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Driving the Yellowstone-To-Cody Loop

Bears and More Bears

by Dan Hartman
Oct. 7, 2011

With bad weather in the forecast, Cindy and I drove the Yellowstone to Cody loop yesterday.  We left at dawn, but did not see anything of note until reaching Picnic.  There, a griz was on a carcass with another griz waiting across the river.  Wolves were approaching from the south.  Events unfolded slowly, but eventually both grizzlies and one wolf were at the carcass, with more wolves watching from across the river.

We moved on then, wanting to cover more of the park while it was still early.  At Tower, we spent a bit of time looking for the great gray owl that had been spotted there recently.  We didn’t have any luck.  The rain that had begun to fall might have had something to do with that.  Driving towards Canyon, we crossed over Dunraven Pass, stopping now and then to look for bears feeding on pine nuts.  All we found was a lop-eared coyote.

At Canyon, we checked out a few familiar spots where I’ve been seeing great grays for almost thirty years.  But no luck. In Hayden, we came across Nathan and Linda.  They were watching several of the Canyon Pack, as they bedded near the timber.  A grizzly passed behind them, so there must have been a carcass.

On South past Bridge Bay, we once again searched the meadows for great grays but it wasn’t our day.  Off Gull Point Drive, we watched two loons fishing.  Back to Fishing Bridge, then on to Sylvan Pass.  Just as we were coming down the east side, Cindy spotted a black bear across the Canyon to our right.  He was feeding on the many rosehips and berries growing in a steep avalanche shoot.  We heard a “bleat” and looked down to see pika gathering greens for its’ grass pile.

The rains came off and on as we drove out the East gate then on to Cody.  A bit of grocery shopping, and we were climbing up Dead Indian Pass.   At mile marker 36, to our amazement, we found two grizzlies feeding on a carcass across a deep canyon.   We were there just a short time, when one griz picked up the carcass and carried it into the trees.  Soon after, the other griz followed.   This was easily the farthest from the park we’ve seen grizzlies.


Photos

View slide show

Grizzlies At Dawn

Grizzlies And A Wolf

Wolf Trying To Move In

Coyote on Dunraven

Color Along Yellowstone Lake

Black Bear Across The Canyon

Pica Gathering Greens

More Color

Grizz Carrying Away The Carcass

Grizz On Dead Indian




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