We have arrived in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. We’ve been in this area once before, staying in Jackson 8 years ago (without a tow vehicle) so the only part of the park we saw was on a drive by basis.
My number one Priority on this trip through Wyoming was to photograph a Moose… and of course I would like more Bear photos too but Moose is now the Focus. I feel lucky to have been in the right place at the right time for a couple of bull Moose in the photos that follow. I have been looking for a moose for 3 weeks now… Color me happy I have many pictures of my first wild moose and bear… and lived to tell about it.
We are camped in Gros Ventre Campground (pronounced Grow-Vant). It is a NPS Campground with 350 sites total. A great campground for viewing wildlife. The surrounding area provides the perfect landscape for Pronghorn, Bison, Moose and Bear. This campground is a quiet but large camp area along the Gros Ventre River just 12 miles North of Jackson, Wyoming. Spacious camp spots in the D Loop provide you with electrical hookups only and clear views. I prefer being here than in town. Several years ago we stayed at the Virginian RV Park and enjoyed the colorful nightlife and galleries of Jackson. This time I’m more focused on viewing the spectacular Tetons from my window as well as Bison, Moose, Bear and other critters.
The amenities are few here and I have read some negative reviews of this campground but I would definitely stay here again. The many other Loops in the park feature Tent Only (eeks not for me) and dry camping spots for very reasonable fees with the Golden Age Pass.
The first afternoon, we ventured out on a hike along the Gros Ventre River and it provided us with beautiful views and also a not-so-distant view of two Bull Moose. This one was about 500 yards from us and we decided to hike upstream to get a closer look at this beautiful guy having his afternoon snack. There was also another Bull downstream.
Shy and Sweet
The next day we ventured on a big tour of the upper valley and all the way to Signal Mountain taking in a few short hikes along the route. The Views of the Tetons were breathtaking. Kayaking is popular in several of the lakes. String Lake, Jenny Lake, Two Oceans and Oxbow Bend.
Near Jenny Lake
Kayak from here at String Lake all the way to Leigh Lake.
View from Willow Flats
Back a day later on a hike outside of the Gros Ventre area another Moose friend was trying to strip off the velvet on his antlers.
These are a few of the photos I captured under cloudy skies. Trying to keep my distance. A long lens helps. These guys are getting a bit frisky this time of year… The rut is about to begin.
The antlers on this one spread over 5 feet across.
With streams of velvet hanging down, he was making gutteral noises, shaking his head and eyeing my lens. I kept retreating and finally took shelter behind a camper van parked nearby. I was keeping in mind that these guys can run up to 35 miles and hour! The driver of the RV said he would charge me a fee if I had to suddenly jump into his rig. <grin> I was really a safe distance away from this Bullwinkle J. Moose character, but looking through my lens, Objects always appear Closer than they really are.
Showing my age now, but did you know that Bullwinkle was ranked #32 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of all time??
We will likely still be here as the rut begins. September and October are when these solitary Bulls come together to battle with their antlers to be the top “dog” After mating the two sexes go their separate ways until next year… The rest of the year they tend to ignore each other. There are reports of a cow and her two calves in the area of the campground so I am keeping my eye out for a look at them. Calves stay with their mom until the mating season following their birth so they are about to depart on their own.
Out looking for Bear tomorrow..