Friday, December 31, 2010

Bighorn Mating Behavior - Jackson, Wyoming


A Bighorn ram sniffs the urine of a female bighorn to see if she is getting ready to mate. Bighorn ewes will often stop to urinate when they are closely pursued by a ram. When the ram stops to investigate the urine, the ewe will often use this time to get away from a ram she does not appear to be interested in.
Once the Bighorn Ewe is ready to mate, she will mate with any ram that is close by. The rams compete with each other for mating privileges and use their large horns to batter each other for
the right to mate. The large, heavy horned rams do most of the mating. This provides an evolutionary push for the rams to develop big horns. When hunters kill the largest Bighorn rams as trophys, they upset this natural process that has been going on for many thousands of years. Heavily hunted populations of Bighorn sheep will produce rams that have smaller and smaller horns as time goes on.
Most domestic sheep have been selectively bred by man so that the rams do not have any horns at all. Hunters are doing the same thing to wild sheep.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Canyon Wolf Pack - Yellowstone National Park

I took this photo of the Canyon Pack in November. The pack consists of three adults and three pups. The three adults are the ones in front. The yawning black wolf is the alpha male and the very light gray wolf in front is the alpha female. The pups do not get their adult teeth until December and are not much help in hunting until they are a year old. These pups are about eight months old.

It was thought that the two gray pups had disappeared, but there are reports that all six wolves have been spotted near Mammoth Hotsprings in Yellowstone.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Elk Wintering on National Elk Refuge - Jackson, Wyoming


This is the view from in front of my motel just north of Jackson,Wyoming. Several thousand elk will spend the winter here. Refuge workers will start distributing alfalfa pellets for these elk early in January.
The refuge was established to compensate for elk winter range lost to ranching and housing developments in this part of Wyoming.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mule Deer - Jackson, Wyoming


These two mule deer have been browsing on Sagebrush. Sagebrush is a very important winter food for mule deer. Sagebrush has been plowed, sprayed and burned over the past 60 years and that has resulted in smaller populations of mule deer, sagehens, pygmy rabbits and other animals that rely on this shrub.

The large buck has an evergreen branch in his antlers that he ripped loose from a tree.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Elk Migration - National Elk Refuge - Jackson,wyoming


This line of elk extended for well over a mile. The refuge fence prevented me from getting an angle to show the long line of elk migrating into the refuge. There are about 6,000 elk on or very near the refuge at this time. The refuge staff will start feeding them alfalfa pellets in early January.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Old Mule Deer Buck - Jackson Wyoming


This old buck has 6 points on one antler and 5 on the other making him a 5x6 buck. The brow tine is not counted out here in the west. This buck probably had even larger antlers when he was a few years younger.
He is getting old, as indicated by his sway back and pot stomach. He lost a lot of weight during the rut in November. You can see his ribs and his hip bone is very prominent.
If it is a long cold winter, he might not make it until spring. He will have a hard time escaping from a wolf pack or a cougar this winter.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bull Moose Eating Willows - Jackson,Wyoming

This moose will live on these woody plants for most of the winter. He has a broken horn from fighting during the rut in September. He will loose both of these antlers in the next week or so. I heard of one bull that has already lost his. (Dec. 21)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bighorn Rams - Alberta, Canada


This is how Bighorn Rams look in herds that are protected from hunting. They didn't get shot when they were young.
These rams live in an area that has no domestic livestock to compete with them for food and no domestic sheep to give them disease.
Compare this photo to the ram in the previous photo in Wyoming, where the rams get hunted every year. When hunters continually kill the largest rams in a herd, the small rams breed the ewes and gradually a smaller horned population of Bighorn Sheep is produced.

