Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Extraordinary wildlife photo opportunities exist on the expansive ranches of Texas and northeastern Mexico
Different ranches have different habitats, so species may vary from one ranch to the next. If you’re after specific species, concentrate on ranches that list those. If you’re interested in wildlife variety, schedule ranches that offer different habitats. Many ranch websites will include species lists, and many ranches have built photo blinds at water holes and feeding stations and have acclimated the wildlife to these setups. Some ranches offer lodging, and some offer meals.
Planning Your Trip
Do your research. What species are potential subjects, when and where are they present, and what about breeding activity? Are they endangered or threatened? Talk with ranchers about resident species, facilities, access, roads and weather. How many days should you allow? Do you want to visit more than one area? Ask the rancher if he or she requires a minimum number of people. Many ranch hands are familiar with wildlife on the property and can help locate hard-to-find subjects like insects and reptiles. Since most of the blinds hold two or more people, consider going with a photographer friend to reduce individual expenses, especially if you plan to drive to Texas. Some ranchers prefer working with small groups, so signing up with a professional photographer or tour operator who schedules trips to the area may be your best option.
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