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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Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a very real concern here in Jackson Hole. CWD is very similar to mad cow disease. It is rooted in a prion, an abnormal cell in an animals body which reduces its ability to combat disease. It is a fatal disease!
CWD is transmitted between animals via the ingestion of browse which has been urinated/defecated upon and then spread by animals that have stepped onto an affected area. Thusly, the disease can be spread from one deer species to another (mule deer, whitetail deer, elk and moose).
The major concern here in Jackson Hole is that, if spread, such transmission could have a disastrous
ecological impact both in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and the overall Yellowstone Ecosystem. The disease was confirmed near Jackson Hole (in Grand Teton) just last year when a road-killed mule deer tested positive for the disease.
Currently, environmental groups are in legal proceedings against the National Elk Refuge (overseen by US Fish and Wildlife Service) to reduce elk numbers and supplemental feeding there in an effort to minimize possible transmission of CWD.The concern is that so many animals in such close proximity to each other may pose a significant reason for concern of the disease transmission.
For more information, contact Teton Wild at www.tetonwild.com.
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#Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
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.
Teton Wild,LLC is a scenic and wildlife tour company in Jackson Hole, WY specializing in private, vehicle-based tours in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the spectacular scenery of The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Tours focus on the abundant wildlife species which exist here (moose, elk, bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, whitetail/mule deer, bears, wolves, eagles and many others) along with geology, botany and history.
All tours are performed in 6 passenger SUVs providing ample opportunity for scenic/wildlife viewing and photography.
Park entry fee, drinks, snacks and optics are provided.