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Feeding Bull Moose

November 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“Snow and a new cast of characters appears” 

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

Daily Updates Archives: ~
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2013: Dec: | Nov: Oct: | Sept: | Aug:

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Check Out These TWO Popular Pages: If I Had Only One Winter Day in the Tetons: and A Trip to Jackson Hole

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November 19, 2017 -Sunday

Wedding Trees

Wedding Trees: First light on the Teton Range. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Morning Range

Morning Range: The low cloud bank blocked views of the Teton Range until mid-day but the mountains are sometimes more visible from the east side of the valley. This is a three shot stitched pano. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose in Winter Sage: Taken in the sage flats north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Sparring Bulls

Sparring Bulls: Well…there’s a bit of a mismatch, but the bulls seem to willing to spar. Nikon D5 and Nikon 300mm FL Lens, Handheld with VR On.

Teton Range in Mid-Morning

Teton Range at Mid-Morning: Taken near Snake River Overlook. Nikon D500 and Tamron 400mm Lens.

Red Fox

Red Fox: Seen near Oxbow Bend just before noon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Frozen Oxbow Bend

Frozen Oxbow Bend: This could still be a nice sunrise spot if there is early colorful Alpenglow light. I was there at noon with “unromantic” light. Nikon D500 and Tamron 400mm Lens.

Bighorn Ewe

Bighorn Ewe: This ewe was headed downhill along Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. More are showing up day by day…possibly 100 there now. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: Bighorns have black tongues, as seen on this Ram. I haven’t seen, nor heard of much head bashing, but it could happen soon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Check out this post about the Bighorns:  Bighorns of Miller Butte

Rams

Rams: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

If you are interested in taking a One-On-One Photo Tour with me, click the links below! For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com. I have numerous openings in November, December & January. Now’s a great time to book excursions for December. Bighorns are often butting heads and Moose are often visible in the snow covered sage flats. Most bulls will still have antlers at that time.

Teton Photo Excursions

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November 18, 2017 – Saturday

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: Alpenglow across the Teton Range. The road is still open to the Chapel, but they usually plow the entrance in after the first few snowfalls. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: Needless to say, I was the first person there today. I had fresh snow, low clouds, and nice morning light! Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Ermine

Ermine: I found this little critter along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: This bull was one of four bulls moving across the snow covered sagebrush near the Science School Road. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld with VC On.

SlenderTines

New Feature Post: Bull Moose: GTNP’s Boys of Fall This new page shows over 20 of the area Bull Moose. I just added this new bull to the page.

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November 17, 2017 – Friday

Winter Barn

Winter Barn: The weather report called for partly cloudy skies, but it was very cloudy! I saw roughly 20 moose, but none of them were close enough to photograph on my quick morning trip. Bison were on the road near Kelly, but it was way too dark to try to photograph them. I drove down Mormon Row and stopped to photograph this winter scene. More snow is on the way. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Wagon Wheels

Wagon Wheels: Taken at the Moulton Ranch Bed and Breakfast. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Boys of Fall

Boys of Fall: I came home early today to try to finish a new Feature Post about the different bull Moose I photographed through the fall and early winter. I a fairly certain you will enjoy it, so check back! If you are not already a subscriber at Best of the Tetons, just enter your email address and hit the Subscribe Now button.

Bighorn Lamb

Bighorn Lamb: One of the little lambs along Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

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November 16, 2017 – Thursday

Misty Elk

Migrating Elk: This group of bull Elk were in the sagebrush south of the JH Airport, apparently trying to make their way to the safety of the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Migrating Elk

Migrating Elk: I took a few photos of the group, then drove around a while and checked on them again on my way home. They were bedded down in the sage. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

As you can see in the photos above, Jackson Hole is getting rain and snow. I’d bet it is snowing in the northern end of the Park.

