those seen yesterday morning). At 9:15 a.m. we had a small colorful grizzly near the Bell but quickly ran out of the clearing into a stand of trees. At 2:30 p.m. I spotted a really large cinnamon boar following a nice sized black sow south of Lower Barronette.
Wednesday - June 27th
39 degrees this morning warming up to a warm 82 degrees. Two nice sized bull moose were seen grazing just off the road near Warm Springs today. At 5:15 a.m. I spotted a small grizzly in the Bowl from the Institute. At 7:15 a.m. I found a grizzly sow with one yearling under the snow in the Bowl south of Coyote Overlook. At 7:20 a.m. we had the grizzly sow with one coy in the clearing west of the Bell viewed from Dorothy's Pullout. At 7:30 a.m. we watched a brown grizzly in No Bear Clearing viewed from Dorothy's Pullout. At 7:35 a.m. I found a medium sized light grizzly in the Salad Bowl and then later crossing the Middle Ridge both viewed from Dorothy's Pullout. At 8:40 a.m. we watched a large dark grizzly at the skyline of the Bowl (where the sow and yearling had been earlier) viewed from Dorothy's Pullout. At 10:40 a.m. we had a bear jam on Wrecker Hill near the Yellowstone Picnic area with a small cinnamon black bear grazing just off the road. At 7:45 p.m. I spotted two equal sized black bears in the A-Z Meadow. At 8:50 p.m. I found a large grizzly skyline above the snow cornice south and west of Footbridge Pullout.
Bear Watchers seen this trip June 14th thru July 2nd. From Montana: Doug M and Sarah W with her family. From Wyoming: Terri W. From Idaho: Sydney H, Blake and Stacie (Eagle Eye). and From Utah: Brett.
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