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Yellowstone National Park 2023 Trip Reports

Trip Report ~ Bear & Wolf Sightings ~ by Bill Hamblin

30 April through 3 May 2023
Yellowstone National Park

Beautiful Mountain Lion ~ Lamar Valley ~ April 10th, 2023 ~ Photo by Linda Rudge Carney ~ All Rights Reserved

Beautiful Mountain Lion ~ Lamar Valley ~ April 10th, 2023 ~ Photo by Linda Rudge Carney © All Rights Reserved

Mountain Lion ~ also known as the Cougar, Puma, Panther, or Catamount ~ Puma concolor

~ April 2023 ~

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

Sunday - April 30th

Sunday April 30th. 44 degrees in Gardiner but only 22 degrees going through West Yellowstone this morning warming up to 75 degrees when I got back to the park. Today was the day I went back to Idaho Falls to drop off my motel stuff and grab my camping stuff. I left Gardiner at 4:30 a.m. and completed my trip back by 4:00 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. I viewed the grizzly sow with one tall yearling cub in Round Prairie. I watched them for over thirty minutes and then went looking for other bears. Passing back through at 7:30 p.m. the grizzly and cub were still in Round Prairie. At 6:30 p.m. I found the 4 1/2-year-old sub adult grizzly again on Amethyst Bench. We watched two 3 1/2-year sub adults a lot last year in the same area. So far only one of the two have been seen in the area.

~ May 2023 ~

Monday - May 1st

Monday May 1st. 37 degrees in Silver Gate but only 29 degrees in Lamar Valley this morning warming up to 73 degrees out in the park. I had a THREE DOG DAY today; I had a bull moose with new antlers in Round Prairie this morning. Spring must be here since the pronghorn antelope are back in Lamar Valley, I saw a herd of fifteen this morning plus a few in the Soda Butte Valley. I had a yearling moose just off the road tonight near Soda Butte Picnic Area. I viewed a golden eagle sitting on a hill near Hubbard Hill this morning. The new bridge construction is working on an access road just southeast of the old Yellowstone River Bridge. Also a few minute delays as they park equipment and supplies in Wrecker Pullout. At 6:10 a.m. I had a grizzly north of the eastern curve near Footbridge Pullout. When I first saw him, he was thirty yards from the road and the grizzly moved back to the north. We watched the grizzly move east, but it decided against trying to cross the road to the south. I felt bad but did not see the grizzly until he turned to go back north. At 6:50 a.m. the 4 1/2-year-old sub adult grizzly was seen again on Amethyst Bench. This grizzly was seen many times today as it would dig on the bench then go out of sight into the trees only to return again to dig on the bench. Once this morning the grizzly was seen low on Ski Slope viewed from the Hubbard hill. At 10:25 a.m. Randi M found a collared gray wolf approaching Amethyst Bench from the east; Others saw another gray but uncollared wolf also moving to the west. At 12:15 p.m. a large black bear was spotted southeast of the Yellowstone Picnic Area.

Yellowstone Wolf ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved Gerry Hogston

Tuesday - May 2nd

40 degrees in Silver Gate but only 35 degrees this morning in Lamar Valley warming up to a nice 73 degrees out in the park. I viewed a snowshoe hare in the road this morning near Baronette Peak, it was all bright white but lots of snow in the area so blends in. I found my first meadowlark this morning near Trashcan Pullout. I have been listening to them for a few days but today was the first day I saw one. I had a THREE DOG DAY today with a second fox today. At 6:40 a.m. I found a tall young dark grizzly digging in the tree line southwest of the Confluence. Not much of a belly under him yet. We viewed the grizzly for over fifteen minutes. At 7:25 a.m. the 4 1/2-year-old sub adult grizzly was seen on Amethyst Bench directly south and across the Lamar River. It was out a lot today and Paul H and I showed a lot of people the bear this afternoon. At 8:50 a.m. Nate U found a new family of grizzlies not seen yet in the Lamar Valley. We were at the old Buffalo Ranch when Nate found the grizzly sow with two big two-year-old cubs in Bear Meadow. Bear Meadow is a high clearing that can be viewed from the ranch, Hubbard Hill, YES Pullout and even Midpoint Pullout. This is the grizzly with cubs that was seen so often last year on Middle Ridge. Good viewed a lot of the morning and all afternoon digging for dinner. At 9:10 a.m. Nate U found another grizzly this time low on Amethyst Bench. The 4 1/2-year-old grizzly seen earlier had just gone into the trees above the bench. Randi surmised that this might be the second sub adult grizzly that we had watched together as 3 1/2-year-olds so often last year in the same area. While we were at other places Terry and Marsha J watched the first grizzly on a really old bison carcass denying the second grizzly access to the carcass. Nice to have both grizzlies back in the area at least for today. At 12:40 p.m. while at Slough Creek we noticed two black wolves (one collared) bedded between the western and eastern trees of the Slough Creek den area.

