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Why did the moose cross the road?


topgun2
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I've just returned home from two months fly fishing in Wyoming.  One morning as I was getting my gear together to start fishing, I looked up the road and saw a cow moose just walking over the guardrail.  If you look carefully on the right side of the picture below you can see what was right behind her.  Given the size of the calves they paused at the guardrail not knowing just how to get over it.  After a few moments they decided that they simply were not tall enough to walk over it like Mom did and therefore simply bounded over it.

Other than being worried about traffic coming at 70 miles and hour it was wonderful to just stand there and watch these creatures.

Bill

 

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Mom and the calves were found on route 287 - about 30 miles north/northwest of West Yellowstone, MT.  The bridge they are crossing is for Beaver Creek.  There is also a pond on each side of the road and I've spotted both black and grizzly bear around each pond.  Sure does make fishing a bunch more interesting.

 

Bill

p.s.  I started this year over in the Big Horns near Buffalo, WY.  Then I headed over to Meeteetse, up to Cody, west of Cody, North of Cody, into Yellowstone NP for a week, West of Moran, Dubois area and then back to the mountains of western North Carolina via Hohenwald.

 

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Below is another critter that I spied not long after "the moose crossed the road".  Perhaps he was looking for breakfast?

 

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Earlier during the trip I was walking back to the Ollie.  Mind you that this is big time bear country (I always carry bear spray and a fairly large side arm) and well up the road I saw movement of what I thought was black fur.  Indeed, it was and it wasn't.

 

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How about a nice quiet Oliver campsite right on the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone River north of Cody, WY?

 

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Or, a boondocking spot on Lower Sunshine Reservoir outside of Meeteetse, Wy?

If you ever find this spot, make sure that you DO NOT set up your Clam screen tent.  The wind can be fierce - don't ask me how I know. 

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Indeed, bison can be both fishermen and gentlemen.  This guy decided he wanted to cross right in front of where I was fishing and then he came back to "help" Mom and child across?

 

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Then, later, a buddy of his was sleeping on the bank.  I didn't see this last guy as I was getting out of the stream, but, his snores were loud enough to wake the dead.  Unfortunately, I didn't capture the little clouds of dust that came off the ground as he exhaled!P1020985.JPG

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OK, last pics from this trip.  And, just to prove that it was a FISHING trip I've thrown in a cut throat trout fish pic.

Bill

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From the door of the Oliver with about 500 of his friends on the other side of the tree

20210815_115025.thumb.jpg.6b29a7103475bd10e9c0eef57fb04b48.jpgMountain white fish - about 14 inchesP1020983.thumb.JPG.b5e3f4f68395410aba980c50556621f8.JPGDental exam?P1020925.thumb.JPG.15070fb0151d076925a637b266712f87.JPG

This is Pilot Peak which was used by Lewis & Clark as a guide to keep them headed West.20210731_120635.jpg 

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I recently read the final investigative report about the fellow from West Yellowstone that was killed by a grizzly this past spring near Baker’s Hole campground, just north of West Yellowstone.   That grizzly had a cached moose carcass and was apparently defending it when the guy walked into the area.  Your moose pictures, story about fly fishing and always carrying bear spray when in that part if the country reminded me of that grizzly attack, Bill, as it happened just a few miles down the road from where you were.

 

Here’s the report in case you didn’t see it:  https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/species/mammals/grizzly/Baker's Hole Fatality - final.pdf

 

I’m heading to Montana in a couple days for a month of fishing, if I don’t choke to death from all of the smoke.  (Some of your pictures looked like it could have been pretty smokey, Bill.)   I’ll be staying in West Yellowstone most of the time.

 

John

Here’s a couple pictures from Baker’s Hole campground near where that grizzly attack occurred.

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While there was a bunch of haze due to the fires and some slight eye irritation, I never did actually "smell" any smoke nor did I experience any breathing difficulties.  In this regard, there were an unusual number of rainy days for the time of year I was there which should have (and did) helped "cleanse" the air.

Due to its great location, Baker's Hole is my favorite camping location in the West Yellowstone area (about 1.5 miles north of town, potable water, decent pit toilets, some very nice camping sites, and numerous streams to fish).  There are "bear boxes" for food storage and as the report says, there are numerous signs advising of the presence of bears.

I had heard of this bear attack prior to arriving and spoke with several "locals" about it during my stay.  The consensus was that the man that was attacked wanted to take pictures of the moose carcass and possibly even the bear that was reported to be feeding upon it.  Sad story for both the man and the bear.

Interestingly enough this was the first year in awhile that I did not actually see any bear during the trip.  Yes, I saw signs of bear activity - fresh bear tracks (both black bear and Griz), freshly clawed logs (a bear looking for bugs) and even three piles of fresh scat - two probably black bear and one griz (still steaming early in the morning) in the middle of Buffalo Fork Valley Road.  In addition to bear spray and a firearm I also carry a Garmin Inreach Mini - a satellite based personal locator that's main purpose is for its SOS function that allows help to be sent even in the event of an area having no cell phone service.  For the most part, even though everyone should be aware and take appropriate precautions the chances of dangerous wild animal encounters by the "normal" "aware" tourist are fairly remote.  But, since I am usually alone and spend a lot of time in the back country away from more populated areas I am aware of the possible dangers (not only from bears, but from moose, bison and other critters) and have taken precautions to include being a Red Cross wilderness first aid instructor and CPR instructor.  Even so, there were two instances this year where I made tactical mistakes that I need to improve upon.  Getting out of a stream without REALLY looking to see what is or might be on the bank could have resulted in an unpleasant outcome versus only finding a sleeping bull bison.  And, when I was startled by a cow moose running through the woods (apparently she was startled too) I didn't keep my eyes on the (potential) target the entire time.

Have fun fishing!  Certainly I left plenty of fish out there for you to have fun with.  And, be safe!

Bill

Yep, there's a stream down there - Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone.

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I carry bear spray, but I normally carry so many fly boxes (mostly unneeded!), and other related items that I don’t think I’d have any place left for a handgun, cell phone, or a Garmin Inreach like you’re carrying.  That Garmin in particular is something I’ve never considered carrying, but with the minimal cell phone coverage around there, that’s a really good idea.  
 

That guy who was attacked by the grizzly at Baker’s Hole apparently was able to crawl a short distance after being attacked to a place where he had cell phone service where he then called 911.  It’s quite possible he knew where there was cell phone service since he lived nearby.  Had he not had cell phone service he’d probably have died on the spot.

 

I’ve also stayed at Baker’s Hole a number of times.  I’m not going to be staying there this time but I frequently park my truck in the campground parking lot and fish there.  (Or, I should say I go to CATCH BiG FISH 🎣 there!)

 

John

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