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November 15, 2017 – Wednesday

Nikon D850 Notes: Out of the box, the D850 shoots at 7 FPS at full 45.7 megapixels. Not bad! After adding a MB-D18 battery pack, and using EN-EL 18b/a Lithium-ion batteries, the frame rate improves to 9 FPS. This option was particularly attractive to me knowing I have two chargers for my four En-El 18 batteries. (One charger and two batteries were part of my Nikon D4 system). To use the grip and larger batteries, you also need a BL-5 Battery Chamber Cover. A Nikon D5 can shoot at 12 FPS, but 9 FPS is plenty respectable. I tried my old Nikon D300 L-Bracket, but it doesn’t fit. I’ll have to use a generic Arca-Swiss base plate for a while. The L-Brackets are not yet available from RRS. B&H lists them for $195.00—coming soon.

Springs Creeks

Springs Creeks Pano: You’ll probably want to click on this image to see it much larger! It was stitched using three Nikon D850 captures near Blacktail Ponds Overlook. Note: The river bottom will close on December 15th. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Springs Creeks

Springs Creeks: One of the many small spring creeks along the Snake River. I captured this one bracketed with two stops difference in each of the three images, then merged them to a DNG in Lightroom before processing. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Two Bucks

Two Bucks: These two buck Mule Deer sized each other up before the larger one charged the smaller one. Notice the down turned ears on the larger buck. These two were near the Snake River Bridge at Moose Junction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Captured in the afternoon from the observation platform on Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Duck: During breeding season, the beak on the male Ruddy Ducks is powder blue. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

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November 14, 2017 – Tuesday

Ram

As a licensed tour operator on the National Elk Refuge, I regularly receive literature and documentation about the Refuge. Part of our mandate is to help educate visitors about the wildlife and the programs. I received these two important links today that might help you enjoy the area more—and possibly keep from getting a citation. National Elk Refuge: Winter Wildlife Viewing and National Elk Refuge: Bighorn Sheep Viewing

Pneumonia outbreaks have been hard on Bighorn populations. The disease causes them to cough and wheeze, seen occasionally on the National Elk Refuge. The Refuge discourages letting the Bighorns lick the salt and chemicals from vehicles—comparing it to letting someone with a cold lick a sucker and then offering it to the next person to lick the same sucker.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: This critter spends all winter in my back yard, taking advantage of the steady supply of seeds and nuts. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: About half a dozen Magpies frequent my house for the suet and seeds. The blue in its feathers show up best on overcast days. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Log Cabin

Log Cabin: Late in the afternoon, I made a trip out to the National Elk Refuge. Normally, I pass this little cabin by, but today, the light was hitting it just right, along with filtered light on the distant hills. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Bighorns: On my way out, I didn’t see any Bighorns, but on my way back, I saw at least 40 bighorns coming off Crystal Butte and onto the Refuge.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: I drove out the road on the National Elk Refuge to Flat Creek where I took this shot of Sheep Mountain. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

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November 13, 2017 – Monday

The Morning Peaks

The Morning Peaks: The weather report didn’t indicate too many morning clouds, so I wasn’t in a hurry to be out. They were actually pretty nice! Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Prairie Homestead

Prairie Homestead: A shot taken from Antelope Flats Road of the Murphy Barn and homestead. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

John Moulton Homestead

John Moulton Homestead: At this time of the year, the early morning sun is directly behind my back on both of the Moulton Barns. I had to remove a little of the shadow of my head in this shot. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Bull Moose in Sage

Bull Moose in Sage: This bull was moving across the sage, but stopped to pose for a few seconds. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Buck Mile Deer

Buck Mile Deer: I spotted this nice buck in the Moose Visitor’s Center area. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Flying Trumpeter Swans

Flying Trumpeter Swans: Taken at the observation platform on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Landing Trumpeters

Landing Trumpeters: Two adults and one trailing Cygnet. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Stretching Swan

Stretching Swan: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Bird Feeders

