Yellowstone National Park 2020 Trip Reports
Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin
October 4th through 12th, 2020
Yellowstone National Park
~ October 2020 ~
Sunday - October 4th
I drove through the park and spent the night looking for grizzlies and finding none. It was the first time in a long time that I got skunked north of the park. It was 46 in Idaho Falls this morning and a nice 76 degrees north of the park. I camped north of Gardiner
Monday - October 5th
42 degrees this morning north of the park warming up to 69 degrees in Lamar Valley this afternoon. The big local news was that the K Bar was sold. Best pizza in town, and rumors are that they will make more rental rooms out of the building. After last night I was not surprised that no grizzlies were in the main viewing place. However, down the road it was good. I had a large grizzly, a sow grizzly with two cubs of the year, and another grizzly sow with two cubs of the year. Also had a gray wolf in the area (who chased a coyote with something in its month away-and returned soon afterward with the coyote's something it the wolves' mouth). We thought there may have been a carcass just out of view of the bears who finally disappeared over the hill. Kim and Joyce C were in the area this morning and went back up the road to look around. They found a carcass (guessing a moose probably just killed by wolves) with the seven grizzlies we saw down the road were on the carcass along with a grizzly sow with a light yearling cub and a second single large grizzly all on the carcass at the same time, all ten grizzlies in the scope at one time. The two sows with two cubs of the year each must have known each other, for at one time it appeared that one sow had four cubs of the year with her. Soon the sow of two of the cubs of the year came as they moved off the carcass. At noon, back in the park I had 1229F and a black uncollared wolf near Picnic area, 1229F crossed the road from north to south between Picnic and Trashcan Pullouts. At 6:30 p.m. 1047M, 1048M and five black uncollared wolves were seen in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 6:30 p.m. the two sub adult grizzlies (Slough Creek sow that cast them off in mid-June) were in the inverted triangle clearing under Druid Peak.
Tuesday - October 6th
I spend the rest of my trip camped outside the NE Entrance. It was 32 degrees this morning warming up to 73 degrees. At 6:50 a.m. I spotted a large dark grizzly digging on Amethyst Bench. At 7:20 a.m. the two sub adult grizzlies again in the Inverted Triangle clearing under Druid Peak. At 7:45 a.m. the grizzly sow with two yearlings were seen on the skyline of the Snow Cornices viewed from Footbridge Pullout. At 7:55 a.m. 9 black and one gray wolf were in view in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 8:35 a.m. a total of twenty-four wolves were seen moving west from the old Druid rendezvous area. This was the last time the twenty four wolves were seen on my trip (guess they were in the trough north of Boulder Pullout, up Antelope Creek or perhaps up Slough Creek, but only 10 or so wolves mainly puppies were seen until the morning of October 12th). I had a fox in the road at Round Prairie tonight which gave me my THREE DOG DAY.
Wednesday - October 7th
28 degrees this morning warming up to 73 degrees. At 9:40 a.m. one of the two sub-adult grizzlies was spotted digging high north of Picnic Pullout. At 10:40 a.m. seven black and one gray wolf were located in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 3:15 p.m. the grizzly with two cubs of the year were seen north of Soda Butte East Pullout. They had crossed the Soda Butte Creek within 50 yards of a couple of fishermen then crossed the road from south to north. Later they were seen in Pebble Creek crossing the road again this time north to south. Even later they were back on the road near Soda Butte Picnic area. To my knowledge this are the only cubs of the year in the valley this year. At 4:00 p.m. both sub-adult grizzlies were in view north of Picnic area in the same clearing as the lone one was seen this morning. At 6:20 p.m. Marlene F called with a very large grizzly walking the tree line east to west south of Trashcan Pullout.
Thursday - October 8th
28 degrees this morning warming up to 76 degrees At 9:00 a.m. I found a small grizzly digging north of Picnic area. We did not see the second sub-adult, so I am assumed this was a new small grizzly in the area (note: we did not see the two sub-adults again for the rest of my trip). At 9:30 a.m. the grizzly sow with two cubs of the year were back on the southeast end of Soda Butte Valley. Good viewing as they traveled west then crossed the road south to north west of the Soda Butte Cone. Later in the afternoon I spotted the sow and two cubs of the year to the south moving towards Dead Puppy Hill. At 10:30 a.m. four black and three gray wolves (mainly puppies) were in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 3:10 p.m. my last sighting for the day was a grizzly moving east thru the Chalcedony Fan southeast of Trashcan Pullout.
