2018 Spring Dakotas Photo Tour
Dates: June 1 - 8th Cost: $1400 (includes local transportation)
and optional 8 - 11st for Wild Horses photo tour Cost: $570
(includes local transportation)

Photo Tours limited to 8 participants


The Dakotas merge an incredible mix of landscape with world class wildlife to create the perfect recipe for photo opportunities that can be found no where else on earth! Mountains and black hills meet the Great Plains, grasslands touch the badlands and on this border there is a wealth of wildlife. Come join us in June of 2018 for a fantastic photo tour in the Dakotas.

We're timing this trip to give you a chance to photograph recently born baby animals as well the colors of spring. And we'll be able to enjoy the highlights of spring largely by ourselves. This is THE time to be photographing in the Dakotas, you won't want to miss it!

Take a look at all of the exciting subjects that we will help you photograph...

Bison     Elk     Antelope     Mule Deer     Prairie Dogs     Bighorn Sheep     Wild Horses
    Other wildlife     Landscape     Stars     Time Lapse     REGISTRATION    


Over thousands of years Bison and fire have worked together to mold the grasslands. You'll get to photograph one of the few places left where Bison herds are still shaping and grazing the landscape in a meaningful way. This is the time of the year when bison cows are giving birth to calves. You'll see rust colored calfs scampering on unsteady legs to keep up with the herd and then nursing during moments of rest. We'll also show you wallows where Bison roll and rub to scratch those hard to reach itches, a great place to capture the character of the enormous bulls that roam the landscape.


In fall elk migrate from higher elevation to low lands, led by bulls. In spring they reverse the migration and head back up to the high lands, this time led by cows. We might catch fleeting glimpses of mature bulls during the week, but the large herds that we see will be cows, last years calves and juvenile bulls. If we are lucky we might even get to see a calf. You'll have a chance to photograph herds of elk streaming out of the grasslands and up into the higher elevations.


Antelope are ubiquitous in the grasslands of the Dakotas. They can be almost invisible from a distance once they are bedded down, but during the mornings and evenings when they are most active we'll have plenty of opportunities to photograph them.

Mule Deer

Mule deer are another animal that we'll see mostly at the ends of the day and will be bedded down during much of the middle of the day. We'll have good chances to incorporate them into landscape images of the Badlands and they'll be giving birth to fawns while we are on the photo tour too!

Prairie Dogs

We'll have several opportunities to photograph Prairie Dogs on the photo tour. These fun, charismatic animals live in colonies called towns. The tour is scheduled at a special time when the young of the year are just starting to make their appearances outside of the burrows. Prairie Dogs have very intricate tunnels with rooms designated for specific functions. One of the rooms is the nursery where the babies live and are nursed. There are lots of activities going on in the towns to photograph. Some of the Prairie Dogs will be on look out and will bark warnings to the rest of the town if a predator is near by. Others will be busy digging out or expanding burrows. Some will be laying next to each other, basking in the sun, some will great each other with kisses, and some will be sharing their burrows with many other Prairie Dogs - the more the merrier!

Bighorn Sheep

In the Badlands we'll be able to photograph Bighorn Sheep. The rams will be in bachelor groups, and the ewes and lambs will be together in small herds. They are exciting to watch, and a little nerve racking at times too. You'll see the sheep walking and resting in spots with incredibly small foot holds. And you might even find yourself holding your breath as you photograph a sheep making a death defying descent down a steep wall!

Optional Trip to Photograph Wild Horses

At the end of the week there will be an optional trip up to Medora, North Dakota to photograph wild horses. This is a mini photo tour following the main photo tour, from Friday to Sunday. We'll see other animals, but the main focus of this trip will be wild horses. We'll have the opportunity to photograph the drama and majesty of several bands of wild horses and we should see new born foals too. There are about 20 bands of horses that roam the area and we'll be able to capture part of their ongoing life stories.

Other Wildlife: Prairie Chickens, Marmots, Bluebirds, Burros, Turkeys, Rabbits, Coyotes, Meadowlarks...

There are plenty of other birds and animals that we'll have the opportunity to photograph on this trip as well!


Wildlife may be the emphasis of the photo tour, but we'll also have plenty of opportunities to photography the landscape of the Dakotas on this trip too. There is an interesting juxtaposition between the main areas that we'll be visiting, the Black hills and the Badlands. One has sensuously, curved horizons and the other has sharp craggy horizons. Also in the badlands there are "popcorn mounds" where the surface of the land has a popcorn texture when dry and in places has a vibrant multicolored hue. There are lots of ways to capture the character of the land, from the macro scale all the way out to far vistas.


We'll also have the opportunity to make "Starscape" images on this trip as well. If you are not familiar with how to make images of the stars please contact Charles before the trip and he'll be able to suggest a fairly inexpensive lens that you can purchase before the trip and then he'll teach you how to make starscape images during the photo tour.

Time Lapse and Nature of the Wild

The area that we'll be visiting during the photo tour is part of a continent wide project that Charles St. Charles is involved in that is placing time lapse cameras through out different eco regions. When this project is done there will be at least 90 cameras recording time lapse video through out the continent, a map of the continent will show time lapse video running in near real time inside the map and you'll be able to tap inside any region in the map to get a closer look at what is happening in that region.

During our photo tour you'll be able to learn more about this project, where cameras are being placed during our visit, and how you will be able to get involved if you want to.


Each photo tour is limited to only 8 participants.
Click here to register online
Cost includes local transportation, and entrance fees into all parks. Fly-in for the photo tour is the Rapid City, SD Regional Airport on Friday June 1st. If you need a pickup at the airport please let is know and we'll help pick you up. Friday evening we'll get together for introductions and an outline of the rest of the photo tour. A detailed itinerary with more information will be provided before the trip. You will also be asked to provide contact information, dietary and health restrictions, etc. before the trip. On Friday the 8th we'll help those of you who are just doing the initial photo tour return to the airport, and the rest of us will head up to North Dakota for the additional Wild Horses photo tour.

Please let us know what we can do to make this a rewarding, enjoyable photo tour for you.
For more information contact Jennifer@NatureOfTheWild.com 231-884-5508.
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