Bird Feeders: I spent part of the day working on my feeders. Raccoons come to the back yard during the night, eating the seeds they can get to. Hopefully, this setup will keep them from climbing the post to get to the food. The yellow post is a painter’s pole, connected to an aluminum cross bracket via an adapter I bought at B&H Photo & Video. You might also enjoy these posts about my setup. Back Yard Birding in Jackson Hole: & Attracting and Photographing Wintering Back Yard Birds:

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November 12, 2017 – Sunday

Morning Clouds at Mormon Row

Morning Clouds at Mormon Row: The Grand was just beginning to show through the low morning clouds at the John Moulton Barn. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Hunters and Park Rangers were thick this morning, but the Moose and Bison were well off the roads. Clouds and light was interesting this morning, so I clicked off a few shots. I keep watching for Badgers at both homesteads after seeing fresh diggings. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Dripping Moose

Dripping Moose: The same moose was in the same pond on the Moose-Wilson Road this morning., It was much colder and there was a breeze…my toes are just about thawed! Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Dripping Moose

Feeding Moose: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Barrow's Golden-eye

Barrow’s Golden-eye: Captured along Flat Creek on the north end of town. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Steller's Jay

Steller’s Jay: These Jays usually prefer conifer forests, but there is plenty of cover in my neighborhood. I had a Steller’s Jay in the back yard several years ago, but at the time, it was molting and I didn’t get great shots. Hopefully, this one will hang around all winter. The Red-breasted and White Nuthatches were in the yard, too. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Stellers Jay

Steller’s Jay: Late afternoon shot. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

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November 11, 2017 – Veteran’s Day

Feeding Bull Moose

Feeding Bull Moose: Another great November morning in Grand Teton National Park! I got to spend over an hour photographing this bull Moose feeding in one of the ponds along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Feeding Bull Moose

Feeding Bull Moose: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Feeding Bull Moose

Feeding Bull Moose: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Besides the Bull Moose, there were hundreds of Bohemian Waxwings polishing off the remaining berries along the Moose-Wilson Road. On the way home, I did a quick run out to the National Elk Refuge. I didn’t see a single Bighorn today.

Downey Woodpecker

Downey Woodpecker: Captured in my back yard. A Stellar’s Jay was in the yard earlier. That prompted me to grab the camera and tripod. I didn’t see the Stellar’s Jay again, but was in the right place to get a few photos of the woodpecker. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

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November 10, 2017 – Friday

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Showing off his new antler jewelry. Captured along the East Boundary Road. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Sparring Bull Moose

Sparring Bull Moose: Morning exercise. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Chambers Homestead

Chambers Homestead: Taken along Mormon Row. I liked the low clouds and beautiful blue sky. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Murphy Barn

Murphy Barn: The Tetons were covered with clouds this morning, but the sky in the north was spectacular. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Murphy Homestead

Murphy Homestead: Remnant corrals help balance this kind of landscape. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld with VC On.

The Window

The Window: At the John Moulton Homestead on Mormon Row. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Afternoon Light

Afternoon Light: I took this photo at 3:58 pm from the Gros Ventre Road looking East. By 4:30, plan on much of the valley being in shadow of the Tetons. Speaking of time, I notice I forgot to set the clocks back in my three bodies after Daylight Savings Time. Unlike our computers and phones, we must do that manually! Nikon D850 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld with VC On.

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November 9, 2017 – Thursday

Teton Range

Teton Range: Taken from an overlook about half way up Shadow Mountain. You would need a 4-Wheel Drive to get up there. Nikon D850 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Moose with Mt. Moran

Moose with Mt. Moran: Taken on the sage flats with the Teton Range as a backdrop. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Moose in Sage

Moose in Sage: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,Tripod with VC Off.

