Deer, Elk and Antelope - Craig Goettsch Photography


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Snake River Crossing

I had set up along the end of the Oxbow Bend Road for the first time, not knowing what I would see that early, misty morning. There were some other fellow wildlife watchers present, but they said it was a slow morning and they were headed off to another location. The air was quiet and the mood created by the mist coming off the Snake River and the distant bugling of bull elk was mesmerizing. I saw some geese on a small spit of land that jutted out into the river and snapped away. The image "Into the Mist" shows these geese. About ten minutes later I had been turned around looking in another direction when I glanced back at the same spot. To my surprise, this bull elk had ever so quietly entered the river and was walking towards the island that divided the river here. He proceeded to cross and then disappeared into the island undergrowth. A short time later he emerged on the other side of the island and began to cross the main channel towards the other bank. This side was much deeper and rather than walk across he had to swim. Soon, only his head and antlers remained above the water. He came out on the opposite bank and emerged dripping wet with steam rising from his body in the cool morning air. He shook a few times, looked at me and satisfied, he went off, searching for the other bulls that were bugling. What a morning!

Fall 2015Grand Tetons 2015