A Prairie Backdrop for Snapping Fall Splendor, Photography Kicks Off in Missouri River Country

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Get your camera and head to Missouri River County September 25 kicks off elk bugling season

A spray of vivid orange dances across leaves rustling in a crisp breeze, it’s autumn in Missouri River Country! The changing foliage against the unique prairie landscape provides photographers with an exquisite backdrop to take in plentiful wildlife. This fall, the foliage is especially vibrant due to the wet spring and summer that Eastern Montana experienced. Pictures of hillsides on fire with fall colors and ceremonious bull elk bugling and clashing antlers are just a click away in Missouri River County.

Mid-September elk begin to perform their rut, gathering and competing against other bulls for control of their harem. A can’t-miss spectacle the rut also makes for exciting photos. September 25 is the peak of the rut season and bugling can be heard constantly as bulls circle and clash in cottonwood-ringed meadows. At the Slippery Ann Wildlife Viewing Area in the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge, hundreds of elk can be photographed battling in this mating ritual against a luminescent backdrop of local fall foliage. The best opportunities are at dawn and dusk when the elk are most active and the light is just right for that perfect shot.

On your way to Slippery Ann, make sure to stop by the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge for a spectacle of a different style. This refuge is home to a series of wetlands and lakes that provide habitat for over 230 different species of birds. October is the best time to visit when up to 100,000 migrating water and shore birds rest at Bowdoin on their way south. These include geese, ducks, cormorants, gulls, ibis, heron and many more. However, Bowdoin is best known for its nesting colonies of white pelicans. The stark white of these birds presents a wonderful contrast to the vibrant wetlands. The birds are most active in the morning and early evening. At these times the skyline paints a beautiful background for any shot.

Any subject you choose to shoot in Missouri River Country will pop with the rich colors of the prairie in fall. This year is the time to visit for fall splendor, since the rain has revived the prairie and made the native foliage burst with the hues of all. The numerous wildlife refuge inhabitant’s activities provide a focus for photos with tension and beauty. Fall is the perfect season to grab your camera and explore the interesting landscapes and native wildlife that Missouri River Country has to offer.

For more information on Montana’s Missouri River Country and a complete listing of activities and communities, please visit missouririver.visitmt.com.

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Sarah Ziska
Wendt Advertising and Public Relations
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