AlpenGlow Tours

Category: Jackson Hole

Grand Teton Wildlife Tours – Grizzly Bears

Photographing Grizzly Bears

Spring is one of my favorite times to offer Grand Teton wildlife tours, for this season gives us the best opportunity to photograph Grizzly Bears. While we’ve had plenty of snow this winter in the Grand Teton area, the bears are now coming out of hibernation. The Grizzlies tend to remain in a smaller area to conserve energy while searching for food, and I expect them to be accessible until mid June.

In my opinion, the Grizzly is true symbol of the American West. There is nothing quite like seeing a wild bear in the beautiful surroundings of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

In addition to photographing bears, Spring is a wonderful time for other wildlife species. The Elk, Pronghorn and Bison are giving birth, and the Raptors have returned to the area. While a wildlife tour will concentrate primarily on the animals, we will also have the opportunity for some landscape photography. The Tetons look great this time of year, with a full covering of snow contrasted by the new vegetation.

Grand Teton Wildlife Tours

If you are interested in Grizzly Bears or the many other species of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, I hope you can join me on a tour.  You’ll be sure to have the best opportunity to get some amazing wildlife shots.  See a typical tour itinerary here.

Jackson Hole Wildlife Tours – Great Gray Owls

Photographing the Great Gray Owl

Of all the animals I encounter during my Jackson Hole wildlife tours, the Great Gray Owl has to be one of my favorites. Although they are not common, once located they can be very cooperative subjects. The Great Gray Owl is an ambush hunter, and will stay on their perches for extended periods of time while listening and looking for prey.

This behavior can give photographers more time than usual with birds to capture some nice portraits. Once I feel that I’ve captured some interesting images of a perched owl, I’ll increase the shutter speed in anticipation of the bird taking flight. The owls swoop down on their prey, and if unsuccessful will often stay in the same general area to perch again and continue the hunt.

Jackson Hole Wildlife Tours

If you are interested in Great Gray Owls or the many other species of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, I hope you can join me on a tour.  You’ll be sure to have the best opportunity to get some amazing wildlife shots.  See a typical wildlife tour itinerary here.

Winter wildlife tours in Jackson Hole

A favorite time of year, winter wildlife tours in Jackson Hole can offer some unique opportunities. To begin with, the animals are much easier to spot! With a heavy blanket of snow covering the valley and the trees being leafless, the wildlife “pops” off the landscape. The stark snowy backgrounds can also help to isolate the animals in the image by creating some nice negative space.  While we do have more overcast days during the winter months, this can provide for some nice, even light on the wildlife. It can also give some reflected light off the snow, keeping shutter speeds fast and lowering ISO numbers which can yield higher quality images. Another benefit to the winter wildlife photographer is the animals are less active. The animals are trying to conserve energy , and by keeping a distance that doesn’t disturb them I’m often able to photograph for a longer period than in summer.

Although some of the summer wildlife have migrated, there are plenty of animals about during winter wildlife tours in Jackson Hole. I seem to find more fox and coyote during the winter, and it’s really nice to have some Bighorn Sheep spend the winter here on the National Elk Refuge. Bison, Elk and Moose winter here, and there is always the possibility of a wolf sighting! 

If you need a break from our incredible skiing or are here to experience the Grand Tetons, I hope you can join me for a winter wildlife tour in Jackson Hole.