Barrows Golden Eyes

Barrows Golden Eyes: Taken along Flat Creek. These were a little out of my range, but I liked seeing three males together. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Trumpeter Swan Take Off

Trumpeter Swan Take Off: Also captured along Flat Creek. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Rams

Rams: This morning, I counted 7 nice looking Bull Elk settling in for the Winter on the National Elk Refuge. This afternoon, there were at least eight rams gathered on the south side of Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. It seems early, but I guess the high mountain snow pack is pushing them down well before Thanksgiving this year. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Back Yard: This afternoon, I walked onto the deck and saw a Northern Flicker feeding on suet, then noticed a White-breasted Nuthatch working its way down a tree trunk. As I was putting out some additional sunflower seeds, I saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a House Finch, and lots of Chickadees. A Downey Woodpecker has been coming around regularly and I suspect there are a few Hair Woodpeckers in the area. Eurasian Doves, Black-billed Magpies, and Clark’s Nutcrackers are regulars, too.

399: I’ve received several reports of Grizzly Sow 399 and her two cubs in the southern portion of the Park. Better yet, reports suggest she has finally lost the collar! Elk are now moving around and you’ll occasionally hear distant gun shots. 399 and her cubs will be looking for gut piles and kills.

Rams

Rams: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

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November 8, 2017 – Wednesday

Bull Moose in Winter Sage

Bull Moose in Winter Sage: One of several bulls in the sage this morning. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: The morning bath and stretch on Flat Creek. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Ram

Ram: Captured at Miller Butte this afternoon. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Captured along Flat Creek on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Swans On Ice

Swans On Ice: Temperatures dropped to 14°F this morning, freezing some of the calmer waters. This group was about 150 yards out. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

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November 7, 2017 – Tuesday

Low Morning Clouds

Low Morning Clouds: Three images stitched in Lightroom for a jumbo pano. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

The Hunt: With the Elk Reduction Program ongoing in GTNP, I dug out my orange. I threw a bright orange stocking cap on my dash and the vest in the back seat. I am now getting waves from the passing hunters. Scroll down to the November 2nd entries to view the map showing the hunting areas inside the park.

Red Fox

Red Fox: Captured on the Moose-Wilson Road. You might notice that some of the specs suggest that I was shooting “handheld”. That might be a bit misleading if you know I am often shooting out the window and over a bean bag or foam insulation.  Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Red Fox

Red Fox: My truck thermometer read 16° F for much of the early morning. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Swans

Swans: Almost all of the white specks you see in this record shot are Trumpeter Swans. I counted over 40, and I am sure there were a lot I couldn’t see. In November, Flat Creek is a good spot to get shots of them flying in, taking off, and squabbling. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Bison and Tetons

Bison and Tetons: Taken along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5000 and Tamron 118-400mm Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Take-Off

Take-Off: In the afternoon, I counted around 100 Trumpeter Swans along Flat Creek on the North end of town.  Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

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November 6, 2017 – Monday

Common Merganser

Common Merganser: Female captured along Flat Creek with overcast skies and occasional light snow. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Unknown Duck

Female Ruddy Ducks: I found three of these little divers on Flat Creek this morning. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose?: Something doesn’t look quite right on this Goose. Check the photo below…  Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose: This looks more like the Canada Geese I am used to seeing around here. I photographed both at the Boyle’s Hill Swan Pond. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC Off.

Richard Pontius suggested I search for Giant Canada Goose: I found this page with more info: Giant Canada Goose, Branta canadensis maxima.

Head color and pattern.

  • B. c. maxima typically shows more exposed white on the cheeks than other forms. The white patch in B. c. maxima extends higher up the cheeks and toward the crown than in other subspecies and in contrast to B. c. moffitti, this patch contacts the base of the bill.
  • Most B. c. maxima individuals have a white band on the forehead between the black crown and bill. It should be pointed out that B. c. moffitti and other Canada Goose subspecies as well as some Cackling Geese can have this band which, therefore, is in and by itself not diagnostic.
  • B. c. maxima has a proportionally larger and more massive bill than B. c. moffitti.

