Yellowstone National Park 2020 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
25 June through 02 July 2020
Yellowstone National Park
~ June 2020 ~
Thursday - June 25th
46 degrees this morning warming up to 63 degrees with cloud cover most of the day and a little rain. I had a THREE DOG DAY today. At 5:30 a.m. I spotted a black wolf north east of Coyote Overlook. At 5:40 a.m. I found a grizzly on the west side high in the Bowl. At 5:50 a.m. the grizzly sow with two coys were on Penny Lane viewed from the Confluence. At 6:30 a.m. Taylor B found the Slough Creek sub adults north of Coyote Overlook. At 7:15 a.m. Taylor B found a large light grizzly on the flats east of Amethyst Bench. At 7:25 a.m. a second grizzly was seen in the Bowl, the first grizzly was still digging in the Bowl. At 8:00 a.m. an uncollared black wolf was seen moving west south of Picnic Overlook. At 8:30 a.m. we had a black wolf on a small carcass south of Fisherman's Pullout. It did not stay too long before moving west letting three coyotes take over the almost bare carcass. At 1:20 p.m. a small colorful grizzly was on the # 1 finger on Norris. At 5:40 p.m. we had a black bear above the Slough Creek den area. At 6:00 p.m. we watched a large grizzly above the snow strip on the top of Ski Slope viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 6:20 p.m. a medium light grizzly was on the west side of Druid Peak. At 6:25 p.m. a small brown grizzly was on the east end of Druid Peak, the medium light grizzly was still in view. At 7:00 p.m. a black bear was high south of the # 1 finger on Norris. At 7:45 p.m. I found a large grizzly on Calfee viewed from the Confluence. At 8:15 p.m. Tanner H found a grizzly in the far south clearing behind Ski Slope viewed from Coyote Overlook.
Friday - June 26th
37 degrees this morning warming up to 81 degrees. Well the mosquitos finally showed up and were particularly bad down the Slough Creek road, but not other places in the late evening. I had a THREE DOG DAY today. At 5:05 a.m. I spotted a large dark grizzly on Amethyst Bench. At 5:15 a.m. I found a grizzly on the north end of the Bowl viewed from Midpoint. At 5:30 a.m. I saw a grizzly north of Picnic Pullout. At 6:00 a.m. we had a grizzly in the high meadow on the skyline east of Penny Lane. At 6:20 a.m. Doug M (bear watcher) found a second grizzly in the Bowl, the first one was still in view. At 6:20 a.m. Doug M (bear watcher) found a grizzly on the skyline above the Bell from the Institute. At 7:15 a.m. Doug M (bear watcher) found a dark grizzly in Middle Ridge from the Slough Creek restroom moving west. At 7:30 a.m. we had a black wolf near the eastern trees in the Slough Creek den area. At 9:00 a.m. 1047M, 1048M, 996M and 1228F were all south of Picnic, they then bedded. At 9:30 a.m. I spotted a small colorful grizzly running on Calfee viewed from Trashcan Pullout. The grizzly ran into a herd of five bull bison, hung a right and disappeared to the south. At 2:15 p.m. we had a ragged looking black bear at Geode Marsh. At 5:05 p.m. I found a small colorful grizzly on the # 2 finger on Norris. At 6:00 p.m. I spotted two darker sub adults on the east end of Druid Peak viewed from Picnic Pullout.
Saturday - June 27th
46 degrees this morning warming up to 80 degrees. Another badger in Soda Butte Valley today. At 5:10 a.m. Gary G found four black wolves in the river corridor south and west of the Institute. At 6:00 a.m. I found a grizzly in the Salad Bowl (Divide Ridge) viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 6:10 a.m. the two Slough Creek sub adults were north between Dorothy's and Coyote Pullouts. At 6:15 a.m. a uncollared black wolf was spotted southwest of Dorothy's Pullout. At 6:30 a.m. Rick M found a grizzly on a new bison carcass just east of the Western Foothills viewed from Exclosure; this was a large grizzly and held the carcass until about 6:00 p.m. when the bison moved it away into the tree line. The wolves arrived from the west now 5 blacks and one gray wolf were visible. At 10:00 a.m. a large tall black bear was in a clearing high south of the Institute. At 5:10 p.m. I spotted a small colorful grizzly on the # 3 finger on Norris. At 6:10 p.m. I found a large cinnamon black bear north of Straight-away Pullout in Little America.
Sunday - June 28th
50 degrees this morning warming up if you can call it that to 52 degrees, great grizzly watching weather. I had a THREE DOG DAY today. At 5:15 a.m. Paul H found a grizzly coming to the new bison carcass just east of the Western Foothill, a slightly smaller but different grizzly from yesterday I believe. At 5:20 a.m. three black Junction Butte wolves came to the new bison carcass area. At 6:30 a.m. the grizzly sow with two coys were again on Penny Lane. At 10:15 a.m. the small colorful grizzly was spotted high far south of the # 1 finger on Norris. At 12:40 p.m. a black uncollared wolf was seen southeast of the Institute. At 2:40 p.m. a black uncollared wolf ran in front of my car going to the north near Boulder Pullout in Little America. At 4:15 p.m. a grizzly was seen digging in the Bowl from the Institute. At 5:30 p.m. I spotted a small colorful grizzly on the # 1 finger on Norris.
