For my first field visit (commonly referred to as a ‘hitch’), I headed out to Bighorn Canyon recreation area for a week. 

Our campsite setup near Ewing-Snell Ranch

While in Bighorn Canyon, we surveyed various areas for target vegetation species. During the week I learned how to identify various types of bushes and grasses such as big sagebrush and bluebunch wheatgrass.

On our first day identifying vegetation, our whole team went out into the field together. Vegetation in each pre-determined plot area is identified in a 1×1 meter and 10×10 meter square.

 

Great view of the canyon and river from one of our plots

We also saw a ton of wildlife! Driving into Bighorn Canyon we saw wild horses grazing. One night at our camp we found a tiny rattlesnake hidden in the grass. On a hike towards one of our study plots we saw a group of bighorn sheep on a ridge right near us!

Small rattlesnake under our table in camp

 

A frequent visitor at our campsite

 

One of the 6 bighorn sheep I got to see during my time in Bighorn Canyon!

I have already learned so much from everyone in our group and have enjoyed getting to spend time outdoors. Montana is breathtaking and unique. Next stop, Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone!

Bighorn Canyon Overlook

 

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