Bighorn Ram - National Elk Refuge, Jackson, Wyoming


There are 50-60 Bighorn Sheep wintering on the National Elk Refuge. They are easily seen by driving east on Broadway in Jackson and out the refuge road. They often graze right along the road and are used to seeing people. This ram is one of the biggest rams that I saw.
I didn't see any large, full curl rams in the herd, which leads me to believe that the Wyoming Fish and Game Department is allowing too many of the large rams to be hunted and killed on their summer range. A herd of 50 Bighorns would have several full curl rams in an unhunted population.
Bighorns are the easiest of all wildlife for me to approach for photos. Hunting magazines would have you believe that they are difficult to find and even harder to kill, which is not true. I was about 30 yards from this ram when I took this photo.
Bighorns are subject to catching disease from domestic sheep. Many Bighorns have died (up to 1000)this year in Montana and Wyoming due to diseases acquired from their domestic cousins.
Domestic sheep should not be allowed to graze on any public lands inhabited by Bighorns.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WILDLIFE EXTERMINATION SERVICES - IDAHO


USDA Photo

When ever Idaho ranchers have a wolf problem, they call "Wildlife Services", a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to kill them. A "problem wolf" is one that has killed any livestock. One calf killed may be used as an excuse for killing an entire pack of wolves.

They use two aircraft to locate and kill the wolves. An airplane equipped with a radio receiver circles high overhead and homes in on the wolves's radio collars and then a helicopter closes in and a Wildlife Services Agent (like the one in the photo) shoots them with #4 buckshot out of a 10 gauge shotgun. The last wolf killed is the one with the radio collar.

This is a taxpayer provided subsidy to the ranchers. This is what you get for your hard earned tax dollar.

This agency kills hundreds of wolves in Idaho and Montana each year. They kill millions of wildlife in the U.S. each year, and have the audacity to call themselves "Wildlife Services".

A RADIO COLLARED WOLF IS A DEAD WOLF !

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bighorn Ewes - Jackson, Wyoming

These bighorn ewes are pawing the snow off of the grass so they can eat. The snow came early this year and I hope these bighorns are in this good of shape in the spring. It is going to be a long cold winter.
Bighorns eventually wear their teeth out from grazing on hard dry grasses like these ewes are doing. Bighorns seldom live to be more than 14-15 years old because of this.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Black Bear Eating Service Berries - Grand Teton National Park

This blackbear seems to like the service berries. I tried them and found them to be rather tasteless and bland.

Native americans used to mix service berries with fat and dried meat to make pemmican for winter food. Early trappers and pioneers called them "Sarvis" berries. My father used that term for them when I was young.

This bear has a ring around his neck from a radio collar that just fell off. He has a yellow numbered button in his ear.

I get so tired of all the animals in our national parks looking like branded livestock. It doesn't seem to matter which park I am in, most of the animals I see have these intrusive devices on them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Moose In The Snow - Grand Teton National Park

This big moose is posing during a snow storm. He will lose those big antlers about the first of January. He will start growing some new ones in the spring and depending on his age, they will either be larger or smaller next year. If he is young they will be larger. If he is getting old, they will be smaller.
I just installed Photoshop Elements 9 and this not as sharp as I had planned. It will take me a few tries to get these sized right for the internet.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Abused Grizzly Bear - Yellowstone National Park

This is not the greatest photo of this old Grizzly. I have avoided taking photos of him because he appeared to have deformed ears and it would not be a photo I could sell at art shows etc.

I recently found out from another photographer that the reason that this bears ears are deformed, is that he has scratched them for years, trying remove the numbered plastic ear plugs that Yellowstone researchers have put in his ears. He has practically scratched his ears off.

I was told that what was left of his ears were bleeding in November 2010, when the Yellowstone Park roads closed.

No one who really cares about wildlife would do this to any animal.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Abused Cow Elk With Radio Collar - Yellowstone National Park

This cow elk has been fitted with a radio- collar by an incompetent researcher. The radio-collar is far too tight and is causing this animal some distress. This kind of bumbling, intrusive research is very common in Yellowstone and is practiced on most species of birds and mammals. Wildlife in Yellowstone are not managed, so this useless information is used only for unread reports and for fulfilling the requirements of the researcher for an advanced college degree.

