May 2021 - 28

the challenges the animals face. Mong said having such
images available shows why it is important for people
to work together to enhance the ability of wildlife to
move in and through human influenced landscapes.
" As stewards of the land and wildlife populations,
we have to do what we can to make things easier for
these animals, " Mong said. " Whether it's putting up
wildlife-friendly fencing, improving habitat, creating
crossings at roadways, whatever it may be, we need to
work together to get it done. "
Although the Cody area wildlife management team
placed the cameras initially looking at migrations and
movements for mule deer and elk, over the last decade
trail cameras have collected more than 600,000 images
of Wyoming's wildlife. Bighorn sheep, moose, grizzly
and black bears, mountain goats, wolves, coyotes,
American pine martens, short-tailed weasels, dusky
grouse, red fox, snowshoe hares and the inquisitive
Clark's nutcracker have all been caught on camera.
" Deer and elk have used these paths for many years
which has made them easy to find and follow, so other
animals are bound to use them, too, " Mong said.
A bighorn ewe was spotted pushing through chestdeep snow in early October. Another location showed
a ewe and lamb looking across a valley. In another shot,
a bighorn ram crossed in front of the camera. Moose
have been documented lumbering across the trails.
In another image, a mountain goat with a shed coat
walked across a ridge on a July day.
Fairly elusive animals like bobcats and mountain
lions also have found photo fame through the trail
cameras. Other images have shown wolverines crossing
the snowy expanse near Yellowstone National Park -
providing documentation of a carnivore rarely spotted
in Wyoming. Although these animals avoid interactions
with humans, the cameras provide a glimpse at their
lives few people get to observe in person.
Small animals like chipmunks, squirrels and song
birds regularly trip the shutter. On several occasions,
strutting dusky grouse have danced their way in front
of the cameras hoping to attract a mate. Another small
animal, a short-tailed weasel, rested in a snowy scape as
it looked across the valley to the open expanse of forest.
The trail cameras are typically unnoticed by wildlife, but curious critters do occasionally discover their
presence. Squirrels, chipmunks and birds are frequent
offenders, approaching and inspecting the cameras.
Bears also are curious. They have inspected and even
damaged cameras. In another case of trail camera mischief, a wolf was spotted at first with glowing eyes.
The series of images shows the wolf as it approaches
the camera, eyes set on its position. The final image
simply shows a close up view of the wolf 's eye before
it tears the camera from its perch.
Mong's images capture daring and sometimes intimate moments with wildlife. Bull elk have locked
antlers within view of the cameras, unaware their battle
28 | May 2021	

Lumbering across a ridge on the North Fork of the Shoshone River, a grizzly bear prepares to head to a winter
hibernation location.

Young-of-the-year don't get a free pass during the winter. They traverse some of the most unforgiving country in
the lower 48 alongside their moms, learning migration trails they will pass on to future generations.

Heavy snow loads during the winter and spring lead to more elk birthing calves prior to heading out for
seasonal movements.



May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2021

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https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/march-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/January2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/December2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/September2020
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