BearHead Photography has many images to showcase his expansive portfolio on mammals of North America, and here are his wild red fox, arctic fox, cross fox, and coyote pictures.
After hunting down the hill for small animals with no success, it was time for this fox to switch hunting areas. As it came up the hill to see where it wanted to hunt next, it popped up right in front of me. As it looked around I could see every snow flake on its face.
Fox always look better in the winter with their heavier coat on. After a recent snow, everything was looking beautiful and fluffy.
I love finding red fox in the winter with their big fluffy orange coats. I watched this fox move across the landscape hunting and looking for food. The landscape was bright and dark off and on depending on if the sun was behind the clouds or not. I didn't think the fox would go to the ridge and stop before cresting, but he did and the beautiful contrasts of light snow and dark clouds made for a beautiful winter scene.
Animals in the winter have to hunt differently than in the summer. Fox and other animals listen for slight movement under the snow to detect voles that they cannot see. After determining where to jump, this fox lept and was about to dive head fist into the snow.
Arctic fox are very active in the early morning, when their camouflage is at its best. They move around looking and listening for movement under the snow. I caught this fox as it was running to a spot where it heard something.
It is not all that uncommon for different species of fox to mate with each other. This colorful fox was part silver and red fox. It gave this fox more of a distinction between the other fox around.
Watching red foxes never gets tiring, because you never know what they will do. When this fox turned back and looked at me, it looked as if it could never hurt anything.
In the winter, the Grand Tetons can get feet of snow in a matter of days. Red fox are so small and light that they can walk on top of the snow without any problem. This fox was taking a break from hunting and sat on top of a snow bank in front of the mountains.
I watched as this cross fox crossed the open meadow and headed my way. I knew there was a rise, so I positioned myself below it in the hopes the fox would go on top. When it did, I had the shot I wanted with the sky above the fox and the fox filling the frame.
On the Hunt
Fox are very sly and smart. In the snow it is easier for them to find prey because they can sense their movements under the snow. This fox was locked in and searching for food.
An arctic fox really is difficult to see in the winter in its white coat. If it's not moving around, it's almost impossible to see. Only its bright yellow eyes give its position away in the snow, if you know what you are looking for.
Red foxes in the winter grow a very thick winter coat to keep them warm. When they lay down to take a nap, they curl up in a ball to keep their body heat concentrated. This beautiful fox was very comfortable, but looked up to check out a noise that disturbed his sleep.
Along the shoreline, their are lots of large boulders. Many little animals like to hide in their for protection. Foxes were always along these rocks and jumping between them to find food.
While watching one fox move across some rocks, all of a sudden another appeared a little distance away. The one fox began to slowly creep up and surprise the other fox. Once it was close enough, it lept at the intruding fox and began to fight over the territory.
Red fox are designed to be light enough to walk on top of the snow. They can move much easier on snow than coyotes and wolves, because they stay on top of the snow pack and don't sink in. As day turned to night, this fox was leaving the open meadow hunting grounds and heading back to the forest to sleep for the night.
When a fox loses their winter coat, they look like they are not as healthy because they lose their fluff. This red fox was doing just fine, as it was looking back at the brown bear it had just outrun.
After a fox leaves the ground to jump for a prey animal, it can only hope it does not move once it is in the air. The fox will jump as high as it thinks is needed to get to the animal. The little animal will move most of the time, but the fox is successful on occasion.
Arctic fox are a very hard animal to find in the snow. Even though I knew this fox was nearby, it wasn't until it was behind the dark rock that I could really see it.
Searching the Snow
It can be a daunting task when you think about the amount of area a fox uses to hunt in. Not only is it a large area, but their prey is underneath the snow, which means they have to walk lightly to hear any tiny movement. It is not an easy job listening for movement underneath the snow.
I watched as this fox came down a large hill and headed my way. I figured it would stop and rest and never actually make it to me. The conditions were perfect for photography, but rarely do I find an animal to photograph in such conditions. This fox gave me a real treat and posed in the perfect light!
Coyotes are always on the move searching for food and scraps. Checking along a river is great place to find food that has washed down stream. This was a very snowy day, and only a few yards from where this coyote was heading was an old elk carcass.
Red fox can cover miles a day in the winter. They are so light that they often stay on top of the snow and can move very easily without using much extra effort. I found this fox as it was patrolling its territory and walking through the forest.
Watching a red fox hunt in the winter is fun. They will give a big leap and dive head first into the snow after their prey. This fox was trying to determine exactly where to jump alongside the river.
At the Top
The height a fox jump varies for different reasons. If their prey is on the move they do not want to jump to high and let it escape. If the snow is really thick then they have to jump as high as they can to make it through the snow. This was the highest I had seen a fox jump and in the air he was picking out his landing point.