Monday - June 29th
42 degrees this morning warming up to 52 degrees with light rain in the morning. I viewed a blue heron in Slough Creek, ruddy ducks and coots with chicks at Floating Island Lake today. At 5:30 a.m. three black and one gray wolf were near the bison carcass just east of the Western Foothill. At 6:00 a.m. I spotted a large brown grizzly south of Fisherman's moving up hill. At 6:05 a.m. Rick M found a large black grizzly moving up hill on Jasper Bench. Later both grizzlies were visible in the Bowl from the Institute. The large black was digging and below the brown grizzly passed with neither noticing each other. At 7:30 a.m. Emil M found a dark grizzly digging on Calfee. At 7:35 a.m. Evan S found a second grizzly digging on Calfee. Both were in view at the same time. Emil's grizzly after a while moved south passing Evan's grizzly within what looked like 100 yards without either grizzly noticing the other. At 7:55 a.m. Evan S found a courting pair of grizzlies on K Meadow (may have been the Slough Creek sow with the boar with the wound on its stomach, but not sure). At 8:20 a.m. 1047M, still limping from a wound two years ago and a black yearling wolf moving east south of Midpoint Pullout. At 8:20 a.m. we had a black bear in the tree line south of Midpoint Pullout. At 8:45 a.m. the two Slough Creek sub adults were in Secret Passage moving west viewed from the Institute. At 12:00 noon a black bear sow with one cinnamon black yearling cub were on the slopes of Hellroaring. At 2:00 p.m. we had a small colorful grizzly on the # 3 finger of Norris. At 3:30 p.m. a grizzly sow with one yearling cub were on a clearing south and above the Bell Clearing viewed from the Institute. This family stayed out for hours after moving into the Bell Clearing, where they disappeared around 6:25 p.m. At 3:50 p.m. a medium sized colorful grizzly was in No Bear Meadow. At 5:45 p.m. two separate black bears were near the Slough Creek den area. At 7:45 p.m. I spotted a cinnamon black bear northeast of the Institute.
Tuesday - June 30th
37 degrees this morning warming up to 52 degrees. I saw a fox near Round Prairie this morning. At 5:20 a.m. Gary G had a large colorful grizzly near the bison carcass just east of the Western Foothill. At 5:25 a.m. five black and two gray wolves were near the bison carcass east of the Western Foothill. At 5:35 a.m. Gary G found another grizzly this one on the eastern side of the Chalcedony Fan. At 6:15 a.m. I spotted a small colorful grizzly in the Bowl viewed from the Institute. At 9:15 a.m. Cara M made a great spot on the grizzly sow with two yearlings on a small clearing just under the snow cornices. I originally missed seeing them, but a little later they reappeared slightly down hill in the same slim but long clearing. At 1:00 p.m. we had a large black bear with a red ear tag at Geode Creek Curve. At 3:30 p.m. I spotted a small colorful grizzly high above Bear Meadow.
~ July 2020 ~
Wednesday - July 1st
42 degrees in the morning warming up to 64 degrees. I had a badger again today in the Soda Butte Valley. At 5:40 a.m. I started off with a small grizzly in the Bowl. At 6:15 a.m. I found five black wolves south of Picnic Pullout. At 6:40 a.m. we had a black bear high south of # 1 finger on Norris. At 6:50 a.m. we had a second grizzly in the Bowl while the first one was still in view. At 7:10 a.m. I spotted a big dark grizzly digging high north of Coyote Pullout. At 7:15 a.m. Rachael M found the two Slough Creek sub adults close to the road, north of Coyote Overlook. They disappeared behind a small hill just north of the pullout then proceeded east. Good viewing for twenty minutes or so. At 7:35 a.m. I spotted a light grizzly in the Salad Bowl from Coyote Overlook. At 10:00 a.m. we had two darker sub adult grizzlies north of Picnic Pullout. At 4:15 p.m. an uncollared black wolf crossed Slough Creek road from east to west proceeding down and past the Slough Creek. At 8:20 p.m. we had a large cinnamon black bear at Lower Barronette. A bunch of cars had stopped, all claiming it was a grizzly bear.
Thursday - July 2nd
43 degrees this morning as I made it a short day before leaving mid-morning for home. I had a moose in K Meadow this morning. The bison seem to be going higher up into the hills this year, seen often in Bear Meadow, the Bowl, K Meadow, No Bear Meadow and on Norris. At 5:30 a.m. four black wolves of the Junction Butte wolfpack were seen near the old bison carcass south of Trashcan just east of the Western Foothill. At 7:00 a.m. I spotted a large colorful grizzly in Penny Lane for quite a while today. At 7:15 a.m. I found a small colorful grizzly joining the four black wolves in the Chalcedony Fan. It appeared to want to play. It would chase one or more of the wolves, then fall down with feet in the air looking for them to come back. This play continued for ten or fifteen minutes. On my way home a mule deer doe with two small fawns crossed the road at Lava Creek.
My best June even for grizzly numbers. Despite the fact that we only identified four grizzly families: (1) sow with two coys, (2) sow with one yearling (only seen 4 or 5 times), (3) sow with two yearlings, and (4) the Slough Creek sow with two two-year olds; we had a lot of single grizzlies, a lot of courting pairs so next year should be a good year for coys, and three different pairs of sub adults.
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