Tell your coolest Yellowstone experience

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RProuty
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Re: Tell your coolest Yellowstone experience

Post by RProuty » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:38 am

In 2008 I was in a small pullout and the Canyon Pack walked by me all five of them not more than three feet away.

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yellvet
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Re: Tell your coolest Yellowstone experience

Post by yellvet » Sun May 06, 2018 2:07 am

Rik, I don't think that there's ever been a year when I didn't have a pretty cool experience in the Park. I've had bears, bison, elk, fox, badgers and pronghorns wandering through our campsite and I've even had wolves sitting behind my van. But the most memorable experience probably happened in the mid eighties at the Slough Creek Campground. It was mid June and about 5am. I was camped, in what was then, Site #7 (the site next to the outfitter's horse crossing). I was making a pot of coffee when I heard a soft muffled squeal. I looked up but didn't see anything. So I went back to making coffee. Then, I heard another squeal and looked up again. The squeal seemed to be coming from somewhere near the upper end of the campground. At first I thought that perhaps a bear cub was being taken down. Didn't see any bears, though. Then I heard the squeal again. OMG~~~~Took a closer look and that's when I saw that the squeal was coming from a tiny moose calf. The Creek's current was so strong that it, apparently, had lifted the calf right off its feet and was carrying it downstream. I stood on the bank watching the calf being swept around the bend in the water. It was heading towards our site. Mama Moose must have heard the squeal, too, because I saw her race through the woods and over to the horse crossing on the other side of the Creek, directly across from me. She and I stood there watching as the little calf's head was going underwater. I thought the calf was doomed because it was heading towards a field of submerged boulders. But Mamma wasn't going to let her calf die. She raced through the trees and stood at the crossing on the other side of the Creek, watching her calf every second. Then, she positioned her body sideways and ventured into the Creek downstream from her calf. She kept maneuvering and re-positioning her body so that the calf would float into her body. After what seemed to be an eternity, Mama Moose and her calf were finally re-united. The little one was shivering and shaking non-stop as the two stood on the bank. Mama licked her little one, trying to settle it down. Mama also knew that I was watching and had also seen her heroic rescue. But Mama didn't care. She had saved her calf and that's all that mattered. Back then, I had a Canon AV-1 35mm camera with a 200mm lens. But I chose not to take any pix that morning. I wanted to save the calf myself, more than anything, but I also knew that being a 90-pound lightweight, that I would never be able to handle or survive the fast current and undertow of the Creek. So, all I could do was watch the rescue and hope for the best. It was this cool and most miraculous experience that became the catalyst for my becoming a wildlife photographer. And that's why I prefer photographing the wild families of Slough Creek. Each generation holds a very special place, deep in my heart. And for that, I will always be thankful.



Zackdog31
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Re: Tell your coolest Yellowstone experience

Post by Zackdog31 » Mon May 07, 2018 10:29 am

That story made me tear up a bit. The Mom's instinct is so strong! Thank you for sharing with us. My memories of Yellowstone are not nearly as dramatic as ya'lls. I started bringing my kids when they were 10 year old twin and a 12 year old boy. I loved watching them fall in love with Yellowstone at the same time I did. We watched a mother moose who had just given birth, saw the first steps of the calf and watched her clean him off. Another trip, we were watching a group of bison and wolf 889 checked them out to see if she could steal a calf (she couldn't) and then walked right beside us.

We watched 399 and her cubs and then introduced my children's spouses to Yellowstone and watched them fall in love with the Tetons and Yellowstone too. We have watched them fall in love with 399 and then with 610 and her cubs. It has been a 20 year journey of wonderment for us. We now love the National Parks and still love traveling together even though my kids have long since become adults. And everyone developed a love of photography as a result of Yellowstone.



yellvet
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Re: Tell your coolest Yellowstone experience

Post by yellvet » Tue May 08, 2018 11:15 am

I'm so glad that you enjoyed the story. When I re-read my post, it had me tearing up, too. A lot of years have passed by since I witnessed the moose calf rescue at Slough Creek. But hopefully, I'll be able to pass on the same kind of love, respect and appreciation of wildlife, that I have, to my 2 grand kids. The boys are 6 and 8 and love seeing and learning about wildlife. In another year or two, they should be ready for Yellowstone...can't wait.

