Montana Outdoors

January 15, 2008

What a place!

Filed under: Animals, Bighorn sheep, Elk, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:50 pm

Above, elk browse a south-facing slope.

Winter elk

At my feet, a winter stream.

Winter stream


Winter stream

Above and to the right of the elk, a big ram surveys his domain.

Winter Bighorn

This is Montana!


  1. Beautiful shots, Terry. I really like the reflection in the third pic, though the ram is impressive, too.

    How cold is it in that area?


    Comment by wolf — January 16, 2008 @ 10:16 am

  2. It was in the mid 20’s when these were taken. This morning it was 10º. In this part of the Clark Fork valley, we have tall steep slopes rising from 2,500 feet at river level to 7,000 feet at the high ridges. The good thing for the wildlife is that even with the low sun angles in the winter, when the sun is out it strikes the steep slopes at an angle approaching 90º and even with cold air temperatures, it is enough to melt the snow. Therefore, the south-facing slopes have a lot of bare spots and the critters can get at the grass and do quite well even though the snow is deep elsewhere.


    Comment by montucky — January 16, 2008 @ 10:36 am

  3. I think that I like the second photo best, there seems to be a “natural bridge” on the opposite side and I can “picture” animals coming to this winter stream for water. In fact, I think it might just be indentations in the snow but, it almost appears as though there were some tracks there leading to the water.

    Speaking of cold air, how does this affect your camera? Or, maybe there’s no effect whatsoever?


    Comment by Janet Wilkins — January 16, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  4. a world all its own….


    Comment by silken — January 16, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  5. Janet,

    The stream is used a lot, mostly by deer, judging from the tracks, but there were also several sets of coyote tracks and tracks from a pair of wolves.

    I’ve found that as long as I use a lithium type battery in the camera, the cold doesn’t seem to affect it, at least so far. We haven’t had any of the -30º variety this winter, so I don’t know yet how it will do in that.


    Comment by montucky — January 16, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

  6. silken,

    This little area is just that. It’s not very big (maybe 20 square miles) but has no roads still in use and it gets very little traffic from people. Nice for me because I live only about 4 miles from the bottom end of it and can hike up into it whenever I want. In the spring I plan to hike up through it to the next road, which would be 8 or 9 miles.


    Comment by montucky — January 16, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  7. Awesome, as usual.


    Comment by winterwoman — January 17, 2008 @ 1:11 am

  8. Thanks, winterwoman! Makes it kind of hard to stay indoors.


    Comment by montucky — January 17, 2008 @ 9:54 am

  9. Thats it Terry rub it in, you live in such a boring environment “just kidding” The animals don’t tend to be spooked by your presence how is the hunting pressure there?


    Comment by bernie kasper — January 18, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

  10. Bernie,

    There’s a lot of hunting on elk, bear and deer and a little less on moose. Right in this area there is no pressure on the sheep. Of course, this time of year there are no open seasons except for cougar. A lot of my photos are taken while I’m hunting, although I’m getting more interested in shooting with the camera than with the rifle.


    Comment by montucky — January 18, 2008 @ 7:23 pm

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