US Highway 14 Alternate is one of my favorite stretches of tarmac in America. The road is closed between Burgess Junction, a mountain pass at 8,040 feet, and the town of Lovell, WY, all winter; as a result, many species of animal, including deer, mountain lion, elk, and moose make themselves comfortable in the absence of humans, and are still present in the spring when the road reopens.
The day Highway 14A reopened, I was there, camera and new Tamron 16-300mm Di II VC PZD MACRO lens in hand. I wanted to test the telephoto capabilities of this light, compact lens, and spy on a native wildlife. I got my chance, and then some.
My first wildlife encounter on the mountain was with this beautiful young moose. I kept a safe distance from the animal, and used every bit of the Tamron’s incredible 300mm focal length to shoot crisp, immaculately detailed images that would have been more difficult to capture with bigger, heavier gear. I spent all day along Highway 14A, and managed to photograph more than a dozen moose, more deer than I care to count, a single female elk, and a bunch of fuzzy marmots. If I had spotted a bear or a cougar I would have had enough content for my own digital ark.
I didn’t change lenses even once during my wildlife safari—the new Tamron 16-300mm lens had more than enough magnifying power —18.8X — to help me tell a wonderful story of wildlife in the Bighorn Mountains.
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