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Old Wednesday 28th August 2013, 16:16   #1
Steve Babbs
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seeing wolves

Having dipped wolves in Spain earlier this year, I'm pondering another attempt, before too long. The question is where? Any suggestions? Preferably Europe, but I wouldn't rule out elsewhere.

I think Yellowstone is fairly reliable, but I'd rather go somewhere where they aren't recent re-introductions.

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Old Wednesday 28th August 2013, 17:00   #2
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Hi Steve, we're going for Wolves next February in Spain, I don't know where you went but we're going to Sierra de la Culebra in the Zamora region. If you're interested I can send you the website of where we're staying.
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Old Wednesday 28th August 2013, 17:04   #3
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Hi Steve, we're going for Wolves next February in Spain, I don't know where you went but we're going to Sierra de la Culebra in the Zamora region. If you're interested I can send you the website of where we're staying.
Keith, yes that's where I went, last February. I hope you have better luck than we did. Take lots of warm clothes!
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Old Wednesday 28th August 2013, 17:27   #4
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Hi Steve. We had a great view of one on the road from Jasper to Maligne Lake. Others I spoke to had seen them around Bella Coola - also good for Brown and Black Bear.

Rich
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Old Wednesday 28th August 2013, 17:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Babbs View Post
Having dipped wolves in Spain earlier this year, I'm pondering another attempt, before too long. The question is where? Any suggestions? Preferably Europe, but I wouldn't rule out elsewhere.

I think Yellowstone is fairly reliable, but I'd rather go somewhere where they aren't recent re-introductions.

Cheers
Yellowstone is pretty amazing, don't let the detail of reintroduction deter you. Superb birding, superb mammals and superb landscapes. Wolves are far from guaranteed, but as you say 'fairly reliable'. I have seen Wolves in about six countries, but the Yellowstone experience was pretty much the tops - after a day of watching a patch of grass at a distance for many hours where they had been seen lying down in the morning, suddenly a whole pack got up and cantered across a river valley, me setting off in pursuit. I relocated some miles up and ran like berserk across a hill and finally intercepted them for amazing views as they all passed, cubs and all.


Another fairly reliable location is in Gujarat - here a bit of work can get you Wolf and Striped Hyena to a backdrop of several thousand roosting Pallid and Montagu's Harriers. Saw several over two days here.

Within Europe, largely due to habitat considerations, you have been to probably the 'easiest' location, though I think some of the Finnish Brown Bear bait sites get Wolf with 'some' regularity.
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Old Wednesday 28th August 2013, 20:38   #6
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Yellowstone is pretty amazing, don't let the detail of reintroduction deter you. Superb birding, superb mammals and superb landscapes. Wolves are far from guaranteed, but as you say 'fairly reliable'. I have seen Wolves in about six countries, but the Yellowstone experience was pretty much the tops - after a day of watching a patch of grass at a distance for many hours where they had been seen lying down in the morning, suddenly a whole pack got up and cantered across a river valley, me setting off in pursuit. I relocated some miles up and ran like berserk across a hill and finally intercepted them for amazing views as they all passed, cubs and all.
Jos,

What are the rules about being out of the car in Yellowstone? Should one be running across a hill after Wolves?

I know you control the minds of predators but we are not all so blessed. Also some of us seem to be magnets for officialdom....

John
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Old Wednesday 28th August 2013, 20:51   #7
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You on for a Yellowstone trip next year then John? Jos has convinced me.
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 04:56   #8
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I am going looking for wolves tomorrow at Hyder, Alaska. Several people in the campground have seen them. Lots of bears also. Spectacular mountain scenery from above the treeline. Today I saw ptarmigan, a Merlin, and lots of Bald Eagles.
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 06:11   #9
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What are the rules about being out of the car in Yellowstone? Should one be running across a hill after Wolves?
No restriction on wandering wherever you wish. Many well-maintained trails also. There are however minimum distances you are supposed to stay from bears and there are some rather over-eager rangers that quickly appear if a bear is found aside a road - they then herd persons like demented shepherds. Solution of course is to just find your own bears, fairly easy at Yellowstone.
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 06:37   #10
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We went to Yellowstone this June and it was amazing. Wolves, bears and other mammals and plenty of good birding. Then there is the amazing scenery and the geothermals.

Jos is right about the rangers -they can be a bit over zealous. Having said that when you have a mother with cubs best to keep a respectful distance
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 07:27   #11
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I could fancy Yellowstone - but my one Wolf sighting was on the Tibetan plateau in Qinghai - other excellent mammals here as well. Kelvin
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 13:41   #12
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When I was at Yellowstone, I saw lots of bears and other animals. Most people don't see much because they don't get out of bed until 9 a.m. Then when a bear is spotted at 2 p.m a huge crowd soon forms along the road. Not many people around at 5 a.m. and more animals.
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 16:18   #13
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You on for a Yellowstone trip next year then John? Jos has convinced me.
Its certainly on the list of things to do, funding it is another matter, but I can talk to the boss! I need Black Bear, Wolf, Bison, Bighorn... loadsa stuff. Provisionally lets say yes and look into it.