Yellowstone requirements for research studies insist that the collars have a release mechanism or have sections of cloth that will rot and release the collar. This collar has neither. Yellowstone also requires that the collars be colored to match the animals color. Someone forgot to read (Or can't read) the regulations before placing this collar on this unfortunate elk. (Probably working on his/her PhD.)

When wolves run through an elk herd looking for an elk that looks or acts different from the rest to pursue, this elk will be the one selected. The researcher just as well have painted "KILL ME" in large letters on this elk.

A Radio-Collared Elk Is A Dead Elk!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bull Moose - Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

This Bull Moose was eating bitter brush in the snow near Moose, Wyoming. Moose move out of the wet marshes when they freeze and spend the winter in sage-brush flats where they find nutritious bitter brush to eat.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dead Elk Running - Grand Teton National Park


This Huge 6x7 Bull Elk has less than 15 minutes to live. He is panting from being pursued by road hunters in pickups participating in the "Elk Reduction Program" in Grand Teton National Park. He is in an area that is for killing cow elk only. A white pickup full of hunters cut him off with their truck and turned him so that he crossed the road into the area for shooting bulls. He was shot and killed soon after. I took this photo yesterday.

This "Hunt" is sanctioned by Teton National Park Officials and results in elk being shot by road hunters with no resemblance to fair chase hunting.

There is no justification for shooting bulls in this elk reduction program. If they want to reduce the elk numbers, only cows should be killed.
This a money making "Trophy Hunt" disguised as a way to reduce the elk numbers..There has to be a better way to do this. Hunting in Grand Teton National Park is a bad idea. This is a horrible way to treat any animal.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trumpeter Swan - Jackson,WY

There were 30 Swans on Flat Creek in Jackson yesterday and 6 of them were close enough to photograph. I have lots of swan photos, but how could I resist when they were so close.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gray Jay - Yellowstone



I like these birds. They often show up at a hunting camp and can carry off an entire loaf of bread one small piece at a time. They are sometimes called "Camp Robbers". They are fearless and will land on your head if they can.

Coyote Reflection - Yellowstone

This coyote was out in the Yellowstone River checking out muskrat houses.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gray Wolf - Canyon Pack- Yellowstone National Park


This is the alpha female of the Canyon Pack. She has three pups, one black and two gray this year. They had just started swimming across the Yellowstone River when I saw them last about ten days ago.
Yellowstone Wolf Researcher, Doug Smith, likes to put radio collars on all the alpha wolves in Yellowstone. I fear that when I see this wolf next year, it will have a gross- looking radio collar around its neck.
Doug needs to leave these beautiful animals alone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Black Wolf on Yellowstone Road


The Canyon Pack Wolves often use the roads in Yellowstone for travel. I photographed the black male of the pack as he trotted down the yellow line.
This wolf has a radio-collar, but it is not very visible from this angle. He seems much subdued compared to last year when he was not collared.
Yellowstone Rangers often shoot members of this pack with rubber bullets when they see them on the roadways. They claim to be "conditioning them to not use the roads". It is part of the over-management of wolves and other wildlife by the park staff. Rubber bullets break ribs and can kill wolves at close range. Animals in Yellowstone are treated like farm livestock.
I look for this wolf to be killed by other wolves this winter, since he is handicapped by the radio collar and will have a hard time defending himself when the Canyon Pack interacts with other wolf packs while following migrating elk.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Alpha Male Wolf of Yellowstone's Silver Pack Dies of Radio-Collaritis

