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Best of the Tetons

Reader Comments:

Oxbow BendLots of people comment on the “terrific photography” I post on Best of the Tetons. Oh, of course I like hearing it, but the comments I love hearing most are the ones telling me how the blog has helped them! Some readers like getting up-to-date wildlife and scenic reports to help plan their trips. Others like finding alternative places to visit in the park and the surrounding areas. Maps and external links help others. Hopefully, some of my shooting data and daily outings information will help some of the photographers! I write this blog with exactly those intentions—not to promote myself—but to help you! It doesn’t matter whether you have a camera in hand or just come to see the sights. If you like what you see and read, please help me by spreading the word to your friends and family.

Below are random comments about Best of the Tetons:

A few of them were lengthy, so I took the liberty to trim them down to just the comments about the site. If I posted one and you don’t want it included here, please let me know!

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John Tienter: Hello Mike, I came across one of your post in the wildlife Nikonians web site a while back and have enjoyed your work and blog ever since. Your wildlife images and landscapes are inspiring to say the least. The info about your area is very helpful as we are planning a trip there this year. John

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Oscar: Great photographs, Mike, as usual. Thank you for sharing these. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your site and the tips you continuously offer on it, as well as other sites that I visit often. Thank you again.

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LaGail West: I love getting your email and seeing the spectacular photography you do. I am sharing your email address with close friends who we traveled with this past October to Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons. Unbelievable beauty!!

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John B. Tebbetts, M.D.: Hey Mike, Was reading your post from yesterday this morning, and just wanted to comment on the topic of why folks may like your blog.  Can’t speak for others, but I had followed your images for a long time on YelNet, and came to your new blog from there.  Your images speak loudly for themselves.  The fact that you produce that you capture an extraordinarily high level of images on a daily basis, much less are willing to share the thought processes behind them is to me, what makes your blog special and worth my time.  When the demands of my real world prevent my driving my truck from my place up in Montana down to your neck of the woods, I really enjoy hearing your narratives of each day’s shooting, because they snap me back into similar questions, decisions, frustrations, and rewards that I’ve experienced every day that I go out and shoot.  The fact that you do it far better stimulates me to continue to improve and gives me hope when I’m frustrated.

Thanks very much for sharing your images,  your thoughts, and the special articles and maps that are extremely helpful even to those who have shot in the valley and the park for many years.  The voice of experience once again is invaluable to those who enjoy the same pursuit. Best regards, John B. Tebbetts, M.D.

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Lowell Schechter: I am really enjoying looking at your images . And look forward for more of them. We were in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons last September and we hope to go back maybe next year. I wished I had known about the Gros Ventre area last year and maybe I could have gotten photos of a Moose but the whole experience of being these Great National Parks were fantastic.

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Steve Lasch: I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your posting this. We were caught in the closed park debacle and were at a loss as to what to do. Found your site. Went to Granite Falls, Gros Ventre and Togwotee Pass, A grizzly bear crossed the road in front of us and we saw many moose, elk and bison. Thank you for saving our vacation!! Steve Lasch

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Eugene Wright: Thanks for being the eyes and ears for those of us who can’t visit the area every day. I am trying to time my next visit to coincide with the trees in their fall splendor at the Thomas Moulton barn.

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Kathy Johnston: Mike, thanks so much for this information. We are coming your way next June and intentionally planned several nights outside GTNP to explore other areas before heading into the park. I know you were helping people who are locked out of the park right now, but you are also letting people know there is more to the area around Jackson besides the park. Glad we found your blog and will be following it regularly. Wonderful photos, too.
Kathy & Bill Johnston

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Paul: Mike, We were there during the government shutdown in October and your blog gave us many alternative ideas. Thanks to you it turned into one of our most memorable trips to the area!

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Susan Hardman: Great Blog. It’s a treasure that you clearly put a lot of work into. You’re capturing a moment in time that’s unlike any other in the valley and it’s worthy of being saved for future generations.

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Rick: Nice work. Thanks for the new reports. I will be checking in quite regular as our trip approaches. I like your practical approach of shooting what nature gives you at a given time. Great work.

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Bill Araujo: Fantastic as usual. I’m just going to have to find a way to get out there early winter to try my best at getting a few shots like these.

