A collection of 2017’s Cast of Characters
This is my 12th year of digitally photographing Moose in the Jackson Hole area. I know I am lucky to live in an area where I get to see them on a regular basis. In fact, some of them spend the winter in our neighborhood. Photography is generally good for Moose from mid-August through the end of December when the bulls shed their antlers. This page contains photos of some of the Bulls I’ve photographed in 2017. I am positive these are not all of the bulls, but it shows a fair number and it documents the variations you might see in GTNP.
Washakie: This old bull has been frequenting the Gros Ventre for many years. Based on 2006 photos of him, I’d estimate him to be around 16-17 years old. Washakie has cuts in each ear, a scratch on the right side of his muzzle and distinctive brow tines. This post is being made on the 17th of November. The last photo I took of him this year was on September 21st—causing me to worry about him. In most years, he is out in the sage with the other big bulls by mid November.
Fremont: The first time I saw this bull in 2017 was on October 10. He was on the move across from the JH Airport, heading towards the Gros Ventre. He’s a beautiful bull with distinctive tines and few cuts or secondary markings. Fremont took residence along the Gros Ventre, where I managed to take thousands of photos of him. He moved north to the Ditch Creek Drainage recently.
Jedediah: This is the largest bull I’ve seen in Grand Teton National Park, though other people report a larger one in the Willow Flats area. He has been hanging around Ditch Creek and the Science School Road over the past few weeks.
Twister: I’ve seen this bull quite a few times along the Gros Ventre and again near Ditch Creek. His left brow tine is twisted and his paddles are relatively thin.
Names? None of the bulls I saw this year have tags or collars, and as far as I know, none of them have official animal numbers (Like Grizzlies 399 and 610). I usually give them names to help me identify them from year to year. I apply keywords in Lightroom with the names, making it easier to find all of my “Washakie” photos. Obviously, anyone can call them any other name they wish, or no names at all!
Firecracker: I found this bull in mid-August along the Gros Ventre while he was still in velvet. I got photos of him stripping his velvet, and have been able to take photos of him regularly throughout the fall and early winter.
Faux Firecracker: When I first saw this bull, I was sure it was Firecracker, but after studying numerous photos of each, I am sure they are two different bulls. These photos were taken along the Moose-Wilson Road.
Moose-Wilson Moose: Another couple of bulls spotted in the pond on the Moose-Wilson Road.
Spatch: This little bull seems to always be in the thick of things. One of his antlers resembles a spatula and has an additional spike.
Junior: Each year, I see several two and three year old bulls. This one is fairly distinctive with a long dewlap. His brow tines have two points on his left side and one spike on the right.
More Juniors: Some of the small bulls show up for a day or two and then disappear.
Double Deuce: Most bulls have something distinctive to help identify them. Some have twists in their tines as seen above. Others have thick paddles or nubby tines.
Uni Tines: This bull’s brow tines are distinctive and a bit unusual. His paddles are thin, while his tines are long.
3 x 2: I only saw this bull along the Gros Ventre a few times. His brow tines resemble Washakie’s brow tines in some years. Notice the lack of dewlap under the bell.
Challenger and Mid-Sized Bull: The bull on the left showed up one day and challenged Fremont. In eleven years of photographing the area moose, it was the first time I got to see a full-on challenge, though it was short lived. The bull on the right is probably five years old. He should be a beautiful bull in a few years.
West Bank Bull: As the season progresses, I expect to see more bulls assembling in the sage flats north of Kelly. One year, I counted 24 antlered Moose in the sage, and I am sure some of the others were bulls that had already lost their antlers. The bull seen here was photographed near the Wilson Bridge in August. I went back numerous times in search of him, but they can easily disappear in the developments and golf course on the West Bank. There are quite a few Moose along the Snake River, but access to them is limited.
Oxbow Bend: Not that many years ago, we could find Moose regularly around Oxbow Bend and Willow Flats, but now only a few use the area. One is reported to be very large, however. I photographed this bull in late September. Some winter in that region, but I’d bet most of them move to the southern portion of the park. Other bulls can be seen on Togwotee Pass.
I counted 20 different bulls on this page as I post it today. I’ll try to add a few more as I can document them.
Photos on this page were captured with either a Nikon D5, D810, or D850. Most were captured with a Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.
Additional Moose Pages
- Moose of Grand Teton National Park: 2013
- Late October Wildlife: Owls and Moose
- Washakie: One of the Big Bull Moose of the Gros Ventre
- Custer: Majestic Bull Moose Along the Gros Ventre River
- Elvis—King of the Gros Ventre
- Antlers and Wyoming’s Shiras Moose
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