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Yellowstone National Park 2020 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

21 through 28 August 2020
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Grizzly Bear taken Spring 2012 ~ © Copyright Frank Smith All Rights Reserved

~ August 2020 ~

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

Friday - August 21st

I left late morning traveling thru the park heading for a bear watching spot north of Yellowstone. It was smoky and a hot 85 degrees. I viewed a nice bull moose. At 2:30 p.m. I arrived and found a grizzly sow with two cubs of the year (coy) in the field. The grass is really high this year and viewing of the cubs was limited to when they stood up. This family was out from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to dark. At 7:20 p.m. another grizzly sow with two coys came into the field but remained behind the hills in high grass. I camped outside of Gardiner where it was a warm night sleeping.

Saturday - August 22nd

61 degrees in Gardiner but 45 degrees in Lamar Valley warming up to 90 degrees. A lot of smoke in the air all day. At 5:45 a.m. I arrived at the collared cow bison carcass NE of Long Pullout. A large grizzly controlled the carcass with two black and two gray wolves waiting their turn. At 5:50 a.m. a second smaller grizzly was seen back aways from the carcass but did not ever come to the carcass. At 6:40 a.m. I spotted a small colorful grizzly digging on Amethyst Bench. Between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. four black wolves were seen in the wolf rendezvous area (basically near the Marge Simpson Tree in Slough Creek). They discovered another gray wolf pup which now makes the pack with 11 black and 7 gray puppies along with 14 black and 3 gray adults.

Sunday - August 23rd

I camped in Colter Campground outside of Cooke City for the rest of my time for this report. Bruce P was nice enough to sub lease a spot for me. It was 39 degrees this morning and still a lot of smoke in the area warming up to 88 degrees. The big news of the day is that a mountain goat was found in the cliffs by the old golden eagle nest in Slough Creek. We have never seen a mountain goat further west then the Institute on the north side of the road before. Looks like it took up residence. I had a fox in the road this morning near the NE Gate. At 5:55 a.m. I found a small grizzly chasing and being chased by a black wolf in the cow bison carcass area. From 6:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. we watched over twenty wolves from Dave's Hill in the Slough Creek area. Four adults crossed the road near Long Pullout going south, then 1229F crossed between the road and us on Dave's Hill, the rest were a combination for puppies and adults near the Marge Simpson Hill.

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

Monday - August 24th

It was 42 degrees this morning warming up to 90 degrees with a little less smoke (all smoke coming from the fires in California). Construction on the Bear Tooth High has nightly closures from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Monday thru Thursday night. Around noon Steve L called with a grizzly in sight from the Institute. A large grizzly was walking east of Amethyst Bench behind the east end of Jasper Bench. At 6:00 p.m. we had a black wolf in the rendezvous area in Slough Creek.

Tuesday - August 25th

50 degrees with no smoke in the morning warming up to 86 degrees. Clear skies today and the smoke did not return for the rest of my trip. At 6:30 a.m. at least 12 black and 2 gray wolves (combination of adults and puppies) were in the rendezvous area. At 6:35 p.m. we had a black bear crossing in the bowl viewed from the Institute.

Wednesday - August 26th

A nice 46 degrees this morning warming up to 85 degrees. I saw a unita ground squirrel this morning. I was told years ago that all the ground squirrels go into the den by August 25th. The Slough Creek second restroom that was installed in June was finished today and was open for the first time. It rained a lot during the night. At 7:00 a.m. an un-collared wolf and 1229F black wolf were seen south of Picnic Pullout in Lamar Valley. Between 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at least 6 black and 2 gray wolves (adults and puppies) were in the rendezvous area in Slough Creek.

Thursday - August 27th

50 degrees and morning rain warming up to 75 degrees. At 7:00 a.m. six black and two gray adult wolves were seen south of the Institute heading east on a hunt. This group had three collared wolves in it: 907F, 1047M, and 1228F. At 8:30 a.m. 996M, 1048M, and the alpha female caught up with the eight to make eleven wolves. At 10:00 a.m. I spotted a small dark grizzly (dark because of the nights rain I assume) digging north of the Institute. At 5:30 p.m. we watched two black puppies in the rendezvous area in Slough Creek.

Friday - August 28th

Black Bear Sow and Cinnamon Cubs ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

A cool 39 degrees this morning warming up to 80 degrees. Around 5:30 p.m. we had four black wolf puppies and one gray puppy at the rendezvous area.

People Seen

Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Rick M, Doug M, Ilona P, and Jeremy S. From California: Dan and Laurie L. From Missouri: Frank H. From Mississippi: Gary G. From Arizona: Reve and Susan. From Washington: Steve and Cindy L. From Virginia: Dusty. From Utah: Paul H and Pam and Denny D. From Florida: Andy and Missy O. And from Idaho: Roger and Lynda S. Bear Watchers seen this report: From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Montana: Margaret L, and Doug and Joann M. Others seen this report: From Montana: Grant, Quinn H, Steve B, MacNeil L, Pete B, Bob L, Emil M, Audra C, Cara M, Josh, Taylor B, and Carl S. From Idaho: Adam B.

Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

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