With a backyard of 2.5 million acres of wilderness, the ranch is located between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, making it one of the most stunning preserved natural landscapes in the world. We have been named one of 15 Hotels Where Mammals Rule the Grounds, an indication of what to expect if you’re interested in seeing animals in the wild. Situated on the banks of the Buffalo Fork River, the ranch offers endless views of the Teton Range, as well as wildlife viewing in and around the property. Here are a few of the more common sightings.
Herds of bison have been known to meander across ranch property, occasionally causing fascinating traffic jams nearby. American bison (or bison), also commonly known as the American buffalo (or simply buffalo), once roamed the grasslands in massive herds. Although they were nearly driven extinct, they’ve made a resurgence due to protected areas such as those around Turpin Meadow Ranch.
Great Grey Owls
Although they may be seen anywhere in the area, a large population of Great Grey Owls live around the Turpin Meadow Ranch property. Here are a few audio recordings of Great Grey Owls… keep an eye (and ear) out for them when exploring the grounds, particularly at dawn and dusk when they tend to be most active. Unlike some owl species, Great Gray Owls tend to be fairly tolerant of humans, occasionally landing within a few feet of a stationary photographer or observer, so your chances of a close encounter are good.
Yes, there are a lot of bears in the area. This grizzly mama and her cubs were frequently seen near the highway during the summer of 2016. Another grizzly was spotted off the road by ranch staff last summer. Black bears also live in the area. Be aware of your surroundings in our wilderness. When out hiking, look for evidence bears have been nearby, including tracks, scat or overturned logs. Please research bear safety (or ask our staff) before heading out. We hope if you cross paths you can have a safe and enjoyable sighting of one of these magnificent creatures.
The plural of moose is also “moose,” however, a debated usage has been “meese.” As a word borrowed from a Northeastern Algonquian language, the general consensus is meese should not be pluralized the same way as the similar sounding Germanic word “goose.” Any way you say it, we do love our meeses to pieces. Since they stand over six feet tall, they will be easy to spot so you can love them too. They can be dangerous though, especially when with their young; like other wildlife, do not approach them. Although moose population have been on the decline worldwide, there are still quite a few in the area. You might run into them on nearby trails, but you’re most likely to spot moose along the road while driving.
The western osprey, also called river hawk, is a fish-eating bird of prey, so naturally, they feel at home along the Buffalo Fork River, which is full of some of the best trout and other fishing in the U.S. Your wildlife fishing companion is a large raptor, reaching more than 24 inches (60 cm) in length and a 71-inch (180 cm) wingspan. In recent years, the ranch has enjoyed a nearby mated pair, who have made a nest atop a power line pole. You may catch glimpse of them or other nearby osprey taking advantage of fresh fish in the mountain lakes and streams.
Other wildlife that has been spotted near the ranch include wolves, coyotes, eagles, cranes, elk, foxes and mule deer. A little patience and a watchful eye could really pay off while out and about at the ranch. When you’re here, be sure to bring your binoculars, camera, sketch pad or anything else you prefer to capture wildlife in their natural habitat. We also rent binoculars and provide tours with guides who are familiar with wildlife areas and how to spot them. Just another great reason for a luxury adventure at Turpin Meadow Ranch.