Yellowstone Wolf Pup ~ © Copyright All Rights Reserved

Wednesday - May 3rd

40 degrees in both Silver Gate and Lamar Valley this morning warming up to 71 degrees out in the park. I had a very good and busy day in the park watching grizzlies. The road construction between Slough Creek and the northeast entrance is going to go 24 hours a day now. That means 20-to-30-minute delays going east or west through the Lamar Canyon. I stayed in Lamar Valley all day. Most of the action was observed from Hubbard Hill today. The old bison carcass on the edge of the tree line south of the old Buffalo Ranch has had little attention since Kevin M found it five days ago. We think that bison died during the winter and froze and was covered by snow. Now visible and warm days meant that more of the carcass thawed out and it smelled more. To sum up, we observed four smaller grizzlies across the river, one grizzly swam the river and was on our side of the river, and the grizzly sow with two two-year-old cubs were seen in Bear Meadow. Eight grizzlies in sight at the same time. This action lasted most of the morning. Early on a large grizzly came to the carcass and ate as the one sub adult grizzly watched nearby. Early in the day Kevin M had a grizzly south of the Confluence best viewed from Confluence East Pullout. Milling around the grizzly visited an old bison carcass south of Hitching Post too. At this point around noon with ten grizzlies seen today we moved on. Kevin M and Bruce P were in Soda Butte Valley watching north and south when Kevin had a grizzly on the # 4 finger on Norris. They waited for over an hour to see the grizzly reappear. After an hour Bruce insisted on staying ten more minutes. At the end of ten minutes, he scanned once more and found the grizzly with one yearling cub on # 4 finger. I was not close, and they disappeared out of sight. I arrived and stayed at Footbridge while Bruce and Kevin were at Soda Butte East Pullout and Randi M stayed at Soda Butte Middle Pullout. The viewing was good early from all three places but the viewing in the valley ended when they went behind a few trees. At Footbridge, the viewing was good, only the heat rays hampered our watching. The grizzlies remained in sight for over three hours, mostly digging with one fifteen-minute nap. Later I found a grizzly on # 5 finger of Norris. It was digging in a clearing and then when into the snow to play. For well over fifteen minutes, it rolled and played in the snow, sometimes with its feet in the air. The sighting lasted over an hour and a half. I had a badger along the side of the road today near the Soda Butte Cone, and it crossed the road after I passed. I am writing this in Silver Gate and have heard and seen four avalanches so far on the mountains to the south. Very cool.

People Seen

Wolf Watchers: From Montana: Dan and Laurie L, Wendy B, Taylor R, Jeremy S, Rick M, and Doug M. From Missouri: Frank H. From Utah: Paul H. From Idaho: Warren and Natalie B. From Michigan: Dan and Susan W. And from Colorado: Bob P. Bear Watchers seen this report: From Louisiana: Bruce P. From Wyoming: Kevin M. From Washington: Randi M. From Idaho: Jon and Karen E. From Montana: Shari S and Doug M. And from Idaho: Terry and Marsha J and son Justine. From Missouri: Fred and Linda. Others seen this report: From Montana: Cliff B, MacNeil L, Mike S, Nate U, Michael S, Dan H, Jim and Diane H, Audra C, Quinn H and Bob L. From California: Carol. From Virginia: Big John B. From Vermont: John K. From Rhode Island: Mark L. From Florida: Bill L. And from Arizona: David and Phyllis.

Beautiful Mountain Lion ~ Lamar Valley ~ April 10th, 2023 ~ Photo by Linda Rudge Carney ~ All Rights Reserved

Beautiful Mountain Lion ~ Lamar Valley ~ April 10th, 2023 ~ Photo by Linda Rudge Carney © All Rights Reserved

Mountain Lion ~ also known as the Cougar, Puma, Panther, or Catamount ~ Puma concolor

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Sightings and Trip Report are from the North and Northeast Area of Yellowstone

Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park

Lamar Valley Map - Yellowstone National Park

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