Friday - October 9th
25 degrees this morning warming up to 70 degrees. At 7:50 a.m. the small grizzly was seen digging in the Inverted Triangle clearing under Druid Peak viewed from Trashcan Pullout. At 7:55 a.m. we had a black wolf bedded in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 9:45 a.m. I had a brief sighting of a grizzly sow with one yearling in a clearing just this side of the Snow Cornice. At 6:30 p.m. four black and three gray wolves (mainly puppies) were seen in the old Druid rendezvous area. I had a THREE DOG DAY today.
Saturday - October 10th
26 degrees this morning warming up to 69 degrees. I viewed a small bull moose chasing a cow moose near the Confluence this morning, she was not interested in the small bull. Tonight, they closed the Beartooth highway for the year. At 6:55 a.m. I spotted a grizzly digging on Amethyst Bench. At 7:00 a.m. Taylor B found a black wolf chewing on some old bones on a really old bison carcass east of Amethyst Bench. At 7:35 a.m. I found a dark grizzly high in the clearing south and above Bear Meadow viewed from the Institute. At 10:05 a.m. we had a grizzly digging north and west of YES Pullout. It was in view for about 45 minutes. At 3:15 p.m. five black and two gray puppies were out in view in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 5:00 p.m. Stacy A found a medium colorful grizzly in the tree line south of Trashcan Pullout.
Sunday - October 11th
It was 34 degrees this morning with 4 inches of wet snow on the car this morning. A slippery drive in this morning with only tracks of one large bison traveling west for about three miles of my trip into the park this morning. The roads cleared up by Pebble Creek but the high temperature for today was only 45 degrees. At 6:45 a.m. I spotted a grizzly digging on Amethyst Bench. At 7:00 a.m. a black wolf was seen back on the really old bison carcass east of Amethyst Bench. Wendy B called saying a young man named Todd found the small grizzly digging in the Inverted Triangle clearing under Druid Peak (you had to be on the far eastern side of Trashcan Pullout to see this grizzly. At 9:30 a.m. I found a large dark grizzly digging high in the clearing above the Diagonal Forest in Slough Creek. At 3:45 p.m. we had a large brown black bear sleeping under a tree south of Lamar Canyon West Pullout. At 4:00 p.m. five black and one gray wolf were in Crystal Drainage viewed from the restroom at Slough Creek (these were a few of the puppies that were staying in the old Druid rendezvous area, and tonight they were back chewing on the old bison carcass east of Amethyst Bench). At 6:15 p.m. we had a large grizzly digging and moving to the east south and east of Trashcan Pullout.
Monday - October 12th
It was 34 degrees this morning with a little snow but warming up to 46 degrees as I left the park today. The road from Norris to Mammoth was closed this morning until almost noon. At 7:30 a.m. we had four black wolves in the old Druid rendezvous area. At 10:30 a.m. I found two black wolves chasing elk far to the north from Curve Pullout in Little America. I only saw four black wolves before I headed for home. But others stayed with the wolves the rest of the day and counted 23 wolves in the area. This was the missing Junction Butte wolves with the adults and puppies that were traveling with them.
Wolf Watchers: From Oregon: David and Stephanie O. From Montana: Doug M, Becky C, Chloe F, Dan and Laurie L, Rick M, Janice and Cindy H, Melba C, Marlene F, Reve and Susan C, Barb M and Wendy B. From California: Kathie L. From Tennessee: Stacy A. From Utah: Paul H and Marlene F. From Idaho: Roger and Linda S. From New York: Rick and Maureen B. From Washington: Pat J. From Wyoming: Larry and Linda H. From Missouri: Frank H. From Colorado: Steve and Robin M. And From Illinois: Andy and Nikki. Bear Watchers seen this trip: From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Indiana: Jeff and Terry B. From Idaho: Kim and Joyce C, and Blake M. From Utah: Larry M. From Montana: Mike and Kathy W, Jack G, and Margaret L. And From Colorado: Rick and Tanner H. Others seen this trip: From Montana: Jim H, Carl S, Audra C, Emil M, Tonya M, MacNeil L, Cindy H, Cliff B, Peter M, Ken S, Cara M, Evan S, Chris H, Taylor B, Quinn H, and Bob L. From Texas: Keith W. From Idaho Adam B. From the Netherlands: Jort V. And from Wyoming: Brandon N.
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