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Yellowstone National Park 2021 Trip Reports





Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

25 through 29 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

Sunday - April 25th


40 degrees in Gardiner this morning warming up to 42 degrees with afternoon rain showers. I had nine moose, mostly bulls, in Round Prairie this morning. At 6:10 a.m. a black Junction Butte yearling was seen near the natal den. It appears that the alpha female who was in the sage den has moved the puppies. No action the last two days. The gray female 907F is in the natal den. At 6:25 a.m. as I entered Lamar Valley, I spotted a large grizzly north of Fisherman's heading up hill. Only about a five-minute sighting. At 8:30 a.m. Chris H had the dark grizzly again high up in the Aspen Drainage east of the den area. This afternoon he came downhill east of the Diagonal Forest then crossed it to the west and arrived at the Lion Meadow. After forty-five minutes of digging in Lion Meadow it moved up hill and under the Slough Creek den and out of sight to the west. At 9:00 a.m. Sam and Ginny G found a large, collared grizzly on Amethyst Bench digging. He had been on Jasper Bench and moved quickly to Amethyst Bench and spent forty-five minutes digging before slowly moving east then entering the tree line south of Picnic Pullout and out of sight. About 3:00 p.m. he came out of the tree line and continued to move further to the east, another hour of long watching. At 10:15 a.m. a black Junction Butte yearling crossed the road north to south at Old Road Pullout, then headed east for a long time and good viewing. At 10:40 a.m. the 3 1/2-year-old young grizzly was again north of the road between Dorothy's and Coyote Overlooks digging. In sight for well over an hour. At 2:00 p.m. one collared and one not collared wolf in the Lamar River Corridor trying to dig out a coyote den. I left so do not know how that ended. At 4:30 p.m. three gray and two black wolves were near the Sough Creek den area. At 6:00 p.m. Kevin M waved me into a pullout just west of Aspen Pullout. He had a grizzly with a light face and a yellow ear tag in its left ear passing under Specimen Ridge moving towards Crystal Creek. Just a few minutes later three black un-collared wolves crossed the road nearby moving north to south. Limited viewing because they were traveling in deep sagebrush.



Monday - April 26th


40 degrees in Gardiner but 37 degrees at Slough Creek warming up to 44 degrees. I had eight moose mainly bulls in Round Prairie this morning. I viewed two muskrats in Boulder Lake in Little America this evening. At 6:00 a.m. I spotted a dark grizzly digging in the Lion Meadow at Slough Creek. Others reported it moving up hill past the Diagonal Forest and at noon Frank H had it almost to the top of the Aspen Drainage east of the Slough Creek den. Tonight, Melba C reported it near the Diagonal Forest still in Slough Creek. At 7:15 a.m. 1109F and an un-collared black were trying to separate a fresh newborn bison calf from its mother. The wolves worked hard but were unsuccessful. At 7:35 a.m. I found a medium sized grizzly with a nice Yellowstone stripe around its middle north of the Institute. At 8:00 Scott W found an un-collared wolf north of Coyote Overlook that went west and fed on the week-old elk carcass north of Fisherman's Pullout. Laurie L also saw 1274M also in the area (I did not). At 9:00 a.m. I found the former Slough Creek sow's sub adult now 3 1/2 years old digging north of Coyote Overlook. Digging again it was in view for well over an hour then again it was out at 12:30 p.m. for another hour of viewing. At 3:00 p.m. my last sighting for the day was a black bear just above Round Prairie grazing in a small opening.


Tuesday - April 27th


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

First some information on the Sage Den at Slough Creek. It now appears that the alpha female lost her puppies. It was thought that maybe she moved the puppies but has been seen for long periods of time when she should be in a den somewhere. However, 907F is still in the natal den and being feed by the other wolves. 28 degrees in Gardiner this morning warming up to a nice 52 degrees. I only saw one black wolf today near the den at Slough Creek. At 6:25 a.m. Bruce P found a dark grizzly digging on Amethyst Bench for about forty-five minutes. At 2:20 p.m. I found the three- and one-half year-old Slough Creek sub adult grizzly digging north of Coyote and was in view for over one hour. At 5:00 p.m. Kevin M found the small silver grizzly digging north of the Institute and was in view for over thirty minutes. At 6:00 p.m. I found two grizzlies on the clearing above the snow on Ski Slope Meadow. That clearing is best observed from farther to the west, so I headed to Lamar Canyon East. It turned out to be a grizzly sow with two yearlings. They were digging and staying close together. My first yearlings of the year.