The only radio-collared member of Yellowstone's Silver Wolf Pack was found dead this past week. The reports indicate he died of infection from unspecified puncture wounds.
Radio-Collars handicap the wolves forced to wear them and most of them die sooner of later from the effects of being chased by helicopter, constantly harassed by wolf watchers, and from being buzzed by the park researchers in their little yellow airplane.
The two most accessible wolf packs in Yellowstone (The Druid and Slough Creek Packs) were studied and harassed out of existence. I suspect that the Silver Pack , who inhabit the same territory as the Druids once held, will suffer a similar fate.
The social misfits that have "Studied" Yellowstone's wolves for sixteen years have collared seven hundred and fifty nine (759) wolves in this endless study that benefits NO wolves and kills many of them.
Not only are the collars unsightly, they handicap the wolves in many ways. It makes it harder for them to capture large dangerous prey, like elk and bison, and the collars provide a convenient handle for other wolves to grab hold of in a fight.
The broadcast location of collared wolves (By seasonal park employee Rick McIntyre each day) are used by tourist groups(Yellowstone Association Buses) to find the wolves for viewing, which is a sorry way to use any wild animal.
Rick is employed by the Yellowstone Wolf Study for a few months each year and spends the rest of the time as a volunteer for the Wolf Study and also for the Yellowstone Association. (NPS info provided to me at the Mammoth Visitor Center)
He comes into the park each and every morning and locates the wolves with a park provided radio receiver that picks up the signal from the radio collars on the wolves. He then radios their location to the Association Buses and his group of wolf watchers(locally referred to as the "Wolf Nazis") so they can converge on the located wolves.
This creates traffic jams and the presence of so many humans, intimidates the wolves from going about their daily business. It is no wonder that the Druid Pack and the Slough Creek Pack disappeared. They were simply studied and harassed to death. Look for the Silver Pack to disappear soon.
With the Lamar Valley wolf packs so decimated, Rick and his followers have started doing the same thing in Yellowstone's Hayden Valley. The small hills used for viewing the Canyon Pack wolves at Grizzly Overlook in the Hayden Valley were closed this summer to public use because of the erosion and plant damage done by the wolf watchers. I fear for the Canyon Pack due to this shift in interest by this group.
A Collared Wolf Is A Dead Wolf!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Radio-Collared Wolf - Yellowstone National Park


This wolf is a member of Yellowstone's Blacktail Pack. He is skinny and malnourished looking, which makes sense since he is handicapped by the ugly radio collar around his neck.
This abuse of Yellowstone's wolves has been going on for over sixteen years. Seven hundred and fifty nine (759)wolves have been collared like this during the Yellowstone Wolf Project Study. If you add in the wolves that had collars replaced after the batteries failed, the number is more like eight hundred (800) or more wolves that have been treated this way.
People that treat Yellowstone wolves like this deserve some jail time. Those that pay for these obscene collars should join them in jail. Yellowstone Park Officials who approve of and fail to stop this abuse should be jailed also.
A Radio-Collared Wolf is a DEAD Wolf.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bull Elk-Cold Morning, Yellowstone National Park


This Bull Elk is bugling while back lit on a cold October morning in Yellowstone.
Bull Elk in Yellowstone are not collared as they used to be twenty five years ago, because enough visitors and photographers complained to the Park Superintendent about the practice.
If enough people protest the collaring of Yellowstone wolves, maybe the collars will come off of them as well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yellowstone wolf Researcher Has Collared 759 Wolves

NPS Photo

Over the past fifteen years, Yellowstone National Park Wolf Biologist Doug Smith has radio collared over 759 Yellowstone Wolves. What the news releases don't mention, is that he chased each of them to exhaustion by helicopter, darted them and then posed for photos like this one. (Notice that he doesn't use any gloves or a mask to protect the wolf from any disease organisms.) Yellowstone wolves sometime die from being infected with Parvo Virus, which is spread from domestic dogs by poor sanitary practices like this.
It only takes one feces-contaminated domestic dog hair to spread the virus.

Fifteen years of treating wolves in Yellowstone like this is not something to be proud of.

Any useful information was retrieved years ago and the study now is more about locating wolves for tourists to watch than for any biological reason. (And to keep Doug employed)
Not one wolf has been helped by the study and 759 Yellowstone Wolves have been treated like lab rats.

Stop this study Doug, and find something useful to do!

