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A bull elk gathers his harem in the Lamar River Valley of Yellowstone National Park, where the mid-1990s re-introduction of gray wolves has greatly reduced elk numbers. This is one of the many scenes the group of backpackers enjoyed after bad weather forced them out of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in mid-September. Their backup plan — day-hiking and wildlife watching in the park — worked out beautifully.

Rich Landers