Wednesday - April 28th


30 degrees at Gardiner but 25 degrees at Slough Creek warming up to a pleasant 62 degrees. Seven moose mostly bulls again at Round Prairie this morning. An update on the Phantom Lake black bear denning in the culvert under the road: only one cub of the year. At 5:55 a.m. I spotted a dark grizzly digging in Lion Meadow at Slough Creek. I returned around 10:00 a.m. and it was moving up hill above the Diagonal Forest. At 6:30 a.m. Frank H called with a grizzly walking west in the Slough Creek corridor, after a while I located it from Lamar Canyon West Pullout. At 6:45 a.m. Bruce P found a big grizzly digging on Amethyst Bench and was out for over an hour before retreating to the tree line. At 8:30 a.m. the 3 1/2-year-old Slough Creek sub adult griz was seen again digging north of Coyote. It was in view for over an hour and out again at 4:45 p.m. this evening. At 9:30 a.m. a black (yearling I think) Junction Butte wolf was just off the road near Hitching Post. It just sat down and watched the tourists take pictures for over five minutes. At 10:20 a.m. I found a grizzly with two cubs of the year (coys) on Middle Ridge viewed from Coyote Overlook. They were in sight for well over an hour and were viewed from Fisherman's Pullout at 5:00 p.m. tonight. Evan S later found them in the same clearing on Middle Ridge from Fisherman's a little later in the evening. At 4:10 p.m. I found the small silver grizzly digging in the same clearing at yesterday north of the Institute.


Thursday - April 29th

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

37 degrees in Gardiner but 30 degrees at Slough Creek this morning warming up to a warm 66 degrees. At 6:30 a.m. Bruce P had a tall, large grizzly crossing Dead Puppy Hill viewed from Footbridge Pullout. At 7:10 a.m. I approached a wolf jam near Mid-Point Pullout in Lamar Valley with a black yearling Junction Butte wolf eighty yards north of the road sitting for the photographers. At 7:30 a.m. Ken C found the 3 1/2-year-old Slough Creek sub adult grizzly north of Coyote Overlook. At 7:40 a.m. Chris C found a medium sized grizzly digging south of Fisherman's Pullout who remained in view for over an hour. At 7:50 a.m. I found the grizzly sow with two coys again on Middle Ridge best viewed from Fisherman's Pullout. They remained in sight until 12:20 p.m. The sow must have detected something because she moved rapidly across snow and camped out on a bunch of rocks until they moved over the hill after noon. At 12:00 noon a dark grizzly was digging in No Bear Meadow viewed from YES Pullout. He soon ran into a group of trees post holing in the snow all the way to The Bowl Meadow. At 1:05 p.m. we had a large black bear low on Salad Bowl just above Jasper Bench viewed from Coyote Overlook. At 1:20 p.m. I found the grizzly sow with two yearlings on the backside of Ski Slope long viewing from Lamar Canyon East. They were in sight for a long time and in sight at 4:00 p.m. when I checked on them. At 3:45 p.m. a gray and a black wolf were seen above the cliff above the Slough Creek Den.


People Seen


Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Rick M, Doug M, Taylor B, Claire L, Marlene F, Dan and Laurie L, Joe K, and Jeremy S. From Missouri: Frank H. From South Dakota: Sam and Ginny G. From Minnesota: Scott W. And from Texas: Carl L and Carol S. Bear Watchers seen this report: From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Montana: Doug M. From Utah: Larry M, and Kevin and Rosie N, and Mark and Liz H. From Idaho: Blake M, and Terry and Marsha J. From Colorado: Tanner H and Sarah. From Washington: Randi M. Others seen this report: From Montana: Bob L, Josh W, Chris H, MacNeil L, Evan S, Cliff B, and Dan and Cindy H. From Wyoming: Kevin M and Paul B. From Florida: Mark L. From Indiana: Jeff and Terry B. From Iowa Jim B. And from Idaho: Adam B.




Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler



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