Texas Wildlife Photography
View pictures of real Texas wildlife, along with tips on photographing them

"On most weekends and holidays, Wildlife Photographer, Jeff Heinatz, pursues his passion. He goes to Davis Mountains State Park, Big Bend National Park, Balmorhea State Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park or one of dozens of ranches in the Davis Mountains and Glass Mountains. With his Minolta cameras, 500-millimeter lens and mess of animal calls, he goes into the wilderness, and almost always returns with photographic proof of his exotic adventures." The Desert Big Horn Sheep, pictured here, is just one example of his talent.

"He's been literally face to face with animals some people probably don't realize exist just 200 miles from San Angelo. Like black bears." "Black bears are making a comeback here," he said. "Most try to avoid people, but I've had them walk up to me and sniff nose to nose. Other animals such as badgers, coyotes, desert mule deer, elk, fox, golden eagles, hawks, javelina, mountain lions, owls, porcupines, roadrunners and others are all native to the Big Bend area of Texas.

I have been extremely fortunate in obtaining many once in a life time photographs," some of which are featured on the next page. "These photographs are of real Texas Wildlife, not zoo pictures. I stalk, call, and track wild animals on private Texas ranches, State Parks, and National Parks to get pictures of them in their native habitat. With a little patience and time, I am able to observe and photograph wildlife that the average person will never see," says Jeff.

Helpful and informative tips on photographing wildlife:

  • Always use UV block to treat camouflage before using. (Wildlife will have a harder time seeing a person with treated camouflage)
  • Always wash clothes treated with UV Block in Sport Wash (Other detergents use brighteners that will make someone stand out to an animal)
  • Wear camouflage gloves and face mask while photographing wildlife. The biggest giveaway for anyone is their face and hands.
  • Use scent cover. Wildlife can easily detect the presence of humans so to prevent this, a drop of skunk scent may be placed within about five (5) feet of where you intend to hide. Once this smell is detected by wild animals, they cannot detect humans so easily. Skunk scent is an odor that wildlife is used to being around and it will not spook them. (Do not use scented soaps or colognes!)
  • If you are spotted, do not make aggressive movements toward your subject. This will scare wildlife away every time. Do not make eye contact with your subjects. If your presence is not threatening, your subject may stay with you for a period of time and may even come closer to sniff you.
  • Various mouth calls may be used to attract wildlife, such as a Rabbit call. With this call, you can trick a Fox, Coyote, Bear, Raccoon, Bobcat, or Mountain Lion into making an appearance.
  • The best times of the day for viewing and photographing wildlife are early in the mornings and just before dark. This is when wildlife is usually most active.
  • If using a blind, set up so that the sun will be at your back and where you have a clearing for your subject to walk into. (When using a blind, be still for at least 30 minutes at a time. Sometimes it will take this long to attract a predator.)

Do not give up if your first attempts are not successful. Wildlife photography is a lot like fishing: some days will be better than others.

To see some pictures that Jeff has taken, follow this link.

407 North 16th Street, Alpine, Texas 79830

These articles have each been published previously.
All rights to the stories are protected under the original copyright.

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