Yellowstone Reports

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Early Fall Snowstorm

Beartooth Wolf Pack
by Dan Hartman

Sept. 25, 2017

     The 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.


View slide show

Beartooth Wolf Pup


Open The Gate!!!

Bear Tracks / Overlook

Black Bear Tracks

Beartooth Butte

Half A Woodpile