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Lowell Schechter: Mike, great landscape images. I wish I had had more time to see all these great places in the Grand Tetons. But I could come back another time and map out some of the places I missed.

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Christopher Taylor:  I discovered your site on Nikonians after a visit to the Tetons in late September this year. I really enjoy reading your blogs and viewing your spectacular images. Thanks for providing this site.

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Stephen Fisher: Thanks Mike for a most informative read! Really enjoyed it…SEF

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Gary DeFeyter:  My wife and I were in Jackson during the Government Shut down. We used your site to go to areas that we normally would not do. On the road out to Kelly we saw 6 different Moose and a number of big Mulies. Went over to dubois and had a blast. Met some nice folks and saw a ton of wildlife. Your site really helped and we really appreciated all the info it provided. Thank you and we love checking in on your photos daily. Have been following your work for a few years now.

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Bill Araujo: Great post and stunning photos as usual. I’m just going to have to make it out there during late fall. Love the shot of all those bull moose together in the snow.

 

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Lowell Schechter: Mike, I just went through your photos and the text. There is certainly a lot to digest in what you wrote. I really liked the way you describe all the areas of Grand Teton National Park and how you shot your images. And great tips on what to do and photograph. Certainly would like a return trip out there and see what we missed last year.

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Sue Hyler: I really appreciate you responding to such a basic question, but that information is invaluable to me. Also thanks so much for the road closure info for GTNP. I knew about the ones for YS but not GT, definitely changes my plans for the 30th and 31st! Your site contains so much useful information for those of us east of the Mississippi not coming to ski! CAN’T WAIT!

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circadianreflections aka Deborah: I was just in Jackson the last week of Sept. While driving into Jackson from the airport the driver of my shuttle pointed out the Sleeping Indian. It was lit up beautifully in the late afternoon golden light. I plan to return to your lovely area and get this shot, and many others of the Tetons. I enjoy receiving your blog. Thank you for sharing!

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Paul: Thanks Mike for the info on the Swan Pond! We have been here numerous times since 1978, but that was the first time we’d heard of that. Managed to get some really nice in-flight shots of the swans–my wife Carla in particular wanted to thank you for the information!

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Tammy Wolfe: Hi Mike, Thanks for all the information you have been sharing. I enjoy checking your blog daily when time permits. I’m still in process of planning my trip next fall. I like photographing barns. So, I’m glad you shared some besides the famous Mormon Row barns.

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Brian: Mike thank you so much for all your updates. As an amateur photographer from Idaho Falls, I do get over to your neck of the woods quite often. Your photos inspire me, and your post definitely help me to plan my trips. I truly appreciate them and look forward to meeting you someday.

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Tim Vaclavek: Mike thank you so much for all of your work, I should be in JH early next week with my son and his cousin. We will use your tips to find wildlife and some good landscape areas.
Thanks again, Tim

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Joe Woody: Thanks very much, Mike! I actually dodged the bullet as I flew home on 9/27 but had I been there this week your info would have been extremely valuable. Your photography is stunning and your helpfulness is to be admired also.

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Trenna Sonnenschein: Well thanks to your tips I know that we will still enjoy our little weekend get away no matter which direction we end up traveling. I wouldn’t mind even driving through Snake River Canyon and going to Star Valley as you have suggested. Thanks again for your daily updates. They really are super helpful and thanks so much for sharing your beautiful images with everyone. I enjoy them very much!

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Ed Fuhr: I was staying at Jackson lake lodge and we were told we had 48 hours and that if you could show you were staying in the park already they had to let you in and out for 48 hours. I was lucky and finally had an unbelievable sunrise at oxbow, along w a few friends. I went up to Togowtee pass this weekend and saw a carcass and 18 inches of snow! Thanks for an awesome blog.

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Oscar Nunez:  Love all your shots, Mike. Your site is a daily must visit for me. I have learned so much reading your posts. I really appreciate the detail you provide with your photos. Your tips are invaluable.

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Trenna Sonnenschein:  So glad I accidentally found you. I travel through that way quite often and I love getting the tips you provide and I love your photography. I’m just a hobbyist that loves Wyoming. I’ll be headed up that way again soon. I have set aside the 4th and the 5th of October to enjoy and take pictures in that area. I’m hoping your tips will help me have better luck at finding the Wildlife. Thanks so much for all the work you put into this blog and thanks for sharing!