I took a walk along the River this morning hoping to see some of my favorite animals and birds. Suffice to say, that there wasn't a single critter that wasn't enjoying the warm early May weather...me, too. :lol: Wildflowers are popping out everywhere and all the trees are budding/leafing out. Too bad that dandelions aren't a cash crop. If they were, I'd be a millionaire! In the past week, our yard has gone from dark green to bright yellow. To say that we've got a bumper crop of dandelions this year, is an understatement. That's OK, though. The deer love 'em. :)



TeeJay
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Re: Tell your coolest Yellowstone experience

Post by TeeJay » Mon May 14, 2018 7:51 pm

Wow, amazing experiences!

My problem is figuring out which of mine is the "coolest" lol. I guess it would have been last August. My wife and I were making our annual trip to the park during the first week of August. We drove out from New Jersey (again) and were coming in through the East Entrance. It was just before 8am, and I had commented to my wife how awesome it would be to FINALLY see Raspberry and Snow. We had never seen them, missing them by a few minutes several times the previous 2 years. Anyway, about a half mile past Sylvan Lake, I see 2 cars pulled off, one of which was a ranger. I glanced ahead and out pops both Raspberry and Snow on my side of the road! I quickly turned around and parked behind the ranger. I got our and stood next to her, amazed how close we were to these 2 amazing bears. During the interaction, at one point Snow aggravated mom, and she stood up and started to wrestle Snow, making the most amazing, yet scary noises I've ever heard. We were there for about a half hour until they disappeared into the trees. What a way to start another amazing trip.

ImageIMG_6446 by teej626, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6455 by teej626, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6482 by teej626, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6520 by teej626, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6539 by teej626, on Flickr



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andrew
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Re: Tell your coolest Yellowstone experience

Post by andrew » Sat May 19, 2018 8:22 pm

Wow those astro photos are amazing. Also enjoy reading about those dramatic wildlife situations.

I don't have the long history like most of you have, but my favorite so far has got to be that Otter Creak carcass from May 2016.

Leaving Canyon CG pre-sunrise, I found a Wapiti female near the bridge. She led me to a carcass at Otter Creak. Later conversation from park rangers informed me that they took the elk right by the road, but the rangers moved it far enough away to make it legal to watch from the road. This was the first weekend Hayden Valley was open for the season.

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Later that morning 755m showed up. They would make trips throughout the day to/from their den site.

755 attempted to take some meat back in his mouth...this was when the encounter happened with a young grizzly. The bear took the meat from 755, in that meadow near the Wapiti TH. The bear would then sniff around, trying to find the source of that bit of meat. I could almost see the gears turning in the bear's head as he was trying to find the source.

Eventually he was spotted on that ridge across Yellowstone River.

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But the bear was not sure where to cross, and by that time a decent crowd has formed. Unfortunately the wolves did not appreciate the bear wondering the ridge (guessing their den was close by or something), and they charged the bear out of the treeline several times.

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Long story short, the bear did make it to the carcass by evening.

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Eventually 755 shows up and the resulting face-off is my favorite capture ever.

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The best part about this encounter is that this was the first of many 755 sightings that season. A couple weeks later there was that elk carcass east of the road way out by their typical rendezvous site.

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Then there was that bison carcass in early July.

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And finally the downfall of his reign as the Mollies came into town.


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RikWriter
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Re: Tell your coolest Yellowstone experience

Post by RikWriter » Sat May 19, 2018 10:12 pm

I was there for that one too, Andrew!



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