A smartphone snapping a photo of a bright yellow flower in a grassy field

Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography.  That’s not surprising – the digital camera population explosion and cell phones with ever-improving picture-taking abilities are increasing the number of nature photographers at a rapid rate.  You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started.  A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

In fact, chances are you will arrive in an mobile photography blind- your vehicle! Many wonderful and close-up photos of pronghorn, mule deer, burrowing owls, sage-grouse and other animals are captured by visitors right through an open car window. Remember, many of the animals you will see are expending valuable energy breeding and caring for their young so don't pursue or harass wildlife to get a better photograph.

To avoid disturbing Greater sage-grouse during their mating season, you must have a Refuge Special Use Permit and follow special rules when viewing or photographing sage-grouse from March 1 until June 1.