July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Share your latest adventure in Yellowstone.

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karenandbill
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by karenandbill »

The park has been very crowded this summer. One used to be able to slip in the west entrance before 7 AM, but now the rangers are manning the gates at 5:30 AM. Some mornings we have seen it backed up through the town of West Yellowstone by mid morning. But the park is still beautiful and the wildlife is still visible. We go in the park once a week or so and it has been a good summer for viewing wolves, particularly the Junction Butte pack. They have successfully raised 8 puppies out at the Slough Creek den site. Though it is a long way away, with a good spotting scope the comings and goings are quite visible most days. The adults and yearlings head into Lamar quite often and are even more visible there.

On July 19 we headed in and were approaching the bridge before the Slough Creek turn off when to our surprise a collared wolf crossed the road just in front of us. We had the cameras on the floor, and Karen had to fumble around before grabbing the smaller one to get a shot. By that time the wolf was moving away from the road but stopped briefly so Karen was able to get this shot.

ImageDSCF0027 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Then it started heading up and over the ridge.

ImageDSCF0029 by William Reinke, on Flickr

ImageDSCF0030 by William Reinke, on Flickr

What a great way to start the morning! We then headed down Slough Road to look at the den site. We missed the activity with the pups as they were now out of sight. But we did spot a lone black wolf doing its thing just wandering around. It would do a little mousing, then lay down, then get up and trot off. It finally disappeared behind some rocks so we headed down the road to look for a black bear family that had been around. Didn't see the bears, but on the way back we found an empty pullout and decided to stop and eat breakfast. As we were eating, the black wolf reappeared and was heading towards us. It was just getting in good camera range when it just disappeared into a gully and never came back out that we could see. So no photo. It's amazing how they can just disappear on you.

We eventually gave up on the wolf and started heading out when Karen spotted a badger just by the road. We stopped and it crossed in front of us allowing Karen to get this shot through the front windshield.

ImageDSC_0002 by William Reinke, on Flickr

Bill then took the camera and got a lot of badger butt as it headed away. It was a rather odd looking badger, holding its tail up in the air a lot as it moved.

ImageDSC_0003 by William Reinke, on Flickr

It finally turned slightly so I could get a little bit of profile.

ImageDSC_0007 by William Reinke, on Flickr

We then hiked one of the nearby trails before it got too hot. Spotted bison, pronghorn, and deer along with beautiful scenery. Another great day in the best place on earth!



mdtrot
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: East Texas

Re: July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by mdtrot »

Thanks for the report and pics! I'm envious of your ability to just take off and be in the park in a couple of hours. I thought about buying a house in Bozeman, so as to be able to have a similar situation. Then I looked at the house prices. :shock:



Nikon_nerd
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by Nikon_nerd »

We always stay in Island Park and enter the park through the west gate. We haven't been to the park the last two years because of the pandemic.

In all the years we've been we've never seen the line to get in more than 4 or 5 cars. Never extending back into town! Park must be really crowded this summer. Glad we're at home.

Seems like you guys had a good day even despite the crowds. Thanks for posting.
Last edited by Nikon_nerd on Tue Jul 27, 2021 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Dorothy
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by Dorothy »

Thanks for the reports and pics. Sounds like a great trip! However, sounds like it's been really busy there. That wolf looks a bit like one we saw down in Hayden quite a bit earlier this year (will try to get a short report out on that trip -- no time before -- and have been trying to figure out how to get some pics with it, but just can't manage). Whatever, thanks so much for the report!



RikWriter
Posts: 345
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by RikWriter »

Very cool, but I'm kinda glad I'm not there right now. I'll be back in October when the crowds have thinned out.



karenandbill
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

Re: July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by karenandbill »

mdtrot wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:16 pm
I thought about buying a house in Bozeman, so as to be able to have a similar situation. Then I looked at the house prices.
Yes, it has just gotten crazy with the prices. Fortunately, when we bought in Island Park 5 years ago, it was the last relatively cheap place around the park. Now it's as bad as anywhere else around the park.
Nikon_nerd wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:39 pm
Park must be really crowed this summer.
Karen went into West Y today to get her hair cut and traffic was backed up past the Conoco on Hwy 20.
Dorothy wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:49 pm
have been trying to figure out how to get some pics with it,
If you would like to private message us, we can guide you through getting pictures on. First step is to get a Flickr account.
RikWriter wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:51 pm
I'll be back in October when the crowds have thinned out.
Cool! Hope to see you then.



timv
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:16 pm

Re: July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by timv »

Thanks for the report. Great animal encounters! The badger session looks great considering it was from your car window.

tv



Dorothy
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by Dorothy »

We're going the have a day or so in Yellowstone next week. Any idea of where there has been some good animal activity? I understand it's still been really busy up there, but we're hoping to be able to get around a bit for the day. If anyone has any info that might give us an idea of where to spend our short time, we'd appreciate it!

And thanks for the offer to help me with uploading photos. I may take you up of it when I get a few minutes -- it's been really busy for the last month or two and I haven't had a moment -- but I DO appreciate the offer!



karenandbill
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:55 am

Re: July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by karenandbill »

Dorothy wrote:
Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:13 pm
We're going the have a day or so in Yellowstone next week. Any idea of where there has been some good animal activity?
We were in the park twice this week. Saw a grizzly south of LeHardy Rapids. Also saw wolves and a grizzly in Lamar. There was a bison carcass reasonably close to the road but far enough away for the rangers to allow viewing. The Junctions have been very active and visible in Lamar. They left the Slough den site about a month ago and moved to Lamar. They have moved around a lot, sometimes fairly close, other times at quite a distance, but still visible with a scope. All 8 pups made it. There have been a number of Grizzlies also visible in Lamar. Last week we saw one of the Wapiti pack in Hayden, but missed the white alpha female by about an hour. So they are around but not as dependable to see as the Junctions. They have pups also. Of course if there is a carcass, that makes viewing a lot easier.

Saw a black bear by the bridge at Yellowstone Picnic and heard of fox and moose at the Northeast Entrance. Raspberry has a cub and can sometimes be seen along the East Entrance Road. Swans with cygnets on Swan Lake.

FYI there is road repaving going on south of Mammoth closing one lane which is causing delays. Also, bison jams in Lamar with sometimes large herds crossing the road.

Hope that helps.



Dorothy
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: July 19 Wolf, Badger, and Summer Update

Post by Dorothy »

Thanks, that helps a lot! Really appreciate the help!



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