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Steve: Hi Mike…I found your site through Sandy’s FB page “WIld at Heart Images” and I’m very happy I did. We will be in the Tetons at the end of the month to see and shoot fall colors and whatever else we might come across. Your page is VERY helpful and I look forward to following it! Thank you! -Steve

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Harry Purcell: Mike we will be out in Jackson & Yellowstone starting next Sat the 14th. I have Google Earthed all your recommendations. Thanks, Harry

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Marion Dickinson: This is a great site, I can’t imagine how much work it is. I have passed the link on to others.

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Bill Araujo: Great post! I love the transitions too but have only made it to the Tetons during the fall. I really need to do the spring as well. Maybe next year??

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Richard Burris: Thanks for all your info. I have noticed you on Y-NET a number of times and enjoy this site with more complete info.

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Bill Jordan: Hi Mike, I have been shooting the Tetons since around 1955, and your info is right on. Good Luck!

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Jackie Miller:  Absolutely awesome website!!!! I have always appreciated you sharing your photos and insight with others.

Comments By EMail:

Steve Nickerson: Hi Mike, I just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying your blog and your wonderful photographs. It is a marvelous resource to photographers and visitors. I’ve only been to Grand Teton/Yellowstone once, about 5 years ago when I was just getting into photography, and have been scheming to get back ever since. Your images inspire me to continue working to improve my own photography. Best to you and your family this Holiday season.

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Bill Remlinger: I really enjoy your web site and your images. You are very lucky to liven this area. Keep up the interesting blog about your adventures that you encounter each day.
Good shooting, Bill

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Seetharaman CG: Hello Mike, Wanted to drop in a line and say Thank You for the wonderful blog that you have been maintaining. It is a great service to travelers like me and I really appreciate all the tips that you have provided. I only wish this resource was available before I visited Jackson Hole in May earlier this year. While I did have a great time and fell in love with the place (it is very difficult not to), I would have planned my trips a little differently given whatever I know now from your blogs. I will be coming down again during the first week of January next year for a couple of days and am sure I will be checking your blog regularly before that. Thanks once again. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Bertrand Bathelot: Hello Mike, Just a few words from France to thanks you for your blog. Every morning, I check your blog at first in my day to see your last post and I ‘m delighted by your photos, especially the moose ones. I used your site to prepare our passages (with my wife and my younger son)   at Jackson on the road up and down to and from Bozeman ( My daughter is for one year a bobcat at Bozeman) at the end of last month. We have been lucky as the shut down ended a few days before our arrival at Salt Lake. We have been mesmerized by the area (GTNP and Yellowstone) and are planning to come back next year in October. I can only encourage you to continue your great job and your reports as I am now addicted. Best regards, Bertrand Bathelot

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Mark Johnson: Hi Mike, We met over at the Mormon Row barns on Saturday morning and you were kind enough to supply a card! I just got home to Bozeman and was looking through the great images on your site. I’d like to plan another trip to GTNP and would like to take advantage of any info you could provide. We had planned on coming down two weeks earlier, but with the gov’t shutdown, that messed things up. Thanks very much, Mark

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Robert Leslie: Mike, Thanks for putting up the Alternative Places to Visit on your site. These came in very handy during our visit once the park closed. We were able to hit several of these places. Robert Leslie

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Carol Nichols: Mike, I so thoroughly enjoy your blog posts and daily updates.  For those of us who can’t be at the parks as often we’d like, your reports are the next best thing.  Again, thanks for all the great information you freely give to us. Carol Nichols

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Tammy: Hi Mike, I subscribed to your blog. I spent some time today looking at what I’ve missed since my last visit. More great stuff. I was looking at your moose images and hoping to see the ones that you took when Carol and I were there in mid July. I missed most of the action on day, and you said, “You don’t even want to know what you missed.” I guess I want to know now. 😉  I was going to ask you if there were any photo ops nearby in Idaho, and then I saw your waterfall photos. Gorgeous! I’ve never been to Idaho. If the photo ops are great in GTNP, we’ll probably stay there the entire week. But if things are slow we may head out on an overcast day. Idaho would be a “new” state for me. Tammy

