Yellowstone Reports

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My Wolf Week

More than Wolves
by Dan Hartman

Dec. 28, 2015

     As usual I work on getting wolf photos the day after winter study ends.  So on the 16th I was out at dawn.  Coyotes seemed to be everywhere.  Especially the little family in Round Prairie who I watched mouse for awhile.  A bald eagle perched near Footbridge and a bull moose browsed at Elk Creek.  Otherwise I saw only bison and elk.

     17th  Today I combined looking for wolves with Christmas shopping in Bozeman.  Cindy, Kelly and I left the cabin at dawn and passed through a very quiet Lamar Valley.  In Lamar Canyon I spotted a tiny pygmy owl perched atop a snag.  Near Floating Island, a northern shrike flew in to perch just beside the road.  North of the park, eagles were everywhere.

     18th  As I passed by Warm Creek in the gloomy light of dawn, I made out a pygmy owl perched above the highway.  Just past Soda Butte Cone, the wolf people were parked on the curve, flashers going.  The Lamars had a kill out in the willows.  I moved to where I thought I might view them crossing the road.  Soon two pups approached and milled around the road a bit before moving on.  This gave me a first hand look at what mange had done to the pack.  Not only were their coats in tatters, but they had a defeated demeaner.  I took a few shots and headed home.

     20th  Once again I combined a trip to town with looking for wolves.  A marten at the cabin stalled us a bit.  We knew a marten was visiting us nightly because of tracks but we had only seen him in daylight a couple of times.

     On our way finally, we came upon a cow and calf moose at Lower Barronette.  At the west end of Round Prairie, a beaver floated in the Soda Butte.  The Lamars had a new kill just east of Soda Butte Cone.  Half a dozen coyotes moused near the road sides.  Up north I got some great shots of an eagle on a carcass.  As we returned home a fox moused near Mammoth.  At one point he held up his catch as if to show it to me.

    My daughter Cassie and her husband drove in from Pennsylvania for a weeks visit, so I cut my wolf week short.  I really didn't get a new wolf print but did get one good opportunity.  That's all one can ask for.

     Hey folks, it's Yellowstone!  There's a lot more to look for than just wolves!  Fox and coyotes are abundant.  Moose and eagles are good photographic subjects.  I found three pygmy owls in one weeks time and you'll never know when an ermine or marten might appear.  I didn't even mention the bighorn rams and mule deer bucks on the inside road to Corwin Springs.


View slide show

Lamar Pup

Mousing Coyotes

Bull Moose

Pygmy Owl

Wolf & Bison

Wolf Pup With Mange

Wolf Pup In The Storm

Moving Through A Bison Herd


Mountain Fox With Catch

Moving On

Eagle Landing

Eagle Landing

Eagle On Carcass