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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 16:55   #14
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A quick google produced this mammal checklist for the park.... I understand from Steve Davis that Yellowstone should if possible be combined with Grand Teton which has some extra goodies but I can't remember what. I'll check with him and report back.

John
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 17:04   #15
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Its certainly on the list of things to do, funding it is another matter, but I can talk to the boss! I need Black Bear, Wolf, Bison, Bighorn... loadsa stuff. Provisionally lets say yes and look into it.

John
It would solve my problem of where to go on a wildlife trip, minus family, next year. If we did go it'd be good to get a fourth person.

I was intended to go there as a family holiday last year, but the cost of carting the whole family out there made me bottle out. We were certainly intending to combine it with Grand Teton.

One thing that did put me off is the crowds, especially as it'd have to be late July/August for me. I think I read that accommodation gets booked up a long way ahead. Does anyone know if that is the case.
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 17:13   #16
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One thing that did put me off is the crowds, especially as it'd have to be late July/August for me. I think I read that accommodation gets booked up a long way ahead. Does anyone know if that is the case.
Camp. Can get sites at the 'first come, first served' sites within Yellowstone regardless of season. Do need to arrive early in the day at popular sites however.

But away from bears appearing roadside in popular areas, crowds are not really an issue and if you walk trails (recommended), people are just occasional by passers.
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 17:16   #17
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It would solve my problem of where to go on a wildlife trip, minus family, next year. If we did go it'd be good to get a fourth person.

I was intended to go there as a family holiday last year, but the cost of carting the whole family out there made me bottle out. We were certainly intending to combine it with Grand Teton.

One thing that did put me off is the crowds, especially as it'd have to be late July/August for me. I think I read that accommodation gets booked up a long way ahead. Does anyone know if that is the case.
I imagine that if we keep away from Labour Day we might not be too badly off. Also there's a lot of room, and if as Jos says nobody gets out early, we could probably do mammals in the park early, then go birding where people aren't in the middle of the day.

I will go for a beer with Steve and get the low-down from him, though it was some years ago that he went.

John
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 17:19   #18
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If we did go it'd be good to get a fourth person.
The major cost is the flight. Car rental is cheaper than Europe, as is petrol and everything else. If you camp, getting a third or fourth person does not save very much. I'd personally opt for going as two - one person in front of car, cameras and all on passenger seat, one person in back for both windows. Three I guess works too, but four I'd say it would suck ...but then I'm an anti-social git in general, so maybe that's just me :)

Incidentally, if you have no objections to camping, I would say it is also the most pleasurable way to see Yellowstone - I had a Black Bear from my tent whilst there and loads of birds are common in the campsites.
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 17:25   #19
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I was presuming Maz would be going?

I've spent big chunks of my life in tents, so no objection to that. Although it is losing its appeal a bit as I get older.

Incidentally, I put a similar appeal of the mammal watching forum and got a quite a few replies there. Worth looking at for anyone else interested.
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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 19:32   #20
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Maz is OK with it. We have to do a bit of financial wizardry to make it a practical proposition, some idea of the required budget would be useful.

I hadn't thought of camping, not going to broach it with Maz tonight, I suspect she might take some convincing that bears and tents mix.

I don't mind if its three or four as long as the car is big enough, perhaps saving on accommodation we could get a Jeep Cherokee or summat.

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Old Thursday 29th August 2013, 19:40   #21
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Maz is OK with it. We have to do a bit of financial wizardry to make it a practical proposition, some idea of the required budget would be useful.

I hadn't thought of camping, not going to broach it with Maz tonight, I suspect she might take some convincing that bears and tents mix.

I don't mind if its three or four as long as the car is big enough, perhaps saving on accommodation we could get a Jeep Cherokee or summat.

John
Canada cost me a fortune; lens up the creak- again; promised to pay for family to have a trip to France while I'm away. I'm going to have to do some serious financial wizardry myself!
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Old Friday 30th August 2013, 04:37   #22
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I spent the whole day looking for wolves but no luck. My count for the day was three Black Bears and a Merlin and some Bald Eagles. Wolves seem to be common here and many people have seen them but I was not lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Two bears very close to my truck. How close you ask? Close enough that I put up the window as I though it might decided to come inside. I had a 200 mm lens on the camera and they were too close to get a photo. Had to chop off his ears and feet. When I didn't offer to share my lunch, they went into the bushes. Tomorrow is my last day in Alaska.
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Old Friday 30th August 2013, 07:31   #23
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Interested in being the fourth person. Kelvin
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Old Friday 30th August 2013, 09:10   #24
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Hi Steve,

If you were still considering a European trip to see Wolves - Abruzzo NP is definitely worth a go. I have seen them there in May (having a stand off with Marsican Bear!) and narrowly missed them this year, again in May. If the key target is Wolf, I think April is probably a better month in Abruzzo, but Bear would be less likely dependent on how the winter has been.
Some pretty poor video from May 2011, but you get the general idea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li0mPuXZrgM
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Old Friday 30th August 2013, 12:07   #25
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I've seen them in northern British Columbia around Dease Lake. They would come out on to road to watch me as I was walking to work. I've also see them along the road between Dease lake and Cassiar.
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