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I was there for that one too, Andrew!

Statistics: Posted by RikWriter — Sat May 19, 2018 10:12 pm

Author: RikWriter
Posted: May 20, 2018, 4:12 am
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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


Then there was that bison carcass in early July.


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

Statistics: Posted by andrew — Sat May 19, 2018 8:22 pm

Author: andrew
Posted: May 20, 2018, 2:22 am
I've got a can of Bear Spray that's a few years old, expiration date of 2017. Never been used, tested or anything like that. Should I just electively replace it or is it really good for a while yet? Obviously planning a trip to the park soon, this July. I'm not a real backwoods type, no backpacking or anything but I have been known to do some hiking, this trip most likely to Hellroaring bridge and or Mt Washburn, but I know the bears also kind of feel like it's their park and don't always just hang out at The Thorofare or Electric Peak. So, is it good for another year or pure foolishness to try to stretch it? I'm suspecting the answer is yes to both. :roll:

Next is there any special brand to get or to avoid if I do need to replace it, my current one is Counter Assault.

Edit: It appears I should have done more research, I found the following on Amazon
How long does it last when not used?
The expiration date is on every canister. When we buy direct from the manufacturer, the expiration is always at least 5 years away, and sometimes a bit more. However, even after it's peak effectiveness drops off, it will remain reasonably effective for a few more years, though I would suggest replacing it soon after the expiration date. One thing to keep in mind is that the expiration is set well before it actually looses effectiveness.
Keri-Lynn, Four Seasons Survival
However I'm still more than interested in hearing other input.

Statistics: Posted by Mike W. — Sat May 19, 2018 7:37 pm

Author: Mike W.
Posted: May 20, 2018, 1:37 am
That's what folks called them when we stopped to watch. It was on the mountains just a little ways past Trout Lake trailhead pullout. There were three "fingers" of snow on the top of the hills, and the folks helping us find the bears said, "See those fingers (of snow) up there They are just a ways from the trees in the second finger." A couple of different folks referred to it that way, so we figured that was the way it was identified. Don't know if that's true or not, but that's what we heard.

Statistics: Posted by Dorothy — Fri May 18, 2018 9:15 pm

Author: Dorothy
Posted: May 19, 2018, 3:15 am
Thanks for the report! Hope the rest of your trip is great, too. Good luck on seeing another black bear!

Statistics: Posted by Dorothy — Fri May 18, 2018 9:12 pm

Author: Dorothy
Posted: May 19, 2018, 3:12 am
My nephew flew in from Kauai to meet me in Washington and we drove half way yesterday. So today starting from St. Regis, we were able to get to the park after checking in at our hotel in Gardiner for a few hours. Saw more Elk and Muleys than usual for mid-afternoon driving from Livingston to Gardiner. The usual elk welcoming committee was out in Gardiner. Drove from Mammoth to Pebble Creek parking area in Lamar, then back to Tower and then back to Gardiner.

Saw virtually nothing (as expected considering it was mid-afternoon) until we were on our way back. Lamar was especially quiet. There were both Big Horn Ewes and Antelope hanging out around the Yellowstone Picnic area. Around the time we passed them the drizzle turned into real rain. Then on our way back there was the two tagged and collared cinnamon sow and cub by the road near Elk Creek. It was raining quite hard and no one followed the parking rules, but I dropped my Nephew off and he was able to get a couple of great shots of the cub. He also got a nice shot of the sow doing the doggy shake the water off thing. Then another black bear was about 25 yards from the road past Hellroaring but there was no where safe to pull off and the rain was steady. We took our chance we will see another black bear before we are done.

So the "real" part (today was just the bonus) starts tomorrow. See you at the pullout.

Doyle and Marcus

Statistics: Posted by 12hoursfromhome — Fri May 18, 2018 8:51 pm

Author: 12hoursfromhome
Posted: May 19, 2018, 2:51 am
Thanks for the wonderful, detailed report, and the great photos!

Statistics: Posted by Dorothy — Thu May 17, 2018 3:48 pm

Author: Dorothy
Posted: May 17, 2018, 9:48 pm
Sounds like a great productive trip,glad you got to see wolves at close range,that is always a memorable experience.where are the "fingers" ?

Statistics: Posted by Mike — Wed May 16, 2018 4:36 pm

Author: Mike
Posted: May 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
Great report.

Statistics: Posted by BeartoothTucker — Wed May 16, 2018 1:19 pm

Author: BeartoothTucker
Posted: May 16, 2018, 7:19 pm
Thanks, Mike. Sorry you had car and weather problems, but you got some nice shots. Great cross fox picture.