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Andy: Aloha Mike! Let me first start off with what an INCREDIBLE site you have!  Had I found your site before I book my Yellowstone trip, I’d have booked more time in Jackson and GTNP. Keep up the GREAT work and blogs!  They are the highlight of my morning before starting work.
Take care and Aloha, Andy

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Rick Sheppard: Hi Mike,I found the link to your site through Yellowstone.net. I I am from Michigan and my wife and I are coming to the Tetons and Yellowstone at the end of next month. We are amateur photographers and love to shoot wildlife and landscapes. I want to thank you for a great guide on the fall color around the Tetons. I will be spending some time on your site.  Thanks so much for your time and willingness to provide your site as reference for those of us traveling to the area.
Rick Sheppard
Tustin, Mi

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Beverley: Awesome blog!!  I wish I’d had it BEFORE going to the Tetons.  Oh well, at least I’ll be better informed next trip. I will definitely share it with all my traveling friends, photography friends . . .By the way, your photography is absolutely phenomenal.  I can only hope to capture one image as fantastic as all of yours.  Thanks again for the blog and the info. Take care!! Beverley

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Via Nikon Cafe Forum:

Bert:  The images on your Blog are just phenomenal, Mike. And I appreciate the write-ups.I was just in GTNP for the first time, in September. I wish that I had known of your blog before I went. Your images make me want to go back already – Now, I see what I missed out on at the time – I could kick myself!

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William: Very cool and thanks for the explanations on your blog for the techniques used for the different shots…!

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 Thanks!

Wow! I can get teary eyed reading some of these! Thanks so much to all that took the time to make a post or send me an email in support of my efforts. Every heartfelt comment is well received and greatly appreciated! Along with the written comments displayed on this page, I’ve received many similar comments from people I meet out in the field. Again, thanks to all!

You are certainly welcome to add your own comments below.

The Jacksons

Best wishes for a great 2014 from myself and family here in Jackson Hole, WY! MJ

Comments (24)

  1. Chuck Lyons

    Mike I am new to your blog , I love it so far , one thing you have to do is get yourself off your belly and get a Camranger, Check it out , For your type of work, it is a must!. Chuck

  2. Chuck, Thanks for the recommendation. I looked at the device and all of the comments at B&H. I’ll have to save my money and get one!

  3. JOHN ROCKWOOD

    Great site Mike. Love your photos and information. Plenty of info for those not too lazy to do a little searching.
    Will be out that way second week in September, so save some wildlife sightings for then.

  4. Shiela Bickley

    I found your site while planning our vacation to the Tetons June 24-July 1. It was invaluable in planning what we wanted to do each day. We had rain in that week, so photography opportunities were more limited, but your recommendations and monthly updates helped us use even the rainy days wisely. Our first night we drove out Gros Ventre road and saw a big bull moose. Another day we drove down to Lower Slide Lake with many stops and short hikes on the way. We went over the Teton Pass and had lunch in Idaho. I thought hard about how I wanted to photograph Mormon Row and came out with a couple pictures I really like. We visited Schwabacher’s Landing and the Swan Ponds both twice and found a moose cow and calf at each, and a heron and hawk in addition to swans. We saw a great gray owl on Moose Wilson Road and a grouse on the way up Signal Mountain. We found beaver and muskrat at the ponds just south of Jackson Lake. We saw 7 moose, 9 beavers and muskrats, bison, elk, mule deer, pronghorn and more, all because of your advice. We had some great hikes in the park, as well, but we might not have done anything on the above list if I hadn’t read your posts. Thank you so much. Even better, though, I plan to continue following your site for the great advice you give for photographers wherever they are–for shooting birds in your yard or shooting fireworks, for example. Your beautiful photographs inspire us to get out there and experiment. Thank you again! So glad I found your site.

  5. Susan, Thanks for taking the time to write this note. I write and post all of this info, but get “surprisingly little feedback“. When someone does write this kind of message, it reinforces my dedication to continue. And yes, I have been trying to include some posts for people that might not be coming to the Tetons. People can shoot similar subjects in their own town, wherever that might be. I will be posting a new Feature Post about small county fairs like we’ll be having here this month. I am happy to hear you found some animals and good places to photograph on your trip. Please help by sharing links to the site! Cheers, Mike Jackson

  6. Nice blog Mike. I just returned from leading a tour to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. I was disappointed to find that Gros Ventre campground was mostly closed and that the closure was blamed on the photographers. Based on my past experience photographing here I find the story to be unlikely. What is the real story?
    John

  7. http://jacksonholewildlifesafaris.com/what-really-happened-at-the-gros-ventre-campground/

    John, this page should give you a good idea of the event. I wasn’t there, so I haven’t been too vocal.

  8. kam leung

    Fantastic post on Maui Mike. Same for the Maui book. Both were linked from Nikonian website on tread about the 28-300. Were all photos taken with this lens

  9. Hi Kam,
    Thanks! Yes…mostly with the 28-300. The underwater shots were taken with a special underwater camera by a friend. My wife has a Nikon P7800 hybrid point and shoot camera. She took maybe 8-10 with it. I found the lens to be an amazingly good performer when mounted on the D4.

  10. leroy ewing

    I love to read your posts and study your photos. They’re great. I really appreciate the information on where to go and what to see. I recently changed my email address and no longer get your posts even though I’ve resigned up a couple of times.any thoughts or anything you can do on your end?

  11. Leroy, Thanks! It would seem you would get the notifications at the new email address if you signed up (again) with a new address. I don’t know much about the “behind the scenes” mechanics of a WordPress blog, but it has been fairly bug free. When I first started the blog, I felt I had so much to say and felt compelled to get several posts online a week. In the past six months, I’ve cut back to about one a week. That’s not because I am running out of subject matter, but not trying to overload people’s email boxes. Let me know if you don’t get the notification in the next few days. I’m working on a post about the Old West Parade. Cheers, Mike Jackson

  12. Mike,

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the work you put into your website to make all this wonderful information available to others. Ever since I found your website last year, I have been visiting on a regular bases to check on the latest news. I am hoping to visit GTNP in about 10 days, and would like to check out some of the places I learned about from your site. Thanks again for the great work you do!
    (Your photography is also wonderful, I envy you for the great bird images!)

  13. Hi Judit,
    Thanks for taking time to write a comment! Hope the site helps make your visit a great one! Cheers, Mike Jackson

  14. Hi Mike, I was wondering where you got the shot of the horses running. We will be up in Jackson in October and I would love to get some images of horses.

  15. Paul Biggart

    Hi Mike,
    A quick question about your Tamron zoom–do you use a carrying case for it, and is so, which one? Thank you very much–and we really enjoy your articles and photos!

    Paul

  16. Paul, I treat my camera gear about the same as I do my fishing gear. I buy them to use and have handy at all times. I have a couple of pillows in the van that hold them while driving around. So no, I didn’t buy a special case for it. I should probably invest in a “lens coat” for it, however.

  17. Paul Biggart

    Thank you for the quick answer Mike! I guess that’s what I meant–a ‘lens coat’. My Canon 300mm came with one, and I guess it gives an extra sense of security even though its not padded. ANd thanks again for all your terrific advice.

    Take care,
    Paul

  18. I have Lens Coats on my 70-200mm and a very well worn one on my 200-400mm lens. They make a lot of sense. I just haven’t spent the money for one for the Tamron, yet anyway. I bought the Tamron mainly to let my tour clients use it, but after using a while, find it on my camera bodies more often than I ever would have expected.

  19. Paul Biggart

    Yes sir, I’m very pleased with mine so far also. Haven’t had it all that long, but my son and I got some really nice photos of 3 Bighorn rams yesterday on a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. Just as an aside, we have a lot of haze from the fires here also.

    Thanks again,
    Paul

  20. Crystal Deatherage

    Mike, that’s alot of words to say, no way! I did get someone to share the location of the Mammoth nest, I guess those owls aren’t concerned with the public.
    I’ll just have to buy a session from you sometime I suppose.
    Best, Crystal

  21. Great photos, Mike. I’m heading to the area in a few weeks and you really gave me great insight at what places to see, even the ones outside of the parks. Love your images. Great work.
    Mike

  22. Great photos, Mike. I’m heading to the area in a couple of weeks and you offered some insight as to where to visit other than inside the parks. Thanks so much. I’ll let you know how my visit goes. Keep away the rain for me 🙂
    Mike

  23. Richard Hanks

    I think a “Hunter Reduction Program” would be more appropriate.

  24. William Drake

    Such a well done blog with excellent information and tips.

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