Ms. Terri's cousin Don Brazeale has been talking about going to shoot prairie dogs for a long time. He recently retired from farming near Pine Bluff so I set up a trip to Eastern Wyoming to shoot for two days at the Rockin 7 Ranch near Shawnee, Wyoming. I didn't really want to drive to Wyoming for two days, then shoot for two days and then drive home, so I scheduled a trip to the Nature Conservancy's Pine Butte Guest Ranch near Choteau, Montana with a side trip to Yellowstone National Park on the way home. We traveled for nine days, drove 4,039.7 miles, and saw a large part of the country that neither one of us has seen before.
The highlights included the Pine Butte Guest Ranch. It is located where the Montana prairie meets the Rocky Mountains along side the South Fork of the Teton River. Snow had fallen the weekend before we got there and some was still covering the mountain tops. The Pine Butte Swamp Preserve is located near the ranch. Jim Culver, manager of the ranch, gave us a private tour of the swamp area. The only way to safely watch wildlife in the swamp is to climp the mountain about 500 feet and glass the swamp. I was able to see my first moose from there. Even with my 200-400 lens, it was too far for a pic. There were lots of birds and animals that we had not seen before. I would definitely recommend the ranch for a vacation trip. Ms. Terri and I are already planning a return trip for a week or two.
The other highlight was travelling through Yellowstone National Park. We did not have alot of time, but we were able to see quite alot. Bison crossing a river, a bald eagles nest, elk, and the geysers. When we got to the continental divide at 8,400 feet there was three foot of snow in the timber, 34 degrees, and snowing. The rivers inside and out of the park were moving fast with lots of white water.
A small Herd of Bison crossing the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park.