Our Teton area and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem offers some of the most incredible photographic opportunities on the planet! But, did you know that many photographers that visit or live here are unaware of some of the impact that we could have on our wildlife subjects?
Shoot To Care is a program developed by the Teton Photography Club to educate photographers and visitors on how to get great shots using best practices for responsible and sustainable nature photography.
What is the #100yardpledge?
• Download a sign at Friends of Bridger-Teton
• Take a selfie with the sign
• COPY AND PASTE the post text and hashtags and post to social media!
#tpc #tetonphotographyclub #tetonphotoclub #keepjacksonholewild @grandtetonnps @yellowstonenps @bridgertetonfriends @usfws_nationalelkrefuge @jhwildlifefoundation #jacksonholebirdandnatureclub @jhalliance #wyoming #bears #jacksonhole
Grizzly Bear 863, aka Felicia, is out of her den and frequenting the highway near Togwotee Pass. Many photographers are taking this opportunity to get out to view and photograph her. TPC would like to remind our members to practice “social distancing” with grizzlies and best photography ethics with all wildlife.
The Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish, and WYDOT are alarmed by the risks people are taking on the highway and approaching too close to Felicia in cars and on foot for photos. People have been observed approaching her on snowshoes, blocking her movements, blocking traffic, disregarding speeding highway traffic, and making U-turns on the highway. This is a recipe for tragedy, and everyone is concerned for the safety of people, traffic, and Felicia.
Give bears 100 yards!
Grizzlies can run upward of 35mph and cover 150 feet in three seconds. Also understand that bears and other wildlife may not show outward signs of being stressed or agitated. Early spring is a stressful time as bear foods are limited.
Please Shoot to Care and follow these tips:
• Stay 100 yards from bears at all times, even in your vehicle. However, if you are in your vehicle and a bear is moving toward you, stay put so you do not alter their movement or cut off their path.
• Park only at pull-offs — do not park on the highway shoulder except in an emergency.
• Stay with your vehicle and photograph from there. If a bear approaches, get in your vehicle and roll up the windows.
• Allow bears to travel and cross the road where they wish: give them space, do not approach, crowd them, or do anything that alters their behavior or their movement.
• Do not make U-turns across the highway.
• Stay aware of highway traffic – do not open car doors into or step into the roadway.
• Follow directions of Forest Service, WYGF, and WYDOT staff, the Highway Patrol, and bear ambassador volunteers.
• Be friendly and polite to other photographers, even if you see questionable behavior. Gently educate when and if you can.
• Shoot to Care: represent TPC by putting the well-being of wildlife and the safety of people first.
• A habituated bear is a dead bear. Please keep our bears (and yourself) safe.
Shoot To Care is supported by partners that have joined the TPC to develop ethical and responsible wildlife photography practices: Jackson Hole Bird and Nature Club, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Friends of Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and the National Elk Refuge. Together, these partners have developed a foundation of core ethical principles for responsible wildlife photographers. The Teton Photography Club received funding from the Art Association of Jackson Hole and a grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole to help forward the educational program.
We’ll have more information about the best practices for wildlife photography in the weeks and months to come. If you are interested in learning more about Shoot To Care, e-mail: info@TetonPhotographyClub.org.
To access the full Shoot To Care Wildlife Photography Ethics Statement click: Principles of Wildlife Photography Ethics
To access the Shoot To Care Wildlife Photography Ethics Brochure click: Shoot To Care brochure
Here is another point of view from wildlife photographer, George Lepp: Keeping Wildlife Wild
The Darker Side of Wildlife Photography — Understanding Ethical Practices by Tusk Photo and Picture Correct.
The North American Nature Photography Association updated their document, Principles of Ethical Field Practices: