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| p.1 #1 · Yellowstone Winter Pt 5- The Prosaics... Bison and Elk |
Sightings of bison and elk are never uncommon in Yellowstone. Nevertheless, I found it challenging to make pleasing images. We saw, and heard, wolves. My don't they sing a beautiful haunting chorus! Our images are the, "See, we saw a wolf." sort of thing. Not enough glass, patience, and dedication for more.
Speaking of glass, I never saw more, or finer, in any one place. The wolf crew is out at dawn (or maybe before, I wouldn't know about that) and stays until dark. A convoy of vehicles will stake out an area based on whatever intelligence is available. Sometimes they a bit split up, or even in two camps, but in the same general area. Vehicles and gear are ready for winter, hot beverages abound, and it is in some way a bit of a tailgate party. If vehicles are on the road folk will deploy warning signs, and man the lookouts. Tripods of every caliber underlie glass of every description. Spotting scopes and cameras fitted with big glass are the norm here. When we would peer in our welcome was warm. One is quickly advised of group ethics. A running motor obscures the howl of the wolves. Turn it off ASAP.
Perhaps another time we will join the hunt. For now it was a thrill to see them lazing on a high slope beneath a grove of trees while the remains of their kill, an elk, was attracting eagles, raven, magpie, and others near the roadside. As well, to watch them run the the ridge line, their coats flowing in classic lines. More disturbing, to lose our best chance at a worthwhile capture as people pursued them in an open field.
Here are my favorite bison and elk shots. Not the biggest elk we saw by far, but the best light and setting.