Yellowstone Valley Zoo: The Final Installment–Elk, Moose, Eagles, and more

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A moose enjoys his lunch in the serene Lamar Valley.  There were three moose traveling together this day.  But this one came closest to the car.

 

 

This is the final Yellowstone Valley Zoo blog.  This series’ three previous blogs showcased photos I’d taken after my move from Pennsylvania to Montana in October 2014.  These blogs have highlighted bighorn sheep, bison, and pronghorn–all found along the roads within a short drive from Sweetwater Fly Shop:  Areas near, or in, Paradise Valley, Livingston, Gardiner, and the northern gate to Yellowstone National Park.

Today I’m focusing on some of the other critters I’ve found along these same routes.  Again, a few of these photos were taken with cameras, others with just my cell phone.  It’s the diversity of the region’s wildlife that’s amazing…not necessarily my pics.  You can click on the photos to make them larger.

 

 

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Bald eagles feasting on bison entrails left by Native American hunters just outside Yellowstone Park.  Make sure you click on the photo to check out all the birds in the tree behind the eagle in the foreground.

 

 

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A nice mule deer buck walks the field beside the southern entrance to East River Road off of Route 89.  This was post-hunting season, so he’ll be bigger next year.

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A coyote feasts on an elk carcass in the Lamar Valley.  He was playing tug-of-war with the scraps like a German Shepard with a rope.

 

 

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A couple Merriam’s turkeys near walk the road near Pine Creek.  I’d only seen eastern turkeys in Pennsylvania, so these were my first Merriam’s.  I was happy to shoot a picture with my cell phone, but they didn’t seem to care that I was even there.

 

 

ELK

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A small bull elk near Mammoth Hot Springs.  There are almost always elk near Mammoth.  They occasionally try to gore uneducated tourists who attempt to pet them.

 

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A cow elk grazes on the edge of Gardiner, just outside the Park.  These are still wild, but very civilized, elk.  I recently watched a cow wait for traffic to slow so she could cross the bridge in Gardner.  She was better at crossing the street than most kindergarteners.

 

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For some reason, I felt like I was being watched on Christmas Eve morning along East River Road in Paradise Valley.

 

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Then the elk herd moved in for a closer look.

 

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Then they made me slam on my brakes as they tripped into each other in front of my SUV.

 

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Finally, these were my first two Montana Hungarian partridges: a double taken by my old Parker VHE side-by-side shotgun (one bird in my hand, one in Reed’s mouth).  The partridges, found in Paradise Valley, were pointed and retrieved by my friend Jason Corbin’s amazing dogs, Reed and Ruger.  And though the birds are the only creatures in my photos not still alive (as far as I know), I have no regrets…they were delicious!  Just like the moose in the first picture, I enjoy a nice lunch too.

 

That’s all for now from the Yellowstone Valley Zoo.  Next week I guess I’ll talk about fishing.  Thanks for reading!


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