A Radio-Collared Wolf is a Dead Wolf!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

UPDATE - 759 Radio Collars On Yellowstone Wolves


I took this photo of this abused collared wolf two years ago near Swan Lake here in Yellowstone. Of the 48 adult wolves in the Northern part of the park, 25 are collared like the wolf in this photo. More than 50% of the adult wolves are handicapped by these devices.
During the seventeen years that this intrusive research project has been going on, more than SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-NINE (759) Yellowstone Wolves have been collared and treated this way. 759 Yellowstone Wolves chased to exhaustion by helicopter, darted with dangerous drugs and humiliated by having one of these gross things placed around their necks.
This horrible study needs to stop tomorrow!
NO ONE WHO CARES ABOUT WOLVES COULD POSSIBLY TREAT THEM THIS WAY.
Money for these monstrous collars are provided by the Yellowstone Park Foundation.
They solicit money for the collars and for chasing them to exhaustion with helicopters and harassing them with large groups of so called "researchers".
For $5000 they provided funding for putting this over-sized, intrusive GPS collar on this poor wolf.
Please write, call or e-mail them to STOP THIS ABUSIVE PROGRAM!
Yellowstone Park Foundation
222 East Main Street, Suite 301
Bozeman, MT 59715
406-586-6303
Carol Miceli

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wolf Closeup - Canyon Pack Yellowstone NP


This large gray wolf killed a bison cow by himself a few weeks ago. I saw him and two pack mates traveling on a trail in Yellowstone and was able to predict where they would appear later.
I took this photo as he turned to look at his two pack mates.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Looking for Wolves in Grand Teton National Park

I have been searching for wolves in Grand Teton National Park and have found a pack. I have got a few low quality photos and will post some photos when I get better ones.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mountain Mammas Art Show - Stanley, ID

I will be participating in the Mountain Mammas Art Show in Stanley, Idaho this weekend. I have done this show off and on for over twenty five years. Stanley is one of the most scenic places in Idaho. If you would like to see my photos and booth come to Stanley this weekend. I will be next to the road and will have many, many wolf photos for sale.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Northern Flicker - Young Male - Donnelly, ID


This young male Northern Flicker looks out of the nest hole while waiting for his parent's to deliver a meal. It will be his last day in the nest as the entire brood will leave the nest the next day to start living on the wing.
The stump and the bird are lit from the blue sky overhead, giving the whole bird a blue color cast. I liked the effect so I didn't change it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Northern Flicker - Adult Male - Donnelly, ID


This male flicker has just returned to his nest with food for his family of young birds. The adult flickers seem to be bringing ants and ant eggs to feed their young. They bring a crop full of food and regurgitate it into the open mouths of their hungry offspring.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Northern Flicker - Donnelly, Idaho


A pair of Flickers made a nest hole in a stump in my yard. They conveniently made it just at the right level so that I can sit in my blind and photograph them and their youngsters. This aggressive young male is waiting for the next delivery of food.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wolves In Oregon

I just called the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for information concerning wolves near Joseph, Oregon. I talked to a person by the name of Michelle Dennehy(503-947-6022). She was very rude and told me they didn't want anyone near the wolves. They just issued permits for the ranchers in the area to shoot some of the wolves. Maybe she didn't want me to get photos of them killing wolves.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Druid Wolves on Elk Kill - Yellowstone National Park


The last known member of Yellowstone's Druid wolf pack was killed this week near Butte, Montana when it was observed trying to kill a cow. It was black and may be one of these two wolves. It was radio-collared, infested with mange mites, and starving.

The Druids were plagued with mange and radio collars. When I took this photo, there were 14 adult wolves in the pack and seven of them were collared. Stressing mange-infested wolves by chasing them with helicopters and darting them during the collaring process, has to rank right up there with the killing of Macho B, the jaguar in Arizona, when he was snared and collared last year, as a crime against wildlife.
Shortly after I took this photo, a helicopter flew over the area. The wolves all hid in the sagebrush, obviously very frightened and stressed from hearing the helicopter. This should not happen in Yellowstone.

