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Yellowstone National Park 2021 Trip Reports





Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

13 through 16 April 2021
Yellowstone National Park




Yellowstone Black Bear Cubs Playing by John William Uhler ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved

~ April 2021 ~





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

Tuesday - April 13th


20 degrees in Gardiner but 10 degrees at Slough Creek this morning warming up to 37 degrees with light winds in the afternoon. I viewed a moose in Soda Butte Valley and four moose in Round Prairie this morning. I saw my first Unita ground squirrel this morning, then numbers 2-9 a little later; they seem to be everywhere in one day. We watched a small badger right off the road at Slough Creek this afternoon. I hiked down to Bob's Knob at Slough Creek this morning hoping to see some action on yesterday's carcass in the creek. Nothing. I had a black wolf near the Horizontal Forest and Taylor B found the black alpha male bedded just east of the eastern trees in the den area. To my knowledge that was the only wolves seen today anywhere. I stopped around noon, again at 2:00 p.m. and at 4:40 p.m. and found one or both wolves each time. At 4:05 p.m. I found a grizzly high north of Fisherman's Pullout in Lamar Valley viewed from Long Pullout in Little America. It was moving north in about a foot of snow when it crossed some tracks in the snow. It changed direction going to the west following the tracks. It soon stopped and decided to lay on its back for about two minutes waving its legs in the air. Then for about ten minutes in stood and/or laid in the snow. When it was standing it continued to turn around but in the same place. Soon an elk appeared in some bare ground near it, and it chased the elk but never got close. Now on the bare ground it seemed to be grazing slowly moving out of sight. The grizzly was in sight for twenty minutes.


Wednesday - April 14th


20 degrees at Gardiner but 11 degrees at Hellroaring this morning warming up to 38 degrees. At 8:00 a.m. three black wolves of the Junction Butte wolf pack were around the Sage Den at Slough Creek. From 4:30 p.m. thru 6:15 p.m. I found a grizzly digging in the Lion Meadow at Slough Creek. At 7:15 p.m. we had two black and one gray Wapiti Lake wolves on the Blacktail.


Thursday - April 15th

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

29 degrees at Gardiner but 23 degrees at Hellroaring this morning warming up to 38 degrees. Today there were mild storms moving thru the area so low visibility at times. I found my first bison calf of the year in Little America this morning. Others have been seeing a few for about 10 days. At 9:20 a.m. a black wolf was bedded at the Sage Den hole, probably the alpha male and a gray was in the area. Both were Junction Butte wolves. At 10:00 a.m. nine black and three gray wolves were located on a yearling bison carcass at Hellroaring. A grizzly had been on the carcass but left being escorted by several wolves. I missed seeing the grizzly but saw all twelve of the wolves which were also Junction Butte's. At 1:15 p.m. I watched a yearling and the alpha male, both black, meet at the Junction Butte Sage Den in Slough Creek. The male "begged" for food and he got a little, I think. Frank H had seen the yearling black cross the Slough Creek road. So only three wolves at the Sage Den area today and twelve on the carcass at Hellroaring so about eight of the Junction's were somewhere else today. At 4:40 p.m. the grizzly was back digging in Lion Meadow in Slough Creek really close to where it was yesterday afternoon.


Friday - April 16th


The west entrance opened today so the valley was more crowded. 28 degrees in Gardiner but 17 degrees at Hellroaring warming up to 46 degrees. I had three moose in Soda Butte Valley this morning. At 6:30 a.m. seven black which included 1109F and one gray Junction Butte wolves were bedded just the other side of Hellroaring Creek (others counted nine blacks and two grays). Just after I left, they headed east and eventually ended up at the Slough Creek den. At 7:30 a.m. before the Hellroaring wolves arrived five black and two gray wolves were around the Slough Creek den (others counted nine black and five grays). Early afternoon the wolves were together moving back west from the den. They stalled near the southern round tree but then moved towards the mixed conifer aspen forest. They found two bison and separated one and the chase was on. The bison being chased did find another group of bison and with seventeen wolves trailing them they disappeared into the Slough Creek corridor. They were not successful because tonight they were seen again hunting first bison then elk as I left for Gardiner. At 6:00 p.m. Jack G found two equal sized grizzlies both with a Yellowstone strip around their shoulders. They were uphill from the Slough Creek den. They were in view until 6:30 p.m. I guessed they were a sow with a two and half year-old cub.


Yellowstone Wolf and Buffalo ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

People Seen


Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Rick M, Doug M, Taylor B, Reve and Susan D, Jeremy S and Barb M. From Missouri: Frank H. From Washington: Patrick J. From South Dakota: Sam and Ginny G. From California: Dan and Laurie L. From Utah: Paul H. Bear Watchers seen this report: From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Utah: Gayle and Brett and Scott and Joann M. From Idaho: Jon and Karen E. and Cody K. From Montana: Jack G. From North Dakota: Becky B. Others seen this report: From Montana: Bob B, Cliff B, and Dan and Cindy H. From Florida: Mark L. From the Netherlands: Jort Y. From Iowa: Jim B. From Colorado: Jim and Bobbie F. From Wyoming: Kevin M. From Utah: Julia A.




Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler



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