Other sightings were more difficult and/or too far away to capture without an expensive, fancy camera. The best sighting was wolves! The first wolf sightings were so far away. Even with binoculars, they looked like black blobs moving. One particular evening, however, we got a special treat. We were driving through the Lamar Valley looking for wildlife with our friends Michael and Julie. Michael got a tip-off from a wolf watcher (the kind with the nice scopes) that a pack of eight wolves were heading down the valley. We took off racing against nightfall. We parked near the river where the wolves would hopefully cross. Indeed, we got the chance to see a few of the pack members cross. They were mostly black wolves, but a gray wolf was also spotted. Through the binoculars we could tell just how big of puppy dogs these guys really were. It will remain a fantastic memory.
Wolves are cool, but what people are really afraid of in Yellowstone are the grizzly bears. I'm pretty much not afraid of our black bears here in Tennessee, but I had lots of questions about grizzly bears, their aggressiveness, what to do if we saw one, what to do if attacked, etc. The reality that we were in bear country really set in on our Pebble Creek hike where we saw trees with claw marks at least six feet high. It was then I began rehearsing our action plan in worst case scenarios and became more eager to chime in with David as we walked calling, “Hey bear!”
We never did see a bear out hiking. We really did not see much in terms of large wildlife while out hiking with the exception of a large bull elk who spooked and switch backed up a hill in front of us. We did see wildlife from the road, including grizzly bears. Again, Michael was responsible for giving us a tip-off on a grizzly location. Twice we drove to where the kill was to see the bears. The first time we saw one bear. The second time we saw two bears where the second was biding its time until it had the opportunity to get in on the action...or lack thereof...it was a dead bison after all. Again, lack of a fancy camera prevented a good picture, but here you can somewhat make out a bear through my phone and binoculars combo.
Now back to some other common sightings. As I mentioned, we had the opportunity to do some hiking while in Yellowstone. A common sighting on these hikes was David fishing of course!