Current issue: January-February 2018

January-February 2018

36th Annual photo issue:

New technology continually expands the artistic boundaries of outdoor photography—from Kodak’s introduction of the portable “Brownie” in 1900 to, a century later, the digital cameras now used by nearly everyone.

An innovation revolutionizing wildlife photography most recently is the trail camera, also known as the camera trap. Versions of the device were pioneered in part by FWP’s Tim Manley, a Kalispell-based bear management specialist who rigged up cameras with infrared and motion sensors to photograph grizzlies. Camera traps allow photographers to capture images of wildlife so close you can almost smell the fur. And to do so while they are miles away when the shutter actually releases.

Kalon Baughan, a wildlife painter and photographer in Helmville, produced the stunning bobcat image on the cover using a remotely triggered digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera set in a remote area of the Pintler Mountains. In addition to the woodcraft required to know where to place a camera trap to photograph various wildlife species, Baughan relies on his artist’s eye for camera and flash placement and framing. “Here, I purposely set the camera at a very low angle of view, putting the viewer at the subject animal’s eye level, while using a wide-angle lens to enhance the illusion of feeling even closer to the subject,” he says.

Wildlife closeups have traditionally come from telephoto lenses, which can produce stunning results, as seen on many pages of this 37th annual photo issue of Montana Outdoors (including the pine marten below). Remotely triggered cameras produce even closer shots of wildlife, often at night, giving us glimpses of species and settings rarely seen before.

Photographers continually seek the most beautiful and captivating images of wildlife. We can only wonder what they will come up with next.

—Tom Dickson, Editor


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Get the latest news on Montana's wildlife, fish, and parks management, conservation issues, and endangered species in Montana Outdoors.This captivating color magazine provides an in-depth look at what's going on in Montana's mountains, rivers, reservoirs, prairies and forests. For a special website offer of just $12 per year, you'll get the latest information on Montana's trout rivers, elk management, state parks, wolf and grizzly delisting, and more. Plus you'll find recent updates on seasons, laws, and regulations, not to mention some of the best outdoors photography in the country.

Montana Outdoors is a bi-monthly publication of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks that promotes the conservation and sustainable use of Montana's fish, wildlife, and state parks.

Web Extras:Read exclusive content not found in the magazine here.

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The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation


A Recipe for Big Trout

Musselshell Makeover
: How the people in this central Montana watershed found a way to share water from—and restore function to—the river running through their lives.

Montana Outdoors Best 100

Montana Outdoors Best 100

Check off your list: if someone wants to experience the highlights of our state’s outdoors, this is a greatplace to start.

Natural World

Carnivorous Plants

Beware the Savage Sundew: If you’re an insect, that is. Also watch out for bladderworts and Montana’s other carnivorous plants.


Pictograph Cave State Park

Standing for Montana: Strange stories of how the bitterroot, grizzly bear, mourning cloak butterfly, and Montana’s other state symbols came into existence.


Pictograph Cave State Park

Welcome to Montana Elk Hunting: Advice for residents and nonresidents on where to hunt, obtaining reliable information, and negotiating the licensing and permitting process.