The Yellowstone Wolf Project has been going on for 16 years and has outlived it's usefulness.
Wolves in Yellowstone have decreased from 174 a few years ago to under 100 this year. This is a classic example of studying animals to death.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wolf Pup on Log - Yellowstone National Park


This wolf pup is trying to get a better look at me by coming out on this log. Wolves are very agile and I have seen them walking on logs and down timber without falling off.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Golden Eagle With Grouse - Yellowstone National Park


This Golden Eagle has just killed a grouse and is preparing to take it to a secluded place to eat it. The grass and other vegetation is tall enough that the eagle was having a little trouble taking off with his catch.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wolf In Snow - Yellowstone National Park


I panned with this wolf and the background is blurry and shows motion. I wish I could say I planned this look and everything came out perfect. Actually, I was using a new camera body and I am lucky that I even got a photo. I had only taken a few photos with this camera when the wolf showed up. I was still learning how to set the ISO.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wood Duck On Ice - Boise, Idaho


I have moved to my summer residence west of Donnelly Idaho and the snow has finally melted enough to get my trailer hooked up to power. I should have waited a month before I moved up here. It still seems like winter. It is raining right now.
I maintain three Wood Duck nest boxes along Cascade Lake which is 165 paces from where I am posting. There have been two pair of Wood Ducks investigating the nest boxes and I hope another pair shows up so that all three boxes get used this year.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crossing The Yellowstone


A herd of Bison wade across the Yellowstone River on a misty fall morning.

Friday, April 16, 2010

More Starfish- British Columbia


Here is another photo of the starfish I encountered on the Canadian coastline. This is just one section of the clam bed they were feeding on.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Secret Places - Starfish, British Columbia


I found this place on a small inlet in British Columbia. There was a large clam bed that became exposed at low tide and there were thousands of starfish left high and dry as they fed on the clams. I was the only person that stopped to take photos and the local natives thought I was strange to be out taking photos of starfish. Some of the native women would sit on the nearby bridge and watch me wander over the clam beds with my camera.
There are some special places that I don't share the location of. This is one of them. A biological supply house could decimate this spot.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wolves- Family Squabble - Yellowstone National Park


A wolf pack consists of a mother and father and their offspring. After the pups start following on the hunts, the largest wolves eat first. These two adults are arguing over an old Bison kill. Neither wolf was injured and the smaller female was back trying to get her share seconds after I took this photo. The pup lying in front was eating the hide, hair and all. This pup disappeared a week or so later and I think he may have starved to death.
Grizzlies drove this pack of wolves off of this Bison kill ten days before and the wolves didn't find much left to fight over when they returned. Grizzlies were taking the kills away from this pack each time they killed an elk or bison, and they were having a hard time getting enough food.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Circus Bear - Yellowstone National Park


This Grizzly bear is rolling in a Bison wallow. Bears often remind me of large dogs and this is no exception. This bear was making himself all smelly where bison had urinated. I have watched dogs do the same on dead fish and other smelly objects.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Desert Bighorns - Colorado River, Moab,Utah


I like Desert Bighorns. These beautiful animals are often found in beautiful country.
Bighorns are the easiest of all wild animals to approach and photograph. They are very confident of their ability to escape a human on foot and as such are vulnerable to a hunter with a long range rifle. Their color makes them hard to see at times, but their white rumps always give them away if one takes the time to watch.
One on the bighorns in this photo is handicapped by an invasive radio- collar. Present day researchers are enamored with this high-tech approach to studying wildlife and are responsible for the death and harassment of wildlife worldwide in their over-zealous need to know every aspect of these animals lives.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pinyon Jay - Colorado River, Moab, Utah


I like jays. They are quick to show up at campsites if they think there is food to be filched.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Oxbow Bend - Grand Teton National Park


This is a great place to see moose and otters. I don't take a lot of scenics. I leave that to those folks that tote those large format cameras.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Grizzly And Bison - Yellowstone National Park


This young Grizzly is about to find out that he can't rely on reputation when it comes to young Bull Bison. The Bison Bulls were not impressed with this Grizzly and chased after him and seemed to enjoy showing the Grizzly who was the boss.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New-Born Bison Calf - Yellowstone National Park


This little guy arrived while snow was still on the ground. I saw him a few hours later with two wolves trying to catch him. His mother and one other bison cow kept the wolves at bay until the three of them caught up with the rest of the herd (over a mile from the birthing site) which drove the wolves away. The wolves actually caught hold of the calf on two different occasions, but I saw him nursing his mother after they were back in the main herd, so I think he survived OK.

