Out of the Parks and into the Wild
So you’ve got your backyard studio set up, you’ve photographed the ducks at your city park so many times that they know YOU by name and you’ve visited a bunch of state parks. These are all great places to practice and hone your skills as a wildlife and nature photographer. But there is a place that will test all your skills and your patience as a photographer. They are by far mine and Tracy’s favorite places to visit when we travel and we never miss an opportunity to visit one. It’s a place where wildlife and stunning landscapes abound.
The National Wildlife Refuge System consists of over 560 refuges and includes 150 million acres of land and water here in the United States. As a wildlife and nature photographer, having access to a wildlife refuge is a great privilege. The opportunity one of these sanctuaries provides is astonishing. Wildlife refuges allow you to view and photograph wildlife in its purest form. Tracy and I are lucky enough to be only an hour’s drive from one of these wonderful places.
Hagerman Wildlife Refuge borders Lake Texoma and is made up of nearly 12,000 acres of wooded upland and wetlands. The refuge is located in the Central Flyway which makes it a very important layover for large amounts of migratory waterfowl. Every fall Snow Geese arrive by the thousands on their yearly migration to warmer climates. It is also a great place to view deer, wild hogs, and tons of other birds, like Great Blue Herons and one of my personal favorites, the Painted Bunting.
Most the refuges that we have visited have well paved roads and easy to navigate trails for you to stretch your legs. Take your time and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. You never know what might cross your path!