Yellowstone in September, Part 2

Yellowstone–September 23-30
Bugling Bull Elk, Swan Lake Flats

I went to Yellowstone National Park this past September primarily to photograph the elk rut. As you can see by the photos here, that is what I spent most of my time doing.

But, it’s Yellowstone; there are always other things to see and photograph. So you will have to forgive me if I stray from the elk every now and then.

Clicking on any image will take you to the hi-res gallery containing these and more Yellowstone images at

Sagebrush Bull Elk
Gardner River Bull
River Otters on the Madison
Blacktail Plateau Coyote
Old Hayden Bull
Bald Eagle over the Madison
Cow Elk on High Alert
Backscratcher Bull
Great Grey Owl

The only wolf I was able to photograph was this Canyon pack female on an elk kill just north of Canyon Village. As always, there were plenty of wolf sightings at distances ranging from 1/2 to 3 miles, but that hardly works for a photographer,unless you are trying for an environmental image. Personally, the closer the better for me.

Black Wolf and Elk Carcass
Morning Fog
Canyon Bull
Cow Elk on the Madison

Capturing the image below was the most intense experience of this trip. These bulls were within a few yards of me at times during the battle, and I could watch the fur, spit, and urine flying. I got about 25 images of the fight, and most, like this one, are uncropped.

Bull Fight!

With all the wildfires going on in the West this year, there were lots of brilliant reds and oranges at dawn and dusk.

Smoky Sunrise
Elk Calf on the Madison

The photo below came to the closest to the image I wanted to capture. I got to where I wanted to be long before it was light enough to shoot, and had this bugling bull within 50 yards of me at times. It was 24 degrees out and I knew his breath would be visible, but by the time there was enough light to shoot, he had moved up the hillside, with nothing but open ground between me and him. He was just too far away to really get the shot I wanted. The resulting image is not good enough, of course, but that just gives me an excuse to go back and try again.

Morning Breath

I’m hoping to get back to Yellowstone  this coming winter, but for now, those will have to do.

Silhouette Bull

All these images are available for purchase as prints, or on a variety of merchandise at

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