Wildlife & Nature


There are many places to get a great shot of the highest mountain in North America—and not all of them are in Denali National Park. On a clear day, you can spot the towering snow-capped dome from Anchorage. Talkeetna affords a backside view along a picturesque river. Flightseeing provides exceptional close-ups. But going to the park delivers some choice locations for creative composition.

An Alaska Wolf’s Final Journey On the peaks above the Coleen and Sheenjek Rivers, where patches of bare ground dotted the south-facing hillsides and meltwater plunged toward both rivers, hardy Pasque flowers swayed in the breeze. Golden eagles, having returned from southern wintering areas, circled the summits seeking ptarmigan camouflaged in the rocks. A few ground squirrels, fresh out of hibernation, skittered their alarm calls as the wolf trotted by on the trails carved by migrating caribou. The wind carried the scent of grizzly bears, awake from their long winter sleep. Now the wolf had more competition to consider; the scent of winterkill was irresistible to bears and wolves alike.  By now the Wanderer had already traversed the territory of many other wolves, crossing the tracks and trails of hunting wolves several times on his journey into the snowy mountains. Each time, he stopped to investigate the scent, looking for…

Carnivore Confessions I tried to be a vegetarian once. I reasoned that if I couldn’t kill an animal myself, then I had no business allowing someone else to do it. The problem was that I hated vegetables (still do). Without meat or leafy greens, my diet consisted of cheese pizza, beer, and boxes of glazed donuts, much like it had in college. But I’m not in college. I’m a grown-ass woman who knows better. I lasted four months. But it did force me to examine my views on hunting. I grew up in Texas, surrounded by deer leases and guns. Over time, I heard every rationale for taking the life of an animal. I hunt because I love animals. My hunting license goes toward preserving wildlife. We use every part of the animal. Nothing goes to waste. It’s a tradition and bonding experience. Hunting is a valuable outdoor skill. I…