The wolves of Yellowstone are a passion for your guide, who has spent the last 8 years watching and photographing them. In 2020 it is time to add something new and fun to the wildlife tours and workshops, a focus on the wolves. From November through March, wolves are at their most beautiful and are much easier to see on the snow. Particularly those black wolves. For the past few years, the Wapiti Lake pack, with their white alpha female, daughter of the late White Mama, have come to the northern range in November, some in December and some in January. And, some times even later. The snow is deep in Hayden Valley, home of the Wapiti wolves, and food is scarce, so they follow the elk to the Northern Range. Additionally, the Junction Butte pack will possibly host about 30 wolves this winter. The 8 Mile pack and other wolves should also be around.
The wolves may be fairly close, 100 to 300 yards away, or only seen through a scope miles away. You guide gained most of her wolf knowledge by watching their behaviors through a scope and this taught her to be a better photographer. With the snowy landscape, we will work on getting images of wolves interacting with their environment – only luck will get us in line for close shots. We won’t be chasing the wolves around but rely on knowledge of their behavior to possibly get some shots.
Of course, we will not be able to guarantee that wolves will be seen or photographable on any given day but will do our best to find them. In the event that the wolves are taking a day off from the limelight, we will search for foxes, bison, coyotes, badgers, moose and elk to photograph.
Wolf tours run from 6 a.m. to noon, when we will begin heading back towards Gardiner. Cost will be $525 for two people, workshop or interpretive tour. No more than two people on tour.
You will be responsible for wearing warm and comfortable clothing. Be prepared for the temperatures to range 40 degrees during the course of a day. It may snow, rain or shine. It may be frosty and bitterly cold, or too warm for your jacket. I suggest a down winter jacket with fleece layers, a warm hat, gloves that will allow you to control the camera (heavy and light gloves are preferred), a face mask, sunglasses, sun screen, snow pants, good comfortable and warm boots (I use Baffin and winter Muck Luks, warm socks (I always carry an extra pair in case they get wet) and hand and toe warmers. Don’t forget to bring hand and foot warmers.
THE NEW COVID WAY
During the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, our workshops and tours will be geared towards maximum safety for all involved. Masks will be worn when distancing is not an option, inside and outside. We will highly encourage clients to drive their own vehicle and follow their guide, using walkie talkies to keep in contact. If this is not possible, we will screen each person to assure they are healthy. Your guide will be getting regular COVID tests and limiting the number of tours in order to minimize virus contact potential. And questions, please don’t hesitate to contact.
Food is scarce to non-existent in the park so bring what you need for the day. I will have a cooler to store your food in.
Photography equipment – you must know the basic settings of your camera in order to attend these workshops, and how to switch them on the fly. You will want to have 1 or 2 camera DSLR camera bodies, with a long lens, preferable 400mm or more and a landscape lens, ie 17-35 mm. If possible, a mid-range lens, Canon 100-400mm or Nikon 70-200, would be great. Most of my lenses are 2.8 or 4.0, for better images in low light. Teleconverters if you have them. I recommend having your lenses and teleconverters micro-adjust for perfect focus on all of your camera bodies. Also, make sure your sensors are clean but, I don’t recommend you doing this yourself. Bozeman Camera, in Bozeman, MT, does a great job with both of these tasks and does rent tripods and lenses for your convenience. http://bozemancamera.com 406-586-8300 – tell them Deby sent you. If you are a Nikon user, I have some telephoto lenses that can be rented. Don’t forget a tripod!
Unfortunately, we can not guarantee that you will see and/or get to photograph particular animals. Nature is nature and somedays are filled with great sightings while others can be slow and we have to work real hard.
One half of the tour amount is due at the time of registering and can not be refunded, so be sure and do all of your research before booking your tour. We recommend that you purchase trip insurance, in case the unexpected happens. The balance will be due one month prior to your tour and can be refunded if you notify us 14 days in advance.
Roads on the Northern Range are well-maintained in the winter and normally do not pose a problem unless we get a new storm during the night with high winds.
You will be responsible for transportation to Gardiner, MT, where your workshop will begin, and for your accommodations. I can make recommendations for motels and food, or you can check the “Gardiner” tab.
I have been located in Gardiner, Montana, and touring the park for photography, videography and wildlife watching on a near daily basis for the past seven winters, so please do not hesitate to ask questions. There is one grocery store in town, only a few restaurants open and not all motels are open, during the winter. Your entertainment at night will be limited to a couple of local bars, dining out, or getting warm in your room. Gardiner is a small town so you can walk almost everywhere but make sure you give the local deer and elk the right-of-way.
More information on Yellowstone in the Winter:
Private, one-day tour:
$600 for each person participating in workshop. November through March
$500 for each additional day(s), for a total of $1100 for two day private workshop
$150 for additional person/friend or spouse, who wants to come along per day, without instruction, if room is available.
Maximum 2 people on each tour/workshop
We ask that you refrain from smoking or wearing scents of any kind on the day of the tour, for the comfort of those, including your tour guide, who might have allergies.
NO firearms, or weapons of any kind
Bear spray is recommended, even in Winter
You will be responsible for your equipment and comfort, dress appropriately for winter
You must sign a waiver of responsibility before the tour
We will follow the rules set in place by the park service. Deby reserves the right to end the tour at any time if participants are rude and unwilling to follow the rules. No refund will be given.
Making a reservation:
Please contact Deby Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org to choose your date and make payment, or check the bookings calendar under the pull down menu and pay on this site. Either way.