Do you know how there’s supposedly a spike in babies born nine months after major blizzards, hurricanes, New Year’s Eve and Dan Miller concerts?
Well, here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country we see a run on critters every spring, but I am pretty sure it’s just nature’s way of giving animals their best chance of survival by making sure they arrive as the weather is warming up and food sources are most plentiful.
My friends and I love to compare notes on wildlife watching, and we even have a friendly competition to see who spots the first bear after the winter hibernation. I thought I won this year, but my grizzly turned out to be a fishing guide who had not shaved for a few weeks.
Now that we are well into April we can expect to see way more than our fair share of wildlife here in Yellowstone Country.
• Grizzly and black bears have emerged from hibernation and many are showing up with babies, often two at a time. Those bears are finding winterkill, wildlife in a weakened state and fish in our rivers and streams.
• Bison calves are easily spotted heading into Yellowstone. When the roads are cleared I am always one of the early park visitors through the east gate, and bison calves just might be my favorite newborn. These “little red dogs” are on their feet immediately and can keep up with their mothers as soon as two hours after birth.
• Elk calves are plentiful in the Wapiti Valley to the west of town. In fact, “Wapiti” is an American Indian name for the species (it means “white tail.”).
• Wolves are most often seen in the park. My best opportunity to spot a wolf is to head to the Lamar Valley. Wolf watchers are extremely easy to see as they are often on the side of the road with their spotting scopes pointed at the animals. This group of people just love to share their scopes, knowledge and experience.
• Pronghorn are found throughout Wyoming. Just do me a favor, please. Don’t call them “antelope” as that’s actually an African species. Pronghorn are typically delivered in sets of twins. They walk within 30 minutes and can outrun a human in just a couple of days.
If you are a wildlife fan, like me, this is the place to be.
I am lovin’ all the wildlife here in Cody, Wyo.