Cattlemen in wolf country should take a lesson from this. Putting polled or de-horned cattle out on the range is poor policy. Let those cows grow some horns and they will defend themselves from wolves. Domestic sheep and hornless cows have no place on public lands. They require that too many predators be killed to keep public land ranchers in business. If you can't co-exist with the wolves, stay the hell home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Hunt-Yellowstone Wolf and Elk


Wolves are selective hunters. This wolf is considering attacking this cow elk as it runs along side of her. (Notice the saliva coming from his mouth) In an instant, this wolf and the rest of the pack (Hayden Pack) made a decision to leave this cow alone and go after her large calf, who was running several yards in front of the cow. They eventually caught and killed the calf. The cow was not harmed.

Anti- wolf groups would have you believe that wolves would have killed both the cow and calf and wasted most of the meat. I have observed wolves kill several elk and they always eat as much as they can hold and then return again and again to eat eventually, even the bones and hide..

A large Grizzly Bear took the calf elk away from these wolves before they could eat all of it. Yellowstone wolves eat their kills as fast as they can, because Grizzlies have learned to follow them while they are hunting and take the dead elk away from the wolves.

The next morning, while the Grizzly was on the kill, this frustrated pack of wolves (9 of them) chased a coyote directly at me in the morning darkness and they all ran within 10 yards of me in single file after the coyote. The coyote ran past me on the left and the wolves on the right. It was too dark for a photo, but it was a great experience. I could hear them breathing and could hear the grass being ripped out of the ground by their toe-nails as they ran past me. The coyote dropped the piece of elk hide he was stealing and got away.
I consider this to be my best wolf photo. Please respect my copyright. If you want a print of it, you can order it on my website: http://www.larrythorngren.com/.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Macho B Jaguar - Killed by Researchers in Arizona 2009


Macho B (The only Wild Jaguar in the U.S.) was killed by researchers in Arizona a year ago.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department just (3/2010) fired the technician that trapped him, when they found he and another researcher had cleaned up the female juguar poop they used to bait him into the snare with. They were trying to hide the evidence that they had illegally trapped the jaguar. They claimed to be attempting to snare a cougar or black bear and that the Jaguar was caught accidentally. Strange that they had a specially made GPS radio collar for jaguars with them when the caught Macho B.
Macho B died of kidney failure 10 days after being snared by his front paw, darted and and radio-collared. His snared paw is swollen twice normal size. The taxidermist hired to skin him, found a large draining abcess at the dart wound site. There is a federal investigation looking into this crime.
I took this photo off of the internet, so the quality is not great.
Researchers in Our National Parks (Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, Denali) use this same type of snare to capture Grizzly Bears to put radio collars on them. I suspect that they injure every animal they capture this way.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Belted Kingfisher - Vancouver Island, British Columbia


The Kingfisher repeatedly landed on this old pier post next to where I was camping. I set up my tripod and waited out of sight and sure enough it returned for a photo.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bull Elk - Jasper National Park. Alberta


This huge bull Elk is scratching himself with his newly polished antlers. Male Elk grow a new set of antlers each summer and shed them early in the spring. The antlers are bone-white when the velvet is rubbed off and get their brown color from dirt and tree bark as the bull rubs and polishes them. Shed antlers become white again as the rain and snow wash the dirt and tree sap off.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Loggerhead Shrike -Las Vegas, Nevada


Shrikes are often called butcher birds becase they impale their prey on thorns or the barbs on a barb wire fence. They are cautious birds and difficult to photograph. This bird was looking for insects and small mice.