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The Trophic Cascade from the Gray Wolf

The Canyon Wolf Pack alpha pair lead their pups along a ridge near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.

I won’t waste your time in discussing political agendas and biases for and against the gray wolf. We all know that it is a controversial species that many feel is not at all welcome in nature, despite the fact that it has been an integral part of that very nature for tens of thousands of years. Virtually all of the biases against these mystical creatures comes from a simple misunderstanding of their very nature. In previous posts, I have discussed at length why more wolves are needed across the country and dissected the bias from both standpoints. One key factor I have never laid out in full detail, however, is the trophic cascade of events that happens once wolves reestablish a healthy presence in their chosen environment. – Continue reading

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12 Favorite Photos from 2012

As always, clicking on an image will bring you to a higher quality version.

January


Hoar frost clings to trees along the Snake River on a chilly January morning in Grand Teton National Park.

Despite a lack of wildlife to be found around the area, I was still able to make great opportunities as they arose. The winter had turned into an unusually warm one for Jackson Hole and while normally it’s too cold to even snow, rain was becoming common throughout January. Yet winter still persisted off and on. On one such morning, I woke up to -17F and made an opportunity to make the most of it. One of my favorite series of shots came from a bridge crossing the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park. Small pieces of ice were carried down the water from farther upstream as an earlier fog coated the trees that lined the river in hoarfrost. – Continue reading

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Grizzly Bear Controversy from the Grand Teton National Park Elk Hunt

Grizzly Bear #399 emerges from behind a spruce tree in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

The annual Grand Teton National Park Elk Reduction Hunt has been the subject of controversy for a number of years now, but following the death of a male grizzly along the Snake River, tensions began to escalate between a growing movement of people opposing the hunt, and the park itself.

The hunt has become something of a joke to those who oppose it. They certainly have credence given that many "hunters" can be seen parked along the roadsides south of Blacktail Butte as they sit in their cars with the heater on waiting for elk to wander by, then fire at will as soon as a small herd passes through. Along these lines, I tend to agree with the opposition to the hunt. This behavior is in no way representative of actual hunting. – Continue reading

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Best of Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris – June 30-July 5, 2012

Below are my favorite photos from guiding this past week with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. Get in touch with them asap if you’re interested in a tour. Spaces are filling up fast!

Below I’ve even included this week’s top Yellowstone Darwin Award contestant! – Continue reading

A cow moose turns her attention ahead of her in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
July 2, 2012 – Yellowstone Day Safari

A bull elk looks over its shoulders carrying a velvet antler rack in Yellowstone National Park.
June 30, 2012 – Yellowstone Day Safari

Two pronghorn does look back curiously in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
July 3, 2012 – Grand Teton Half Day Safari

A young male moose looks over curiously in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
July 1, 2012 – Grand Teton Half Day Safari

A man tries his best to be gored by a bison, despite warnings from a crowd of people in Yellowstone National Park.

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Best of Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris – June 15-21, 2012

This past week was a short one for me, but nevertheless, it was very productive in terms of wildlife sightings. Below are my favorite shots from the safaris I guided through Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. If you want me to guide you out on a wildlife tour through Yellowstone and the Tetons, get in touch with them asap. We’re booking up fast! – Continue reading

Two bull elk graze on a hillside near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park.
June 20, 2012 – Yellowstone National Park Day Safari

A swallow peeks out from its nest in a dead tree in the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
June 21, 2012 – Yellowstone National Park Day Safari

A beaver eats from an aspen branch in a pond in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
June 20, 2012 – Yellowstone National Park Day Safari

A bison stands in the grass of Elk Ranch Flats in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

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When to See Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole

A small herd of cow elk graze in a meadow below the Teton Mountains in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Below I’ve charted out the best times of the year to see the most requested wildlife in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park. Below the chart, I’ve described the reasoning for those times of the year, as well as areas that those particular animals frequently are seen. Keep in mind that nature works on its own schedule, so even though a box might be marked as red (not a good time to see it) you can still see it.

Please don’t ask me for specific updates on certain animals. As you can probably imagine, it would begin to take up quite a bit of my time. If you’re interested in having me guide a tour to help you find some wildlife, I can be hired through Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. – Continue reading

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