Statistics: Posted by lah — Wed May 16, 2018 10:38 am

Author: lah
Posted: May 16, 2018, 4:38 pm
I'm so glad that you decided to get the 600 . You won't regret it! It's been on my "drool list" ever since it came out. The carry weight, was the only thing that kept me from getting one, especially, when I started having some health problems. But I'm getting better with each passing day, so the 600 is back on my "want list". Been dealing with B and H Photo for over 2 decades and you won't find a better company. Not only are the employees knowledgeable but, in the past, the company was always really good about letting me try out 2 or 3 lenses at no charge just so I could decide which one that I wanted. They would even include a return authorization so I could return the lens (es) that I didn't want. You won't find a finer company that is so accommodating to a photographer and that is so price competitive. So, when I get my 600, it's going to come from B & H Photo. And "no", I am not a B & H employee. I'm just a long-time customer who has always appreciated their great service, follow-up and pricing. :)

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Wed May 16, 2018 9:40 am

Author: yellvet
Posted: May 16, 2018, 3:40 pm
Thanks for sharing your trip report, Mike. Wish the weather had been better for you. We had hail at our house, too. No damage, though. May weather is always so unpredictable. But rain never seems to slow down the critters. Glad you got to see as many animals as you did.

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Wed May 16, 2018 8:19 am

Author: yellvet
Posted: May 16, 2018, 2:19 pm
I headed in the west entrance on the 26th under clear skies and pleasant temperatures,along the Madison the eagle nest along the river was occupied by two canada geese,at the bridge there was a small group of bison cows moving toward the meadow.Along Gibbon Meadows about one to two inches of snow covered about 50% of the meadow with a few bull bison occupying the few grassy areas.Getting through the construction zone took about 30 minutes.Swan Lake was still frozen over and the flats had about 2-3 inches of snow still lingering.

Had planned to camp all week at Mammoth and to my surprise the camp was full at 11:00am,maybe I should not have crowed about never being shut out in this post so my best alternative was all the way to Yankee Jim Canyon about 12 miles from Gadiner,you can get there quite quickly and I was able to find a spot that was somewhat secluded and behind the giant boulders that have broke off the side of the mountain and rolled down in the camp,this kind of blocked the highway noise as the camp is sandwiched between two cliffs a river and highway.The camp is OK for a night,don't bring your large RV or trailers here,maybe 2 or 3 sites you could squeeze in.

Friday morning off to Mammoth by 7:30am to grab a site from the first person I saw leaving,the camp would be full till May 1st when they opened up the loop.

Seeing few elk around Mammoth,none over by Rye Pond,there were some groups of elk,bison and antelope near the arch and at the flats beyond Rescue Creek including a large group of sheep down from the cliffs.

Going out to the Lamar Valley I see little,road to Petrified Tree Road is not plowed yet,I do stop to watch two bald eagles soaring over Elk Creek.Lots of bison at Tower,fair amount of antelope.Something is going on over at the Roosevelt corral,a black is in side the corrals and just as i arrive,so does a ranger and hazes the bear only allowing me to photograph the south end of a north bound bear.I am told that this has been happening for the last few days.

At the Yellowstone Picnic area a large group of ewes is at the pond across the road drinking,I stop to photograph and they cross the road and walk right into the crowd along the road causing me to have to backpedal.

Little America is full of critters including some red dogs,every day there would be more of the little guys running around.A stop in the canyon and cuaght both of the osprey at the nest,did not see any chicks and the nest is kind of low so I am confident that there are no hatch lings yet.


At Slough Creek the wolves are on a one or two year old bision they took down over night,the watchers are being kept at the road

The Lamar River is ripping through the canyon and is a cappuccino colored froth and is probably at the highest level it gets,when I see the Lamar I know why,it's pretty much snow covered on the river bottom.Every slough,side channel and depression has flowing water some very large ponds have little tributaries that the runoff has cut down two feet as it flows to the river.Of course there are no wildlife around except quite a few sandhill cranes and a coyote keeping a close eye out for a opportunity.

Up to Round Prairie and there are two moose,one cow and one bull,I stop and shoot for a while and all of a sudden another bull comes from behind me and crosses the creek and joins the pair but keeps a good distance between the pair already there
The rest of the trip would have lots of moose around Pebble Creek and up a little further at the Soda Butte Creek bridge.also saw cow and one year old calf at elk creek but had to take cover as a lot lightning started to hit.

