Sunrise over the Gros Ventre mountains. National Forests surrounding Grand Teton and Yellowstone contain over 11 million acres of habitat, compared to just 2.5 million acres inside the park boundaries.
Elk in fog. As the rut, or mating season winds down, herds of elk will soon begin the annual migration towards the valleys of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Retreating from deep snows in the high country they will endure the long winter on fat reserves from the summer bounty. 📷@joshmettenphoto #myjhecotour
A female pronghorn leads the herd after crossing a specially designed overpass near Daniel, Wyoming. These wildlife crossings not only protect local herds from car collisions but are a part of the Path of the Pronghorn, a 100 mile migration route starting in Grand Teton National Park. This migration is thought to be over 6000 years old and is one of the longest overland migrations in the Americas. Without it we could lose our pronghorn population in the Jackson Hole Valley. I've driven under the overpasses (there are two plus additional underpasses) many times but last week at dawn was the first time I witnessed them in action. Thanks to @verlin_carlton for pulling over so I could geek out on this amazing natural phenomena. 🤓📷👍🏻
I love sharing how awesome mule deer are with my guests. They hold the longest known overland migration in the Americas besides caribou (150+ miles each way, right here in Wyoming), eat over 700 species of plants, selecting the most nutritious ones throughout the year, and can fade into the woods or sagebrush like ghosts. Incredible survivors. #muleymonday
I eat elk. Just like this wolf here. We are both fortunate to have an intact ecosystem and network of public lands which support large herds of elk, pronghorn, mule deer, moose, bison and bighorn sheep. We share the landscape with other hunters too; grizzly and black bear, dozens of birds of prey, coyotes, foxes, and the elusive mountain lion.
As a fellow hunter I know my food requires good quality summer range, winter range to avoid the deep snows of Wyoming's long winter, and safe migration corridors to get between the two, some of which are over 150 miles long one way! I see the challenges they face along the way; hundreds of barbed wire fences which can entrap and starve an animal, dangerous road crossings, and loss of habitat from oil and gas development and subdivisions.
Last week I harvested a bull elk out of the Bridger-Teton National Forest. His meat will feed my friends and family for the next year, a constant reminder of the value of the public lands around us. And what I left behind will feed the grizzly bear whose tracks I found a few hundred yards from where he fell, the wolf who crossed the road in front of me on the drive in, and dozens of other species from gray jays to insects.
And, when his remains decay into the earth, the soil will receive a boost of fertility. Green grasses will spring forth around his bones, feeding the next generation of herbivores which sustain the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Watch my IG story to see more about the hunt.
Good morning and happy Public Lands Day! With over 2.5 million acres of National Parks and 11 million acres of surrounding National Forests, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem makes up some of our favorite public land! Get out and celebrate your public land today, entrance to all National Parks is free! 📷 by @joshmettenphoto on safari in Grand Teton National Park yesterday! #myjhecotour
Happy Public Lands Day!
With around 640 million acres of Public Land in the United States there's something for everyone, and everything, like the bison herds of Yellowstone National Park. The Wild public lands of the western US are a priceless treasure and one of our best ideas.
It's free admission to the National Parks today, get out and enjoy them!
Our 50th anniversary celebration in Lander was a true testament to why we do the work we do. We were honored to be surrounded by so many people who share our passion for Wyoming. Thank you to everyone who attended and who has supported us throughout the years. Here’s to the next 50 . . . and beyond! #WOC50th
Fall is officially here and the camping gear remains out and ready to pack for my annual fall trip this weekend. Word has it my mini me may join me again! I am always up for an adventure buddy💚🍂 #thenationalparkspass#weekendinthewoods
It's my favorite time of year. Elk are all over right now in full rut. To me this seasonal behavior represents the spirit of the west, there are few sounds more emblematic of the wild than the bugle of an elk.
I head to Lander Saturday to hunt with @artemis_sportswomen and @firstlitehunting team member @jessjohnson89. As a public lands and wildlife advocate Jessi cares more about the future of wildlife in Wyoming than anyone I know and I'm thrilled for the opportunity.
We've been seeing some beautiful antler growth from our deer species this year! Guide @joshmettenphoto found this beautiful mule deer buck on a recent Grand Teton Tour. Antlers are used to establish a dominance hierarchy, determining who gets to mate! #myjhecotour
Happy belated National Hunting and Fishing Day! I'm a relatively new hunter, not having grown up participating. For over 100 years hunters and anglers have worked to bring back wildlife populations from near destruction. Populations today are the highest in over 150 years. I was out celebrating the holiday (check my instagram story) yesterday, this shot is from my pronghorn hunt last week. The herd ran across the road in front of me as I was driving to a parking spot to stalk a buck I had spotted over a mile from the road, go figure...
After a week of storms we were rewarded with this view. Great shot from guide @like_a_wren. Join us on a safari today, all trips are 10% off through October 15th when you book online and use the code ETAFALL2017. #myjhecotour
LANDER, it's always a pleasure. Thanks #wyomingoutdoorcouncil for inspiring the conservationists and confirming that Wyoming is"a deep red state with a blue soul and a green heart." ❤️❤️ Also the dirtbag in me really appreciated all the free food. #woc50th . Now, to Moab!
Pronghorn are super athletes, evolved on the plains with the North American cheetah as a pacer. Capable of sprints of over 60mph and sustained runs of 35mph they are truly amazing creatures. We spotted close to 100 in Grand Teton yesterday, bunching up for the mating season and preparing for the fall migration.
I successfully hunted my first pronghorn buck this weekend. Sneaking up on a wary animal with long range vision, then tracking it through several miles of difficult terrain, relying on a faint blood trail and occasional hoof print before finally harvesting him was a test to my physical and mental strength. Opportunities like this one are a result of a century of hunter funded conservation, bringing wildlife back from the brink. The truth is in the numbers, larger populations and biodiversity today than in the last 150 years. And none of that would have been possible without the open expanses of habitat protected by public land. #publiclandowner