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Yellowstone National Park 2019 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

18 through 21 April 2019 - Yellowstone National Park

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

~ April 2019 ~

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

Thursday - April 18th

34 degrees in Gardiner but only 25 degrees at Slough Creek this morning warming up to 57 degrees. I had five moose just east of Footbridge Pullout this morning. At 6:30 a.m. I found an unusual dark spot east of the Horizontal Forest in Slough Creek. After watching for a while we knew it was a bear. Another few minutes and we saw the profile of the grizzly. It lay in the same spot for quite a while but eventually moved east through the Yellow Grass Meadow and out of sight. At 6:45 a.m. 1047M and 1048M of the Junction Butte wolf pack were around the Slough Creek den. 1047M put his head into the den entrance several times and bedded just outside the den. Yep, probably going to have puppies this year at Slough Creek. I assumed that 969F was in the den, and I think she was a day or two ago. But now 907F is in the den. And the good news it’s the Sage Den which can be seen from a lot of spots at the main road. At 10:25 a.m. John G made the spot of the day finding our first grizzly family on Specimen Ridge. A sow and a yearling cub were in and out of sight for hours. The sow nursed the yearling once for about five minutes. They did a little running through patches of snow but mostly digging on bare ground. At 2:40 p.m. I found a grizzly on A-Z Meadow which is still heavy snow. The grizzly was having a time post holing a lot, but the trail he made was all on top of the snow. Soon the grizzly reversed course and followed his tracks back up and over A-Z Meadow. Good viewing for over thirty minutes. At 4:40 p.m. we had a cinnamon black bear near Yellowstone Picnic Area. There are two small cinnamon black blacks in that area, sometimes together and sometimes apart. The bears are about the same size.

Friday - April 19th

42 degrees in Gardiner but 32 degrees at Slough Creek this morning warming up to 65 degrees. I viewed a few mountain goats south of Pebble Creek Campground this morning. We had five moose near Footbridge Pullout this morning and they were still in view at noon. At 9:15 a.m. I found a large grizzly on the skyline above A-Z Meadow viewed from Coyote Overlook. Only in view for about five minutes before it went over the hill and out of sight. At 4:15 p.m. we had one cinnamon black bear near the Yellowstone River Picnic Area near the road.

Saturday - April 20th

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

It was a little more crowded in the park now that the West Gate opened yesterday. A warm 52 degrees in Gardiner and 38 degrees in Lamar this morning warming up to a nice 57 degrees. I had a white tailed jackrabbit on the road near Mammoth this morning. There was a herd of bighorn sheep, all ewes and lambs, near Wrecker Pullout this morning. The last week has seen a lot of snow melting, and the pronghorn antelope have moved up as far as Little America today. At 8:25 a.m. Cara M found the Junction Butte wolves near the Crystal Rock south of the Slough Creek restroom. I only counted six blacks and the gray yearling but others had seven blacks and one gray. They made a move to the west trying I think to cross the road, but that did not happen. They did disappear above the top near # 9's old den on the west end of Little America, but reappeared on the skyline with an elk on the edge. John G watched one wolf on each side of the cow elk before disappearing. It was not until late this afternoon that we saw that the elk had gotten away. I do not think the wolves got it. At 9:00 a.m. there was a cinnamon black bear near the Yellowstone Picnic Area. Before the wolves moved west Cara M had a grizzly on the skyline from her position on Dave's Hill. I missed it but traveled to Elk Creek and located the grizzly on the backside of Specimen Ridge. Long but nice view of the grizzly for ten minutes or so. At 2:15 p.m. I spotted a grizzly on the skyline above Salad Bowl/Divide Ridge from Coyote Overlook. Only a two minute viewing. We have had a lot of sightings on the skyline. The wind and sun clear the snow away from the skyline where snow is still abundant below it. At 3:00 p.m. Julie A found a black bear in the trees under the elk on the cliffs.

Sunday - April 21st

50 degrees in Gardiner but 41 degrees at Slough Creek this morning warming up to only 48 degrees out in the park. A rainy day with a lot of low clouds making spotting difficult. This morning at the Slough Creek den 1047M, a black yearling and 907F were seen (I did not see them). At 1:00 p.m. 907F came out of the den and played with 1047M before 907F returned to the den and 1047M bedded close to the den. At 5:00 p.m. I found a grizzly in the Aspen Drainage above the Diagonal Forest in Slough Creek. It was moving uphill and if it followed the drainage I would have viewed it for quite a while. But the grizzly moved east behind a large hill never to be seen again. At 5:15 p.m. at least three black wolves and 907F met at the den for a brief time. At 6:40 p.m. I found a grizzly sow and yearling on the backside of Specimen Ridge viewed from Elk Creek. They were feeding close to one another, but it was a long spot so I left after about fifteen minutes.

People Seen

Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Rick M, Dan and Laurie L, Lizzie C, and Melba C. From Colorado: Jeremy S. and Carol. From Washington: David and Stephanie O. From Arizona: Reve and Susan. From Wyoming: Christy and Paul G and Linda H. From California: Bob and Nell H. Bear Watchers: From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Washington: John G. From Indiana: Jeff and Terry B. From Montana: Scott M. From Utah: Larry M and Steve, From Colorado: Rick and Len H. From Idaho: Kim and Joyce C. Others seen this report: From Montana: Cliff B, Evan S, Allen K, Bob L, Leo L, Nathan V, Chris H, Cara M, George, Cindy and Little George B, Linda C, and Emil M. From Washington: Nick and Diane L. From Wyoming: Ross G and Kevin (TSS). From Colorado: Jim and Bobbie F. From Idaho: John U and Ray T. From Oregon: Dale and Elva P.

Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

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