During my experience this summer I got an invitation to go out with the wildlife crew at Badlands. Immediately I got excited. With pure confidence I thought that I was going to see a black-footed ferret. I should have realized that there was no chance since we scheduled during the day time and the black footed ferret is nocturnal. Either way I was happy to go.

Wildlife Biologist “Tall” Paul who is so tall he can hold a Bison in his hand

I left the office about 5:45 in the morning and arrived at Badlands at 8. It was a beautiful morning but it was going to be a warm day. I luckily ran into Jessica who is a GIP at Badlands. If I did not I probably would still be lost looking for the wildlife building. She took me inside to meet Paul the wildlife biologist. We started to get our gear and he asked if I was ready to go check up on some tail cameras. About then it hit me that I was not going to see a black-footed ferret. Still I was ready to check some trail cameras. Jessica, Paul and I loaded up one of the pickups and starting driving to the first one. We got there and it was already getting hot but there was a breeze just strong enough to keep the temperature bearable. Although there was no signs of ferrets there was plenty of things to see. As soon as we got out of the truck on the far Westside of the park we started down towards the camera. Not very long after we found ourselves in the company of many purple coneflowers, prairie turnips and some prickly pear cactus showing off its big yellow flower. Later, about halfway down the trail along the right side of a hill we came up to a small saddle-like dip in the hill. We looked over there and a big buffalo was hanging out about 25 yards away. He was just minding his business and did not care that we were there. Some more hiking and the crossing of a very muddy stream finally brought us the first camera. Its memory was pretty full so we take a look of what it has been capturing. Turns out it was a thousand picture of some tall vegetation blowing back and forth right in front of the camera. We cleaned the area and started the long hike back up the hill. I discovered that at the truck we had two more cameras with longer hikes to visit.


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