Blog

July 22, 2019 The American Bison

The American Bison is our favorite animal in the Park. Most of the big attractions, Bear, wolves, Moose, Elk etc are usually a long ways away and you are looking through a spotting scope to see them. But the Bison are everywhere in the Lamar Valley. If you watch their movements and they look like they are going to cross the road it is time for a Bison jam. But we love them. We go find a pullout near the guessed crossing point and then just park and wait. Often the Bison will cross right around you allowing you to get a very up close and personal look at the animals. As long as you DON'T get out of your...

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July 21, 2019 Looking for the elusive BearClaw Bear

We went hiking at Bearclaw bakery into the high country looking for the BearClaw Bear. Helen was our guide to help find the reclusive animal. After a long hike we sighted the Bear on a rock in the snow. Yummy!

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July 20, 2019 Living in the high mountains

The Marmot is one of the first animals I learned the latin name for as a child. Marmota Flaviventris, the yellow bellied Marmota is really a large ground squirrel that lives in rock talus slopes in the high mountains above 6500 feet. There are lots of talus slopes in the Beartooth mountains and lots of Marmots live there.

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July 19, 2019 The chase is on!

After having a bison carcass within close viewing distance and having watched it consumed by both wolves and grizzlies you don't expect to see much the next few days. But as a wolf watcher you must never make assumptions. We went in early as usual, before daybreak, which comes early in the Beartooths. A group of watchers had gathered at a turn out. Six members of the Junction Butte Pack were hanging out across the river in the Lamar Valley. One of the wolves, we think the Mocha Yearling, was casually following a big bull bison. This yearling has been quite adventuresome this summer. It is pretty...

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July 17, 2019 The influence of tourists on wildlife

Yellowstone National Park is overrun with tourists. More than it can handle and it shows. Unfortunately tourists excited about seeing wildlife but with no understanding of the animals they are so exuberantly trying to see may hurt wildlife. There are road kills where people bring their impatient city driving habits to the park and end of killing wildlife. Also by not understanding the complexities of the animals they are viewing they can harm them. There is a kill near the road that is attracting bears and wolves who need the food. One wolf is collar number 1109 a female with puppies. Sometime...

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July 15, 2019 – Wolf escort

There was a Bison death near the road, of natural causes, and that meant extremely good wildlife viewing. The Junction wolf pack was trying to defend the find. A Sow Grizzly and her two yearling cubs wanted some of the free food. But the wolf pack was not having any of it. So they dispatched four wolves to escort the Bear and cubs out of Dodge. Wolves can and do kill bear cubs but not apparently today. Wolves have a very sophisticated social order. They have good leaders and bad. Harsh leaders and gentle ones. In this case it appears the wolves were given marching orders to escort the wolves...

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July 8, 2019 Flower Child

We watched this black bear enjoying his morning as he worked back and forth on a hillside eat ONLY yellow flowers. All the time we watched him. Just the top part of the stem and the flower. Yum. He probably waited all winter for these flowers to bloom!  

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July 5, 2019 – Wolves and Bears

There is a bison kill in the Lamar Valley and the various residents have been taking advantage of the food source. Barb noticed a Bear swimming across the Lamar river. It turned out to be a boar Grizzly chasing a sow with two yearling cubs. The boar would kill the cubs if he caught her but he finally gave up to go check out the kill. Then momma bear was escorted out of the area by three wolves who would rather have the kill to themselves. The cubs did a good job of attacking the wolves and trying to defend themselves. Wolves can kill bear cubs. The wolves harassed the three bears until mom made...

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July 3, 2019- Kids just wanna have fun

These two kids were playing and head butting and generally having a good time.  

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July 1, 2019 Colter Campground opens

We opened US Forest Service Colter campground to fine weather. It has been rainy for the last few weeks so everyone appreciated the great weather. Our good friends Cam and Dawn Smith joined us on the weekend before the opening and brought with them great wildlife viewing luck. Foxes were one of the first animals we saw and we saw them everywhere! So we went down to the Bearclaw Bakery to have the best breakfast in Montana. Helen bakes foxes and many other scrumptious goodies. Terri's menu is very creative and gourmet for breakfast.   We took the grand loop around the park...

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