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Two Face

A Cubs Tale

by Dan Hartman
May 15, 2020

     Last fall I told a story of a pair of young grizzlies that interrupted a photo group I was guiding in the Beartooths.

     Then over the next couple of weeks I would find their tracks in the snow around squirrel middens I was working on.

     Finally, I ended coming across them feeding on a carcass with their mom near Clay Butte.

     They were easy to identify because one cub was horribly disfigured on the right side of its jaw.  Probably caused by another grizzlys claws or possible jaws when the cub was much younger.

     Anyhow, I got the opportunity to watch the family for a couple days as they fed on the carcass.  Soon, I was able to discern how different the cubs personalities were.

     I named the disfigured one, Two Face, because from the left side he looked like a normal Grizzly, but from the right it was a whole different story.

     Personality wise, Two Face seemed to have no fear.  The day with the photographers he walked right in on us.  His brother however, appeared only after we had moved off.  We never did see their mother that day.

     As I watched them feed on the carcass, Two Face would feed constantly first on the meat then grazing on surrounding grasses.  Rarely lifting his head to look around.

     Brother however, would constantly stop feeding to scan the area for danger.

     All winter, I've been wondering if I would run in to the young bears feeding on flowers this summer.  Mom would have kicked them off by May and the grizzly pair would surely roam the territory they were raised in.

     Well, last week I got a report a strange looking grizzly was seen 20 miles east of us.  Three days ago Cindy and I came across the pair of grizzlies 8 miles to the east of the cabin.  Two Face was busy digging up roots while Brother loped back into the forest.

     Two days ago, Two Face was spotted first in Cooke Pass,  then outside Cooke City and eventually Silver Gate.  Strange thing was, he appeared to be alone.  My experience with kicked off grizzly cubs is they usually stay together all summer, even into denning season.

     Yesterday afternoon, Cindy and I were returning from Bozeman when we came across a grizzly standing in the middle of the road 4 miles inside the NorthEast Gate.  It was Two Face.  He appeared to be alone and finally walked past our car heading west.

     It will be interesting to see how Two Faces' story continues.  I was talking with Bill Hamblin last night and he felt the other cub could still show up.  Maybe trailing Two Face from a distance.


Photos

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TWO FACE

TWO FACE

TWO FACE

LAST FALL




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