Bighorn Ewes and Lambs

Bighorns: Local photographer and friend, Bianca Thomas, sent me a note saying she photographed two Rams on Miller Butte yesterday. I went out three times today, finding this group of seven in the afternoon. Steve Matheis told me he saw an Ermine along the Moose-Wilson Road.

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November 5, 2017 – Sunday

Setting Moon

Setting Moon: I pulled over along the highway to capture this shot of the moon before the clouds covered it for the morning. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Bands of Light

First Light: Taken along the East Boundary Road as the first light skipped across the valley floor. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Four Bulls

Four Bulls: Bulls are gathering now and seem less interested in the cows. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Sparring Bulls

Sparring Bulls: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Bull At Water

Bull At Water: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Creek Crossing

Creek Crossing: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Trumpeter Swans

Overhead Swans: Trumpeters are beginning to move back into the valley. Around 150 winter in Jackson Hole. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Resting Bull

Resting Bull: Taken near the East Boundary Road. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Some of the Trumpeters will be showing up at the Boyle’s Hill Swan Pond soon. This one has a leucistic coloration known as the Mearl or Silver Swan. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

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November 4, 2017 – Saturday

Spring Gulch Bridge

Spring Gulch Bridge: Heavy spring runoff washed out the Gros Ventre River bridge on Spring Gulch Road. I snapped this reference shot today to show the progress. The south section is completely gone. Nikon D850 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld.

Spring Creek

Spring Creek: By about noon, the rain and drizzle began to change to snow. After checking Flat Creek for Trumpeter Swans, I did a quick run up Spring Gulch Road. Signs along the highway alert travelers of the bridge closure, so there isn’t a lot of traffic on the road. There have been two rough sections of gravel road for years, but to my surprise, the southern section has been recently hard surfaced. Nikon D850 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld.

Lucas Barn

Lucas Barn: Several of the old homesteads along Spring Gulch Road have been sold and are now being sliced up by developers. I photographed this from the roadway as the snow thickened. I suspect there will be a time in the not too distant future that chances for some of these photos will be impossible to get. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Box L Barns

Box L Barns: The L in Box L is part of the Lucas family. Nikon D850 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld.

Brown Ranch

Brown Ranch: This old barn is located between the town of Jackson and Wilson. I was watching the barn during foliage season, but the heavy winds blew the leaves off in one day. Nikon D850 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld.

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November 3, 2017 – Friday

Another dark and rainy day here in Jackson Hole. As a Commercial Use Permit holder in GTNP and the National Elk Refuge, I get lots of official notices. This one advises everyone of changes in a few of the GTNP permits starting on January 1st of 2018. (17-72) Special Use Permit Fees Adjusted for 2018

Heavy snow in the high country and forecasts of additional snow should start pushing Elk towards the Refuge and possibly Bighorns to Miller Butte.

Moose Pair

Moose Pair: I stayed in most of the morning, waiting for more light in the afternoon. These two were moving along the Highway near the JH Airport. I was standing on the bike path when I took this shot. FYI, the bike path along the National Elk Refuge is closed now. While the signs along the fence are not clear on the subject, it is “illegal” to cross the path to be able to shoot through the fence along the Refuge.  Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: On the 1st, I mentioned we can expect Rough-legged Hawks moving in to take over the hunting territories of the Red-tailed Hawks. Right on queue, this beautiful raptor appeared today. This one was near the Kelly Hot Springs. They are often seen on the fence posts along the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld (over a bean bag) with VC On.

Green-winged Teal

Green-winged Teal: This male was in the small pond next to the Visitors Center on North Cache. The green on the wing is much more visible on the females. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Resting Bull

Resting Bull: This bull was moving across the sagebrush along the Gros Ventre. I waited for him to cross the river, but he never showed up. After about a 3/4 mile hike, I found him bedded down in the sage next to the cottonwoods. Temperatures hovered in the mid-30s today, so all of the precipitation in the valley was either rain or drizzle, as seen in this shot. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Other Valley Notes: I drove to Schwabacher Landing this afternoon only to find the gate locked at the highway entrance. The Elk Hunt is over in the north section of GTNP. Check yesterday’s map for info on the Area 75 Hunt zone where you might be well advised to wear orange if hiking around. I did a quick loop out to the National Elk Refuge to check on Bighorn Sheep. It was quiet there, with no visible Bighorns or Elk. I heard a report of someone seeing Wolves along the Moose-Wilson Road a couple of days ago.

