DAY FOUR - Sunday, September 4

THREE BEARS

We start our day east of the Big Ski Lot. Itís still dark but we have a bear on the carcass!

As the light grows, the grizzly decides to leave. As he ambles off, wolves appear from every direction. Instead of their swarming the carcass they go bounding after the bear, chasing it towards Flat Top. The bear wheels and swats at them but they easily veer out of the way.

Now they turn and converge on the carcass.

Some begin to eat while others donít seem hungry after all. They roam this way and that, in easy view. The pups celebrate the bearís absence by engaging each other in some delightful play. All too soon, most of them move east and out of sight.

We drive to Elk Creek, and Rick sees them briefly, rounding the hill towards ďthe gapĒ, where they usually disappear. I am too slow with my scope so I miss them.

We pay another visit to Little America and see a black bear in the trees south of Junction Butte. Further east, we find a mousing coyote to watch for a while.

After this we return to Ski Lot but see no wolves. As we head back to the car, I notice people looking with interest towards the ravine just left of the empty black bear den. They have a cinnamon black bear in sight, not in the den but up higher and to the left as he goes from bush to bush, gobbling berries.

When we get back to Gardiner today itís 97, the hottest day yet.

I cool off with a shower up at the house, then around 4PM I drive Laurie & Dan back to Wonderland, where we participate in Trivia Night with Jeremy, Taylor and Jack. We help with a few of the questions, but do not win any prizes!

Today I saw: 2 black bears, 1 grizzly bear, bison, a coyote, elk, pronghorn, 10 Rescue Creek wolves (including the alphas, 1273M, 1278M, an uncollared black and all five pups) and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff

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