Two days of really warm weather has melted a lot of the snow and the bottom of the valley is now very swampy but some bison and antelope are moving down from the hillsides and to the river side.Lots of bighorn rams hanging around from Enclosure to Hitching Post.

The only wolves seen besides at the Slough den was a grey at Footbridge(was told that a black was with her but I did not see it),who traveled all the way up to Trout Creek where a large crowd kind of blocked the wolf's travel where it narrows down.Also saw 996m across from Fisherman's chase a grizzly sow and cub,the cub shot up a large pine and almost as fast as it went up,it came sliding down and joined it's mother atop a large boulder where the wolf barked a few times then took off toward Slough Creek.Other grizzly sightings were on Slough side just west of Jasper Bench,also a sow and cub came near the lower den at Slough but was chased off by the wolves.The road to Slough Creek was blocked at the first gate and the restroom was non op,come on NPS all those people hanging around and you can't open one rest room ?

For a least two days had a black sow with a cinnamon cub on the wreckers side of the Yellowstone Bridge,down in the trees,she would put the cub up a tree while she fed on the new green grasses,very difficult to photograph,always behind trees,tall bush and the terraced side of the canyon,but did catch her stand in the open.

There were plenty of black bears seen,at Phantom Lake a cinnamon,a large black boar at Floating Island Lake,the black phase at Roosevelt,another young cinnamon between the picnic area and the bridge


By Sunday the 29th the weather turned cold with rain turning to snow with a pea size hail storm right at Phantom Lake.At times visibility in the Lamar was terrible. Closure signs popped up overnight between Footbridge and Hitching Post,might be the grey I saw hanging in that area.
A bison gave birth right across from the Tower RS on that little flat raised area drawing quite a large crowd,bighorn rams have replaced the ewes at the little pond across from the Yellowstone. More elk showing up at Mammoth and through out the park as the week progressed,lot's of deer too,on Wednesday I started to have problems with my vehicle and spent most of the day in camp,while all the other campers were out a nice looking fox swept the campground looking for some scrap of food.

Thursday I moved to Madison to meet up with friends that have not been to the park,so it was mostly a tour of the geyser fields and to Canyon.Checked out Steamboat which has been active of late but nothing was happening this day,at Old Faithful we almost missed the eruption as we were caught between Beehive and OF when they were both erupting.Old Faithful was small eruption,Beehive on the other hand was much longer and higher.The canyon area still had a lot of snow and a lot of work going on both the north and south rim,most of the trails were still blocked by snow,a lot of the walkways were closed,the area at Uncle Tom's parking area is a construction mud pit.That night at least two wolves were howling near Madison campground.

On Friday the 4th out to the lake where the Hayden Valley was still one to two feet of snow, a few bull bison out off Grizzly Overlook and at Indian Pond no wildlife.The lake was covered in slushy looking ice but I saw no breaks in the ice from on high at Lake Butte overlook.

Saturday the 5th back to the Lamar,at Nymph Lake a sow grizz with a cub,people were saying there was a second cub but I saw just the one.With nowhere to park,snap a pic and had to keep moving.Was able to give my friends a good day of seeing grizz,black bear at Phantom Lake (and a big bear jam),goats,moose,bighorns,wolves,elk,antelope,and bison.

On Sunday I had to leave and have a water pump installed cutting short my trip but overall I was able to see lot of the park and a lot of wildlife,wish that the grizzly bears would have been closer,gives me a excuse to try again next year

Statistics: Posted by Mike — Tue May 15, 2018 8:25 pm

Author: Mike
Posted: May 16, 2018, 2:25 am
Dorothy, what a great report! I could feel your excitement and sense of awe and wonderment in every word. Bears, bison and playful little red dogs, grouse and eagles, moose, elk and wolves and the mighty bighorn rams. Oh my! It doesn't get any better than that! Sounds like you had a wonderful time, even though it was a short trip. Thanks so much for sharing your report, Dorothy, it was such a joy to read. Better yet, it sounds like the critters are in all their usual places. Just hope that the folks who are in the Park right now, read your report. It's a goody!

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Tue May 15, 2018 3:40 pm

Author: yellvet
Posted: May 15, 2018, 9:40 pm
Thanks for the detailed report. Sounds like you had a great time. Will arrive there Friday and be in both parks.

Statistics: Posted by 12hoursfromhome — Tue May 15, 2018 2:20 pm

Author: 12hoursfromhome
Posted: May 15, 2018, 8:20 pm

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