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Yellowstone/Teton Winter Wildlife Safari               Jan 6-12   $2100 ($1680)     Jan 24-28  $1500 ($1200)

 

Yellowstone in the winter is all about snow, cold, and survival.  Feet of snow blanket the mountains and sagebrush valleys in the park, making it easier to spot wildlife.  While it does get extremely cold, -23 is the coldest that I've encountered, with most days hovering just below zero.  Wildlife of every kind is all about finding food.  Buffalo push the snow aside with their heads, bighorn and elk paw at the snow to get to the buried grasses, moose and deer are browsing the willows and trees, predators like coyotes and foxes are digging in the snow at carcass sites, otters and eagles are hunting the fish along the few unfrozen sections of river.  At the bottom of the food chain the lowly vole feeds below the snow trying to avoid weasels burrowing after them, coyotes and red fox performing acrobatic jumps to plunge into the snow to pluck them out like candy.  Eating is survival.

While there are photographers and wolf watchers in the park, compared to the summer months the park is silent.  The roads are plowed and kept clear for vehicles from Mammoth through Lamar Valley to Cooke City.  In the past I've done snow coaches into the park's western side but find that shooting along the open roads in the north lead to far more encounters, greater access to shooting, better ability to maneuver, and overall better wildlife photography. 

Each winter day the activity seems to swing to different areas.  It could be the bighorn on the cliffs before Soda Butte, or red foxes mousing near Pebble Creek or Roosevelt.  We might find frozen, snow blasted bison in Soda Butte Valley, or even blasting through piles of snow along Little America.  The gray wolves, always a top target in our daily searching, run the entire length of the road between Mammoth and the Park's East Entrance. Over the past decade the number of ermine sightings (white short-tailed weasels) and snowshoe hare sightings have increased.  Mountain lions, wolverines, and pine martens hunt through the forests giving us glimpses here and there.  Yes, we did photograph a mountain lion in January 2019 - though it was dying of starvation (worn out teeth from age) and had a face full of porcupine quills.  Still, an amazingly close encounter.

I expect every type of weather during these seven days.  I expect snow storms, wind, clouds, and blue sky days.  You can never tell from weather reports exactly what we could see, but its that type of weather that creates amazing images and illustrates how these animals fight for survival during the winter.  The bottom line is Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons deliver the greatest winter wildlife photography experiences in North America. On the fifth day of both safaris we travel to Jackson for the Tetons part of the safari.

I am an authorized and licensed Yellowstone National Park Tour Guide and have shot over 900 days in the park.

Reservations

For those not traveling with me, we meet in Gardiner, Montana just outside the northwest entrance to Yellowstone, just north of Mammoth Hot Springs.  There is easy airport access from Bozeman, Mt for those flying in. The least expensive airport and car rentals will be for those flying into Salt Lake City and driving north.  The first 3 photographers from my area of California to sign up can ride with me.

Here is a link to other image galleries and a Yellowstone Winter Video I made:  VIDEO   River Otters   Gray Wolves



Black Wolf and Coyotes
 


Mousing Red Fox
 


Coyote
 

A Mountain Lion's last minutes
 

Coyote at Twilight
 

River Otters in the Lamar River

Mousing Red Fox
 

Golden Eagle

Ruffed Grouse

Snoozing Red Fox
 

Red Fox in Snowstorm

Hunting Coyote

Stretching Red Fox
 

Hunting Red Fox

Red Fox close-up

Ermine
 

Red Fox with his vole

Ermine

Cow Elk in Snowstorm
 

Bison resting in the Winter

Bighorn Ram

Hunting Red Fox
 

Trumpeter Swan stretch
 

Bull Moose on wintering grounds

2019 Brent Paull Photography        1-559-909-5208        All Rights Reserved under United States and International Laws