Early and late in the day is usually the best time for photography and nature watching. Please treat the landscape and its inhabitants with respect; stay on established trails to avoid trampling vegetation and always give wildlife plenty of space.
Many enjoy the park through a camera lens © James Page
Photographer's Code of Conduct
Important guidelines for safe and respecful wildlife viewing
Photographers who travel the park in search of good photo opportunities have a special responsibility to wildlife and fellow visitors. The following guidelines will help you be a good park steward.
Average viewing distances
All wild animals experience stress when crowded by humans. This is hard on the animal and dangerous. Wildlife behaviour is unpredictable, especially when females are with young and males are defending territory during the mating season.
The following distances are applicable in most instances. However, it is your responsibility to watch for defensive warning signals and react accordingly by pulling back or leaving the area entirely. In general, stay back:
- 100 metres from bison (unless you are inside a vehicle);
- 30 metres from all other large species;
If you spot the following defensive warning signals, pull back even more or leave the area:
- Bison is shaking his head, short charges towards you, loud snorting, raising of the tail;
- If you see or hear a rattlesnake.
If you cause an animal to move, you are too close.
- Do not surround, crowd or follow an animal.
- If you don’t have a telephoto lens (at least 300-400 mm), show the animal in its natural surroundings. Note: The best way to safely photograph wildlife is from a vehicle or observation area.
- Never put people (especially children) at risk by posing them with wildlife.
- Do not stalk or pursue wildlife.
- Never follow an animal into the bush.
- Do not try to entice wildlife by feeding or by simulating animal calls (i.e. elk bugling).
Traffic and parking
Use roadside pull-offs and parking areas to help avoid traffic congestion around wildlife.
If you MUST stop on the road:
Photographers who travel the park in search of good photo opportunities have a special responsibility to wildlife and fellow visitors.
© Parks Canada
- Pull vehicles well onto the shoulder;
- Avoid stopping along roadways during periods of high traffic volume;
- Do not stop at or near hill crests, corners or sharp curves and intersections;
- Do not trample vegetated areas.
Photographers for Wildlife
If you see violations, please report them to the Visitor Centre at (306) 298-2257. Take note of vehicle type and colour, licence plate number and other relevant information.