Bighorn Sheep, Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Most people who come to Badlands National Park may never see much wildlife because they stay on the Badlands Loop Road that leads through the park between the Northeast Entrance and the town of Wall and leave the car only at one of the numerous overlooks. It helps to know a little bit about the biology of the critters and birds to find locations where the chances to see and photograph them increases exponentially. However, Bighorn Sheep can be seen sometimes along the road and if that happens a traffic jam is often part of the game. Some of the Bighorns wear radio collars so the different groups can be tracked by the park staff for research or wildlife management purposes.

I have mentioned often in the past that I’m not an eyeball photographer. Most of the time I prefer the environmental photo of the animal that tells a story about the habitat the critter lives in. Quite often I zoom out and decrease the focal length of the lens below 600 mm in order to get the shot I have in mind. The Bighorn Sheep can move fast, sometimes they come too close (no, you don’t want to be there for your own safety if a big old ram comes right at you) and a moment later you wish a lens with even longer range is attached to the camera…