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Yellowstone National Park 2023 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

25 through 28 March 2023
Yellowstone National Park

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

~ March 2023 ~

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

Saturday - March 25th

With a winter storm warming for the state of Montana, I left Idaho Falls at 6:45 a.m. Roads were pretty good until Ennis, Montana. Snow covered and then snow packed roads through Bozeman (which had 15 inches on the 24th) and on to Livingston with a 30 minute stoppage on Interstate 90. I arrived about two hours later than with good roads so that wasn't too bad. Only a few elk and deer around Ennis and elk and deer in Paradise Valley on the trip. The high today was 30 degrees. I checked in to my motel room which is home for the next 36 nights then headed into the park. Lots and lots of snow. More snow than I have ever seen this time of year. For example, Blacktail Ponds usually have some open water; this year two feet of snow and you can't see the ponds. A lot of elk, bison and pronghorn antelope near the North Entrance.

Sunday - March 26th

14 degrees this morning in Gardiner warming up to 22 degrees with some snow and a lot of low clouds. I had a coyote near Blacktail Ponds and two flying golden eagles south of Gardiner. From 5:00 thru 6:15 p.m. I viewed with a lot of help from Jort V the two black and two gray adults of the new Lupine Creek Pack. They also have three pups so a total of 4 gray and 3 blacks in the pack. They were bedded and the snow was coming down pretty good viewed from north of Undine Falls.

Monday - March 27th

18 degrees in Gardiner but only 7 degrees at Blacktail Ponds this morning warming up to 26 degrees with a lot of blue skies. Out of habit I started my morning at Blacktail Ponds. About 6:35 a.m. with my window down I heard a wolf howling back to the west. I headed for Wraith Falls where I found the wolves to the north. It turned out to be the Rescue Creek Pack with consists of seven blacks and three gray wolves. Today there were only five blacks and the three grays. They moved slowly to the west in good view. They then briefly disappeared but reappeared and bedded on a nice rise and remained in view until midafternoon. At 12:15 p.m. with considerable help I watched the two black and two gray adults of the Lupine Creek Pack from Mammoth east across the river on Mount Everts.

Tuesday - March 28th

Yellowstone Wolf ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

20 degrees in Gardiner but 10 degrees at Hellroaring this morning warming up to 30 degrees with a cold afternoon breeze. The viewing was really good early in the morning, but snow showers caused low visibility off and on the rest of the day. I had a calf moose on the road just east of Upper Hellroaring Pullout this morning. Mike and Kathy W came a little later and had a cow and a calf just south of the road east of Upper Hellroaring Pullout. This afternoon Kevin M found a small moose eating in the willows at Elk Creek. This morning around 8:00 a.m. Jeff A found the Junction Butte Wolf Pack high north of Elk Creek. I was in the wrong place at the time. Everyone followed Rick M to Petrified Tree Pullout to watch them as they moved to the west. Again, I arrived just in time to see one wolf. We followed Rick M to Specimen Trailhead near the Lamar River and Doug M relocated the pack high north of area. They were in good view strung out moving east. They continued east thru the Yellowstone Grass Meadow above and east of the Slough Creek Campground. The count was twenty-one this morning. The high count lately for the Junction Butte's has been twenty-five. At 9:30 a.m. Doug M. (bear watcher) watched the black sow with one black cub of year from the Petrified Tree Pullout. It is a different sow than was in that den last year. Doug M said that the cub was making noise that sounded more like a bird. I arrived later and only got to see the black hair of the sow in the dark den opening.

People Seen

People seen this report: Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Jeremy S, Melba C, Taylor R, Dan and Laurie L, Rick M, Christy G, and Doug M. From the UK; Sian J. From Wisconsin: Beth P. From Canada: Jeff A. From North Dakota: Sandy H. And from Colorado: Steve and Robin M. Bear Watchers seen this report: From Montana: Mike and Kathy W, and Doug M. From Wyoming: Kevin M. From Colorado: Tanner H. And From Louisiana: Bruce P. Others people seen this report: From the Netherlands: Jort V. From Montana: Reggie and Linda C, Bob L, Quinn H, Caroline B, Carl S, Chris H, Grant J, Emil M, and George and Jenny B. From Idaho: Ray L and Kathy.

Yellowstone Moose ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved John William Uhler

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