Monday, May 16, 2022

Mother’s Day Bears Grand Teton National Park 2022

Each year Renita chooses what she wants to do on Mother’s Day. I knew in advance that her choice would be a trip to Grand Teton National Park. We had spotted grizzly 399 and her cubs in mid-April and we hoped to see her with her four cubs before she kicked them out.
We made the short drive, (fifty-two miles), to Grand Teton National Park. Entering at the Moose Entrance Station, we drove along the park road. At the potholes we stopped to change drivers and I got our cameras setup. We didn’t see any bear sign as we drove to the dam. Next we stopped at the boat launch below the dam where an osprey was fishing. Two other photographers told us his mate was sitting on a nearby nest and he was providing the breakfast of fresh trout.
The osprey was oblivious to us and scanned the pond. Hoovering at one spot he dropped his claws and dove down, rising with a nice fish!
Righting the fish to a headfirst position he flew low and disappeared over the willows. Leaving the boat ramp, we headed further north looking for bears.
Crossing Pilgrim Creek we saw a long line of parked cars, a sure sign of a bear jam. Quickly spotting a lone grizzly Renita parked the car and grabbing our cameras we crossed the road.
The bear was about a hundred and fifty yards away, which is a safe distance.
She, as we were told later, was a five-year-old daughter of Blondie, turned in our direction and started to walk towards us! Backing away we kept a safe distance and she stopped to smell the ground seeking a meal.
We had seen her before, four years ago as she had used a telephone post as a back scratcher. Turning she headed toward the road where the bear management team opened a corridor for her to cross. Looking both ways she ran across the road and disappeared into the trees. We both got some shots of her before she turned into the woods.
While watching her, Renita asked one of the park interpreters if she knew the whereabouts of 399. She shared with Renita that 399 and her cubs had been sighted by the Oxbow Turnout. As soon as we neared that turnout, we could see another bear jam of parked cars. It was 399 and her four cubs were out in a field digging for grubs.
They were along ways away, four hundred yards plus, but we still took many pictures, as one never knows if the bears will approach the road. Renita wanted to stay and hope for closer pictures, and she was right!
The bears turned toward the road and so we drove to the next turnout, parked, and walked to a point where we could see them.
We had to take pictures through dense brush, but we still got some good pictures of then hunting for food. One was digging quite a hole and on a future trip we plan on walking over to see how deep it had dug.
We spent the rest of the afternoon watching them. The next day 399 kicked her cubs out and headed into the woods with a large boar grizzly.
It was time for the next stage in the sub adult’s life, hopefully they will avoid the temptation of human food. If not, they will be trapped, and euthanized. We did hear that grizzly 610 had been spotted with three new coys, cubs of the year. Lat year, she had kicked out her cubs but both were fed by idiots, and were later euthanized. They were both beautiful bears and last year we wrote a blog of our encounter, near Colter Bay. A fed bear is a dead bear! We know of at least thirteen more grizzlies that have been spotted and so we can’t wait to head back to the park. Clear skies

1 comment:

  1. Nice up close picture of the claws. Stay safe and healthy.