Montana Call of the Wild Photography
I have never been to the Nation Bison Range in the winter so yesterday I decided to visit there. In the summer there is a 19 mile long road that runs through the range but in the winter this road is closed. They do maintain a 10 mile stretch of road, that for the most, part runs along Mission Creek. There was 3-4 inches of fresh snow that had fallen the night before and it was interesting to see all the new tracks crisscrossing the range with many going up and over the high ridges within the refuse. The first thing that got my attention were the Mission Mountains as they rise up from the valley floor. Rugged and magnificent , they were the dominating feature as I drove the road. The wildlife for the most part was seen from a distance. Along Mission Creek there was an immature Bald Eagle perched in a tree that I watched for awhile. They told us at the Visitor Center about Golden Eagles being seen there in the last few days and I hoped to see one, but none were spotted. As I was watching the Bald Eagle I noticed up the road a large brown spot half hidden in the trees and I thought it could be a buffalo. I drove up the road and sure enough it was a buffalo. Still covered with snow he was by himself and feeding on the grasses under the snow. I got out the camera and took several photographs as he fed along and eventually laid down not far away from my truck. I stayed with this bison for quite awhile. Next, I spotted a whitetail deer coming up from the river below and was joined by another shortly thereafter. In the course of the day I saw 3 coyotes, a herd of elk up high on the ridge, several bald eagles, hawks, lots a deer, several herds of bison, and an awesome sunset. Later in the day I watched a coyote as he worked his way high up onto a snow covered ridge. He disappeared and reappeared several times and would sit for several minutes before continuing his journey. He eventually worked his way back down into the valley and out of sight. As I left the bison range the Mission Mountains to the east came alive with color as the sun went down. A fabulous day!