Twelve Favorite Photos from 2014 and a Short Documentary

January
Bull Elk and Tetons in Black and White

I had no idea just how much my life would be shaken up through 2014. It all started much the same way as 2013. I was frequently showshoeing up Blacktail Butte in the frigid dead of winter to see what new tracks awaited me, and if any critters would be out while I was.

On an especially windy day, I was exploring late in the day and noticed on the other side of the butte a lone bull elk, likely noticing me as well. With the wind howling over the Teton Mountains behind him in late afternoon light, I knew I’d have at least a decent black and white image. The wind and snow blowing off the Tetons came out beautifully and the ridgeline and the mountains in the background did a great job of dwarfing such a majestic animal.
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Categorized: Abstract, Landscape, Panorama, Video, Wildlife
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Should Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin Be a National Park?

Boulders overlook the badlands of the McCullough Peaks as the sun rises over the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Boulders overlook the badlands of the McCullough Peaks as the sun rises over the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming.

Driving along Highway 14/16 between Cody, Wyoming and the Bighorn Mountains for most people can be an excruciating experience. Mile after mile yields very little difference in landscape interest as the full stretch offers only a bland, sparsely populated high desert environment with only a small badlands hill sporadically placed across vast distances. As a result, many people would wonder why I would even bring up protecting an area so void of interest. Hidden beyond the main highway, however, is a completely different landscape obscured by its deceptively barren foreground.

Why The McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area?

A paint mustang stands in the high desert of the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Paint Mustang

The drive along the highway brings you parallel to the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). As mentioned, from the highway, it looks like nothing more than a wasteland waiting to be rescued from the oil and gas industry.
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Categorized: Article
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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!

A cow moose turns her attention ahead of her in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
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, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
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. (Mike Cavaroc)
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. (Mike Cavaroc)
A young male moose looks over curiously in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
July 1, 2012 – Grand Teton Half Day Safari
Yellowstone Darwin Awards
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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Categorized: JH Wildlife Safaris
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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. (Mike Cavaroc)
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.
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Categorized: Article
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Revisiting Black and White Wildlife Photography

A pronghorn doe wanders through hilly grasslands in Yellowstone National Park, Montana. (Mike Cavaroc)
A pronghorn doe wanders through hilly grasslands in Yellowstone National Park, Montana.

This past month I’ve begun revisiting my black and white collection. I’ve even been trying some new concepts and ideas with some of them. It’s come as a result of seeing some work that I was familiar with, but seeing it again at this point in time struck me with more motivation and inspiration than when I had originally looked at it.

One such example was Nick Brandt. A friend had posted on his Facebook profile yesterday a link to his work, and while I was already familiar with it, I didn’t really appreciate it until I looked at some examples again yesterday. While I certainly enjoyed the work I saw, it was one specific photo that caught my attention and had me more motivated than ever to try some new things.
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Categorized: Wildlife
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Pronghorn Eyes Panorama

A panoramic closeup of a pronghorn antelope's eyes in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A panoramic closeup of the face of a pronghorn in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park.

This was almost thrown away because it was zoomed in way too close and there wasn’t much of a composition I could find with it, until of course the idea of cropping down to a panorama came into mind. All of a sudden, a shot I was ready to completely throw away began to grow on me. It didn’t just grow on me, it immediately became one of my favorite shots from my quick jaunt up to Yellowstone National Park this past weekend.

Pronghorn are very skittish animals and typically run away as soon as anything other than another pronghorn gets near them. This one however wasn’t quite so quick to run and allowed me to get a couple of shots where I was probably zoomed in too much.
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Categorized: Panorama, Wildlife
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