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12 May, 2009

A hike to an old bear/wolf den

The day I took these pictures we hiked to the sight of an old den. Initially, it had been a bear den and after the wolves were re introduced into Yellowstone, a wolf took possession for a few years. I had expected to hike into the mountains to find the den, but it was just at the edge of some trees. As we have hiked in Yellowstone over the past year, I was looking forward to more hikes off the road until I saw where the den was. I then changed my mind about hiking in unknown territory during the spring. At one time during our hike, I looked around to find Marty sitting on a log. We then arrived at the den site, nothing formal, no welcome signs, just a hole in the ground, large enough for a mama and her litter.

As we headed back across the meadow, I stopped behind a rock to relieve myself and as I looked back toward the den, guess what I saw? A bear headed in the direction of the den we had just visited. I took this picture and yelled at the rest of the group to tell them about the bear.

Finally, Ashea, our guide, came across an elk antler, which I have titled, Clint's new belt buckle. The 2008 antlers have all been deposited somewhere and the males are all growing new ones at the rate of 1 1/2 inches per day. Ultimately, the male that lost this antler will have 2 new ones, at least this big if not bigger. An antler like Ashea is holding could weigh as much as 15 pounds. If you have seen my belt buckle, all I would have to do to get a new one, is to saw off the end at the left side of the picture. Unfortunately, you cannot remove anything from the park, so if I want a new elk horn belt buckle, I'll have to buy one in a store.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Clint...I love your are very talented with your photography. I was just curious about how close you are to that bear. I've always wanted to be semi-close to a bear. But not so close it freaks out and attacks me or something...Ill talk to you later, Michelle! :)