Moose Hockey

Entertainment: If you are interested in a little rough and tumble entertainment, Moose Hockey begins tonight and continues tomorrow at the Snow King Center. They face off against Bozeman, MT. Adult admission is $10.  Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Moose Hockey

Moose Hockey: When I left the rink (near the end of the second period), the Jackson Moose were leading Bozeman 5 to 3. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Moose Hockey

Moose Hockey: Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

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November 2, 2017 – Thursday

Early Report: It rained all evening here in town, but was probably snowing north. This morning, we woke up to about 2″ of fresh snow.

Yesterday’s “first of November” entry was fairly lengthy, but was a good way to kick off the month. The info in today’s entry should be helpful if you are in the valley.

Elk Reduction Program Began Saturday, October 28 in Grand Teton National Park. The areas of the park open to the program, Elk Reduction Areas 75 and 79, are mostly located east of U.S. Highway 89. Area 79, the more northerly section, closes October 31. The Antelope Flats portion of area 75 closes November 30, and the remaining portions of area 75 close December 10. These areas remain open to park visitors, and the wearing of orange or other bright colors is highly recommended during this time.” GTNP Document:  Elk Reduction Program Begins October 28.pdf

Elk Reduction Map

The map above should give tourists and photographers a good idea where to “be careful” and wear orange if hiking around in the yellow zones. Click the PDF link above for specifics on the hunt.

Winter Homestead

Winter Homestead: Winter would have been long for the Mormon Row Homesteaders. ~ Taken from Antelope Flats Road. I took one wide shot, then zoomed in and took three of the same area that I stitched in LR. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Three Bulls

Three Bulls: Taken in the early morning with snow falling and limited light. These bulls were along the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: Most of the newer Nikon bodies have a “Group Area” focus option. I don’t use it that too often, but in falling snow, it seems to do a better job of staying on the animal and not grabbing flakes. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Moose With Twigs

Moose With Twigs: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Sparring Bulls

Sparring Bulls: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Resting Bull Moose

Resting Bull Moose: I stayed with the group of four bulls this morning until they bedded down. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Business Access in GTNP: About the only place open in GTNP is the Visitor’s Center at Moose. You may still be able to buy gas at a few of the credit card pumps, but I don’t believe the facilities fill the tanks during the winter. There are no restaurants or convenience stores open in the park. Flagg Ranch will reopen when Yellowstone opens the roads to snowmobiles. Dornans will reopen around Thanksgiving. All campgrounds inside GTNP are closed for the season. The only restaurant in the north country is the Buffalo Valley Cafe in Buffalo Valley. The only gas station / convenience store is at the Fireside in Buffalo Valley. Rest Rooms will be open at Moose Visitors Center, the Laurance Rockefeller Parkway, Jackson Lake Dam, Moran Junction, Kelly Warm Springs, and Colter Bay Visitors Center.

On November 1st, portions of the Moose-Wilson Road and Inner Park Loop Road are closed for the season.  A portion of Mormon Row Road is closed. A portion of the East Boundary Road at the base of Shadow Mountain is closed. Antelope Flats Road and Gros Ventre Road are open.

Daylight Savings Time: Saturday night, Wyoming abandons Daylight Savings Time for the winter. Currently, I am usually heading home by about 6:00 to 6:15 pm. After Sunday, nights will seem very long. Maybe I can catch up on culling summer and fall images!

