Few animals are as well adapted to altitude and temperature conditions as bighorn sheep (a.k.a. Dall sheep). Come November, the snow bank gathering on the elevations force bighorn sheep to leave their summer pastures and move down to sunnier and windier slopes. It is in this environment, at the entrance of Kluane National Park, that we will be able to approach them and photograph their virtually pure white coats. It will also mark the beginning of the mating season, an ideal time for wildlife photographers because the Dall sheep will be concentrated on mating and thus, less distrustful of onlookers.
A short distance away, in early fall and winter, food becomes scarce in the southeast region of Alaska, except for a small area of a dozen kilometers along the Chilkat River, located north of Haines, The late run of chum and coho salmon and the warm groundwater springs that prevent the river from freezing provide plenty of food, making the river an ideal spot for birds. This late salmon migration occurs after all the North American west coast runs are over. This is why bald eagles in the thousands gather here. The local Chilkat River population of bald eagles goes from about 400 to several thousand during this period!