Early Fall SnowstormBeartooth Wolf Pack
by Dan Hartman
Sept. 25, 2017The recent storm that shut down the Park for a couple days also stalled my wood cutting. It did however free up some time for exploring.
First off, the tracking was excellent. I mean overnight we gained over a foot of new snow. Tracks of bears, wolves, coyotes, fox and marten. Not to mention the moose, deer and hares. The best tracks were of a large black bear roaming the Pilot-Index overlook. He even climbed up on a rise and gazed at the scene far below.
I was returning from the Beartooths in a van full of photographers, when I spotted two black dogs emerging from the pines beside the road.
Now here is where I made the mistake photographers have been making for years. We had just photographed scenes, which means low ISO's and high depth of fields.
Slow shutter speeds.
Like I do time after time, I didn't re-adjust my settings. So when I needed to grab the camera and fire, I got nothing but soft images. Luckily, one image did work as my heart must of missed a beat and gave me a sharp image at 1/40th of a second hand held.
Howling sounded to the east.
I noticed a lot of raven activity and fresh coyote tracks. Obviously a carcass nearby.
I was there at dawn the next morning. Ravens appeared to by flying to a point about 300 yards downslope. I moved closer til the timber became thick. Bear tracks trailed out of the trees.
I wasn't going any closer.
I found an overlook and glassed the area for an hour. Nothing moved except the ravens.
Cindy and I went back for a look at dusk. A black bear and yearing cub's tracks emerged from the woods, but no fresh wolf tracks. On the way home a fox hunted a boggy meadow. At one point he appeared to try pushing open a log gate.
Cindy and I have lived in Silver Gate for 27 years. Never have we experienced snow like this in September. It does make us a ittle nervous as we've only gathered half of our winter wood supply. Hopefully Indian Summer will last most of October.
Beartooth Wolf Pup
Open The Gate!!!
Bear Tracks / Overlook
Black Bear Tracks
Half A Woodpile