Yellowstone and Hot Water

Last week we went to YNP for a few days of wildlife watching. Not much more snow in the Park than there was at Thanksgiving, so the mild winter continues. We did see wolves, but the activity and sightings were much more sparse than they have been in previous visits during breeding season. 755 and his new lady friend had a kill in the Lamar, and we saw him at the carcass, but the other packs, Junction Butte and 8 Miles, wer dots in the spotting scope.

At the Lamar and Soda Butte confluence, a big horn ram herd was close to the road for a couple of days. Once, coming around the corner heading West, we thought we might have one of the younger ones use the pickup hood for a springboard, but he jumped the other way.

On our last day in the Park, we went out by the Heritage center on the West River road. The Native American buffalo hunt was on, and they had shot two just beyond the Park/Forest Service border, just next to the road. Because there's really no pursuit involved, it doesn't seem like a hunt, so it's hard to reconcile this activity - especially looking at the several gut piles left in a field. Are they just left to rot? The YNP herd doe to be culled, but the buffalo have very limited experience with being hunted, so it is sad that this and the other hunts are not more of a fair chase.

Instead of just talking about it, we made reservations for a two night stay at Chico Hot Springs. The "hot wada" and the food were wonderful, and I'm sure we'll be back there again.