To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. -Theodore Roosevelt

Wildlife Caught on Camera – Volume 9

Put your boots on because it’s time to head over to Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front. On the Club’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch, we’re a tad voyeuristic when it comes to wildlife there. From elk to mule deer and badgers to bears, there are plenty of claws, teeth, antlers, and horns to catch on camera. 

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The ranch has 33 active wildlife trail cameras set in key locations, and those cameras take thousands of shots every year. The job of sorting those photos falls to Chris Hansen, postdoctoral research associate at the University of Montana and Boone and Crockett Fellow. As you read this, it’s highly likely that Hansen is out in the field pulling memory cards and changing batteries to bring us a fresh crop of photos from this past winter and spring. Here are a few more highlights from the fall of 2022. 

Want to see more wildlife in action? Three of the 10 images have video available!

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1 of 10—Shiras' moose (Alces alces shirasi) 

While this moose appears perfectly content on land, they are excellent swimmers and have been known to swim up to six miles without stopping. They use their large, webbed hooves to help them paddle through the water and dive up to 20 feet to reach underwater vegetation. 


2 of 10—Elk (Cervus canadensis)

At midnight in mid-September, bull elk do not sleep. Big bulls like this one are fueled by the need to breed and pass on genes to a receptive cow. 


3 of 10—Mountain lion (Puma concolor)

Rumor has it that if you see a mountain lion in the woods, it’s been watching you for a while. They are territorial animals and mark their territory with urine, feces, and scratch marks. And if you’ve ever heard a lion scream, you never forget the sound. 


4 of 10— Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus)

Aside from their namesake ears being able to hear predators coming from far away, mule deer can jump up to 10 feet in a single leap to escape. 


5 of 10—Elk (Cervus canadensis)

Once the elk rut is over, bulls become friends again and gather in bachelor herds, presumably for protection from predators. No one knows if they do partner up because they get lonely. 

Watch Video


6 of 10—Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)

The only time you want to be this close to a sow and her cub is from the comfort of your computer screen looking at a trail cam photo. 


7 of 10—Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus)

The mule deer rut hasn’t quite hit this buck yet. When it does in a little more than a month, testosterone will cause its neck to swell and every brain cell to leave its body as it becomes enthralled with just one thing—breeding. 

Watch Video


8 of 10—Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)

Plenty of grizzlies bears roam the TRMR, and with that distinct shoulder hump, they aren’t tough to identify most of the time. This bear still has a couple of months before hibernation, and food is always on its mind. 


9 of 10—American Badger (Taxidea taxus)

These feisty critters are excellent diggers and spend a significant amount of time underground. They create complex burrow systems called setts, which can have multiple chambers and entrances. These burrows serve as their shelter, nesting place, and food storage.


10 of 10—Coyote (Canis latrans)

The coyote is the Swiss Army knife of predators. It fits right into urban landscapes and doesn’t mind the traditional great wide open spaces, either. They are highly vocal and eat just about anything from insects and rodents to roadkill and snakes. 

All images and associated video © 2021-2022 The University of Montana



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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt