As we roll into May, the lakes are thawing and the sights and sounds of wildlife are returning! The bears have emerged from their winter sleep, the osprey and eagle are returning to their nests perched up high along the Snake River, the pronghorn are making their steady migration back from the Green River basin, and the song birds are back – filling the valley with their beautiful and melodic calls. We are excited to get back into the parks and we are ever so thankful to the state of Wyoming, the town of Jackson, the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, and numerous other organizations for helping to clear the park roads of snow in time for the summer season! Thank you! The national parks are a great place to visit year-round, but right now is an exceptional time to visit! We love the spring thaw as it provides great opportunities for wildlife observation! Bears, wolves, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep can all be seen now! Yellowstone's south gate will open on May 10th (weather permitting), but we are able to access Yellowstone through the west gate right now! We at BrushBuck are looking forward to another great season with our guests observing wildlife and taking in the sights and grandeur of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem! Join us today or this summer for an unforgettable trip through this beautiful part of the country! We'll see you soon!
The Staff at BrushBuck Guide Services
As we start another great winter season of wildlife observation, we stop to reflect on the past seven years that BrushBuck has been providing unforgettable wildlife tours and the staff and guests that have made these memories so great. A warm and heartfelt thank you to everyone for making BrushBuck what it is today!
Our 2012-2013 winter season has been fantastic so far! Our wolf trips are off to a great start with wolves being observed in Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP, and the National Elk Refuge as well. The bighorn sheep, elk, and bison are settling in to their wintering grounds as are the moose and mule deer. Winter snows in the Jackson Hole valley have been a little shallow, which is allowing us to see more pronghorn this winter. There are always a few pronghorn that choose to winter in Jackson Hole rather than make the 300 + mile migration south and east to the Green River Basin. Why this is, we do not know. Perhaps they are learning how to ski, but we haven't seen a pronghorn on the aerial tram, yet. In all seriousness, it is important to observe these animals at a good distance, especially in the winter. Forage is sparse and travelling through snow is tough on the pronghorn. The more stress we can relieve them of, the better off the will be throughout the winter months and into spring when the does with give birth to their fawns. The bull moose are shedding their antlers at this time of year while some cow moose are still tending their calves born last spring and others are in gestation. Did you know that the bull moose are typically the first members of the deer family to shed their antlers? This is primarily because shedding antlers makes foraging that much easier during the harsh months of cold weather.
Here's another fun fact, albeit having to do with an animal that is found outside the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Over Christmas break, we were asked some questions about caribou, which outside of North America are referred to as reindeer. Caribou are the only member of the deer species where both the males (bulls) and females (cows) grow antlers. Interesting enough, but have you ever wondered, why? There are two popular theories behind this. One is that the cow caribou has antlers to better protect her offspring from predators. The other theory is that the antlered cow caribou benefit by confusing adult bull caribou when it comes to identifying the young or sub-adolescent bulls in the herd are. Mature bull caribou are more apt to try to run the younger bulls out of the herd because they (the mature bulls) see the young bulls as competition. By confusing the mature bulls, the younger ones can stay in the herd longer and grow bigger and stronger before leaving the herd. This is beneficial as it gives the bull a greater chance for survival and ensuring the family genes get passed on!
As we start another great year, we hope you get a chance to join us for an unforgettable and great adventure out in the majestic western backdrop we call home. We'd love to have you and show you an incredible time!
Keep up to date with us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/brushbuck
The Staff @ BrushBuck Guide Services!