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Yellowstone National Park 2020 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

October 16th through 19th, 2020
Yellowstone National Park

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

~ October 2020 ~

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

Friday - October 16th

I left Idaho Falls at 3:45 a.m. and made good time arriving at Hellroaring Overlook about 7:30 a.m. It was 30 degrees this morning at Hellroaring warming up to 50 degrees in the evening north of the park. I had fifteen bighorn ewes and lambs just off the road near Yankee Jim Canyon in the p.m. It rained all night north of the park. At 7:30 a.m. we had 27 of the Junction Butte wolves were milling around this side of Hellroaring Creek early. They moved uphill and made a kill on an elk calf. About thirty minutes later they moved on. At 6:30 p.m. I viewed a grizzly sow with two cubs of the year south of the road north of the park. They were digging quite close to a large herd of elk. I camped outside of the park this evening.

Saturday - October 17th

I was going to look for grizzlies north of the park this morning, but the high country was all fogged in. I did see a skunk this morning before turning around and heading into the park. 44 degrees this morning warming up to 55 degrees. At 8:00 a.m. nineteen Junction Butte wolves were seen south of Hellroaring Creek this morning. At 9:45 a.m. wolf 1229F was observed traveling from Amethyst Bench disappearing behind the western foothills south of Trashcan Pullout. At 10:00 a.m. I found a medium sized grizzly digging in the Inverted Triangle Clearing north of Picnic Pullout. At 10:15 a.m. we had a black wolf east of Chalcedony Fan moving further to the east. At 11:20 a.m. the grizzly sow with two yearlings briefly in a clearing below the Snow Cornices viewed from Footbridge Pullout. At 12:35 p.m. we watched a small grizzly digging NW of YES Pullout, it was out until after 4:00 p.m. digging away. I camped tonight near Silver Gate.

Sunday - October 18th

30 degrees this morning in Little America warming up to 55 degrees north of the park this evening. I did have a cow and calf moose north of the park this evening. At 8:00 a.m. Stacy A pointed out a black bear walking the tree line south of Straight-away Pullout in Little America. At 9:00 a.m. I viewed two black wolves at Hellroaring Overlook. Others had viewed more but I arrived a little late and the visibility was not very good. At 10:25 a.m. I was watching from Boulder Pullout when Rick M had a black wolf close to the road (I missed it). Then I saw wolves north of Boulder on the first hill across the Lamar River moving towards Buffalo Ford. A young couple was in the pullout, so I called them over to watch. I gave the lady my scope and trained the scope on the lead wolf. I asked her to count them as they passed through the scope. Her count was thirty-one wolves moving west. Twenty-two blacks and nine grays missing only 1228F, 1109F and two black yearlings or pups. From 11:15 a.m. through 1:45 p.m. I watched the two sub-adult grizzlies (from the Slough Creek sow) digging north of the pullouts of Dorothy's and Coyote. We had to walk a little west of Dorothy's Pullout to view them. They look ready good and were really digging a lot with no play and little traveling. I spent the evening north of the park today. At 5:45 p.m. Paul B found a grizzly sow and two cubs of the year south of the usual viewing area. At 6:00 p.m. I found another grizzly sow with two cubs of the year behind a barn again quite close to an elk herd feeding. I camped north of the park again tonight.

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

Monday - October 19th

40 degrees this morning in Lamar Valley warming up to about 51 degrees as I left the park in the afternoon. I had a THREE DOG DAY today. At 8:30 a.m. I watched to two Slough Creek sub-adult grizzlies again north of the pullouts between Dorothy's and Coyote Pullouts. They were still in view around 10:45 a.m. as I moved to the west. At 8:35 a.m. Paul B found another grizzly north of the pullouts of Dorothy's and Coyote, about a quarter mile west of the two sub-adults. This was a medium sized grizzly also digging; who moved off to the west soon afterwards. At 9:15 a.m. Stacy A showed me two black wolves west of the Southern Round Tree in Slough Creek viewed from Lamar Canyon West. About 22 wolves were seen before I arrived. At 11:30 p.m. I stopped at Boulder Pullout where three black wolves were laying near Buffalo Ford (more had been seen but were out of sight in the creek corridor). I headed home will very little traffic.

People Seen

Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Rick M, Doug M, Melba C, Reve and Susan C, and Jeremy S. From Wyoming: Larry and Linda H. From Missouri: Frank H. From Tennessee: Stacy A. From California: Kathie L. From Washington: Pat J. From Illinois: Andy and Nikki and Jim and Jeanne MS. From Colorado: Mark and Carol R. No bear watchers seen this trip. Others seen this trip: From Montana: Taylor B, Quinn H, Grant, Carl S, Emil M, and Cliff B. From Wyoming: Paul and Julie.

Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

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