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November 1, 2017 – Wednesday

Grizzly 610 and Cubs

Want a crystal ball to let you know what to expect in November? Check out November from last year! November 2016 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP. You should also check out this all encompassing page: Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP.

Grizzly 610 and Cubs: Blondie and her two cubs and 399 with her two cubs were seen on several occasions at the end of October. 399 was visible this morning near Pilgrim Creek, but she was moving away from me when I drove up. This isn’t a great shot, but it shows what’s happening right now. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: I took this moody winter shot from Elk Ranch. I liked the ghostly shape behind the silhouetted tree line. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Shingles

Shingles: I spent some time at Elk Ranch taking photos of dozens (er…hundreds) of textured subjects at the old Dude Ranch cabins and structures. Regular readers at Best of the Tetons know I recently took delivery of a new Nikon D850 body. The past week has been much like a kid playing with his new toys on Christmas day. It’s an amazing camera! If you are on a long list at one of the big online retailers, consider calling Perfect Light Camera and Supply. The last time I heard, they had less than 20 people on their waiting list. I have been buying all of my bodies and lenses there for years and have always been happy with their service. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Bull Moose and Cow

Bull Moose and Cow: I spotted this bull Moose on my way north this morning. As I was driving home, I found him with two cows and much closer to the road. If the rut is over, it doesn’t appear that some of the bulls got the memo! The willow leaves are almost gone in the river bottoms, forcing them to change their diet to Bitter Brush in the Sagebrush zones. That’s part of what makes November and early December so good for Moose. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod with VC Off.

Lip Curl

Lip Curl: Throughout November, I will be switching back and forth between a Nikon D5, D500, and D850 on a variety of lenses. I love being able to pick and choose between the bodies in the attempt to capitalize on the strengths of each. When I first saw this pair, I used a D500 to get the reach with the Tamron 150-600mm. As they got closer, I went back to the truck and picked up the D850. The shot above was taken hand held with VC on, while leaning against a tree. It took me a few seconds to realize the tree was swaying in the wind worse than I was by simply hand holding. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

November Featured Image

Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld with VC On.

November

You might have noticed the tagline… “Snow and a new cast of characters at the top of the page. What’s that mean? In November, we can expect to see Bighorns on Miller Butte and a hundred or so Trumpeter Swans entering the valley. If we are lucky, we might see a few Mountain Goats in the canyon. Some of the Grizzlies seen in the northern portion of the park may move south towards the Gros Ventre following the gun shots of the yearly Elk Reduction Program. Rough-legged Hawks take over some of the hunting territories of the vacating Red-tailed Hawks. Elk will be making their way onto the National Elk Refuge. Wolves, Coyotes, Eagles, and scavengers usually follow them. Bison move towards the National Elk Refuge, but typically stay north of the Gros Ventre until after the hunt is over. Snow can change the landscape offering views of the valley and wildlife most people never see.

You should also check out this all encompassing page: Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP

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Comments (4)

  1. Lowell Schechter

    Mike great set of images . The moose images are nice and I like the different perspective of Mt Moran, other than taking it from Oxbow Bend . As for your equipment , I heard the new Nikon D850 is a great camera. For me , I prefer the DX cropped D500.

  2. Hi Lowell, Thanks as always for taking the time to post! I am lucky to have three bodies and I love all three! Hard to beat the D500 for an all around camera.

  3. Hi Mike,

    I’ve been following your site for a long time and appreciate all the info you share with us. I’ve visited GTNP during the fall, the last 3 years, and your info has been very valuable.

    I noticed that you haven’t posted any pictures of the bull moose you call Washakie since about September 21st, 2017. Is he still around? I never saw him this year during my visit in early October. Being the GTNP guru, I figured you would know?

    Thanks again for all that you share with all of us!

    Mike C

  4. Mike, I am getting worried about Washakie. No one has seen him in about a month. Another bull I always liked was called Custer. He never showed up the entire year. I am hoping he found a new zone to dominate and will show up sometime before they lose their antlers.

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