Bighorn Sheep will arrive near the town of Jackson, WY at any time now.
The herd of around 100 plus animals migrate from an area just north of Jackson and will soon be just 10 minutes outside of town.
Their winter migration takes them from an area about 15 miles north of Jackson and outside Grand Teton National Park. They will be here until about April (snow dependent). Beautiful wildlife to see, especially up-close and frequently! After spending the winter months here, they will return to their summer range north of town.
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Trumpeter Swans are the largest and some of the most majestic of all native North American waterfowl. Adults stand at 4 ft, have a wingspan of 7 ft and can weigh up to 35 lbs.
Very soon, cygnets (this year’s newborn) will be hatched and grow big enough to fly by the end of summer. Males are referred to as “cobs”, females “pens”. Cygnets stay with their parents for 1 summer after which they will establish new/shared territories. Parents are mates for life and live on average 25 years.
These are truly a spectacular species to observe in the Yellowstone Ecosystem!!
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What are Bighorn Sheep doing aroundJackson, WY right now?
Specifically, they will soon migrate within Grand Teton National Park. Their migration from the Jackson Hole Valley should begin in only a few weeks. The ones right around Jackson will move only a few miles north (15-20 miles) in late April and then return late next fall for the winter,
Bighorn sheep have horns as opposed to antlers. Horns remain on an animal’s body for life (bison, pronghorn and sheep). In contrast, antlers are grown and shed each year (moose, elk, whitetail and mule deer).
Interestingly, both species have a penchant for salt. Although salt is not used for road maintenance here, these animals are sometimes seen in the middle of a road pawing at the ice/snow to release these tasty salt fragments from a road surface. In fact, I’ve seen mobile signs directing the public not to let these animals lick a vehicle…for safety and/or fear of disease transmission..
Moreover, here in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, these animals are an integral part of the overall ecosystem and deserve special consideration and respect when seen in close proximity.
Come see these and other magnificent animals on a private tour
with Teton Wild.
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What animal most frequently comes to mind to people when they think of “WILD”?
Bison are one of the most recognizable, iconic figures of the American West.
During the late 1800’s, they numbered in the millions. Now, around Jackson, WY there are about 500. In Yellowstone National Park, there are about 5,000 animals. Both groups can be seen fairly easily. Elsewhere in western North America and Canada, there are some “wild” populations, but few that are truly wild (unfenced) like those in Jackson and Yellowstone. The Yellowstone herd is genetically pure. The Jackson herd is not and are descendants of about a dozen bison which escaped from a ranch near Moran, WY back in the 1960’s.
Bison are herd animals and therefore travel in groups. They are grazers and feed on native grasses. An adult bull can weigh 2,200 lbs and run 35 miles an hour. Their body structure makes things more easy than for other animals when trying to find grasses buried under feet of snow. Specificly, their neck and shoulders are massive, allowing them to remove snow with their heads from the grasses they seek below. Bison normally have 1 calf in spring, which can weigh 40 lbs at birth. It is said and written that a Bison can jump a 6 ft fence. I’ve only seen them jump a 4 ft fence. Regardless, they are large animals that can be very athletic.
Here around Jackson, the local herd does not “migrate”, but they do move around. Primarily, from the area right around town to an area about 30 miles north (within Grand Teton National Park). In contrast, a portion of the bison in Yellowstone herd does “migrate” north onto private ranch lands in late winter.
There, the concern amongst ranchers is that Bison may transmit Brucellosis to the cattle/sheep. Special winter hunting seasons have been allowed to Native American Groups as well as ranchers.
Though slow and unintelligent looking, Bison are an iconic and beautiful wild animal to see up close.
Let Teton Wild Custom Wildlife Tours give your group an up close view and information about these and other animals in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
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Wildflowers will be in bloom in the Jackson Hole Valley, Grand Teton National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for the entire summer…if you know where to see them!
Beginning in late May (depending on snowpack), wildflowers here will be in full bloom and easily seen. Among the many flower varieties seen here are Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Indian Paintbrush (WY state flower) and Lupines, but flowers include dozens of other types.
The landscape absolutely explodes with color during this majestic bloom. Hummingbirds, bluebirds and other feathered species are drawn to the nectar and insects that enjoy these flowers.
This is a wonderful time to see beautiful flowers as well as newborns….elk, moose, bison, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, birds, coyotes, bears and many others.
Call Teton Wild for flower and animal updates at 770/686-1652.
The elk antler arches on the town square of Jackson, WY are one of the most iconic structures associated with the American West.The southwest corner of the town square was the 1st to get its arch in 1953. Funded by the local Rotary Club, additional arches were added between 1966 and 1969.
As these are real elk antlers, they naturally decompose over time and are replaced about every 30-40 years.
Arches are but by workers who weave each antler (weighing about 20 pounds each) into a steel frame and then screw the antlers down to provide extra support and prevent theft. Each arch contains up to 12,000 ponds of antlers,
some of which come from the Jackson Hole Boy Scout Troop. The remainder are purchased from regional collectors/dealers throughout the mountain west.
Get more information on elk and other wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from Teton Wild.
Bears are going through a major change right now in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Specifically, they are emerging from their winter dens.
The 1st to emerge (happening right now) will be adult males, then mothers with last year’s cubs, then mothers with newborns. All will come out of the den ravenous and will be constantly looking for food.
For a few months, they will focus on winter kills (elk, moose, bison) and then roots, flowers and grasses. Later in summer they turn to white bark pine seeds and ripe berries and even army cutworm moths..
Once back in the den for hibernation in December, bears will not eat, urinate or defecate until the following spring.
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