Billy Mountain Goat captured by D4s / 80-400VR

It’s late summer and school for many’s kids begins shortly. All you gotta do is head to a National Park and you know lots and lots and lots of folks are on their summer vacation. For many photographers, this is their opportunity to get that shot, try that new lens or experience their thrill of critter photography for months. Perhaps you planned for the last six months to get to Logan Pass, Glacier Nat’l Park. You’ve seen killer photos of their Mountain Goats and you want one of your own. You got to Glacier, you even got through the reservation system so you can drive the Going to the Sun Road. You’re excited as there is no wildfire smoke, you even have a slight cloud cover nicely diffusing the light. You get to Logan Pass and even find a parking spot. Success!

You get out with your favorite lens (it doesn’t take much length) and you walk towards the large gathering of folks. You come up to them to see the Mountain Goats! But you take a second look cause the photos you saw from Logan Pass are not what you’re seeing in front of you. Most don’t realize the summer is not the best time to photograph big game or bears, or anything that grows a winter coat. That’s because they molt that thick coat off so they can grow a new one for winter while staying cool during the summer. I refer to them as “moth-eaten” but that’s not the cause of the ugly coat. And without that winter coat, well, they just don’t look the same. So if you’re summer plans include photography big game, maybe later?

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