BRUSHBUCK FOUNDER ADAM LACKNER’S THIRD INTERVIEW WITH LOCAL RADIO STATION, 96.9 THE MOUNTAIN

Listen to Brushbuck co-founder Adam Lackner talk to KMTN radio host Fish about a wide range of topics in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, including real-time sighting of local celebrity bear ‘399’, some facts about bears and their recent de-listing from the endangered species act, a foray into how Brushbuck trains their guides, and a discussion about why bringing the right equipment on a wildlife tour is crucial.

A transcript is provided if you don’t have access to audio.

FISH: Well I tell you what it is a beautiful week to get out and see some wildlife and I highly recommend the folks over at Brushbuck Wildlife Tours, I’ve really gotten to know [co-founder] Adam and the rest of the crew over the last couple of weeks as we’ve talked to Adam on Wednesday mornings, so let me welcome to the morning cast, Adam, from Brushbuck. Good morning sir!

ADAM: Thanks for having me Fish.

FISH: How are you doing today?

ADAM: Great! How are you doing?

FISH: I am doing great, and you’ve been showing me, tell the people what you’ve been showing me.

ADAM: Ah, we’ve been having a fantastic week here in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national park, we have 399, the famous grizzly bear sow, she’s been seen several, the last several days eating berries, she’s entering hyperphagia, to eat enough, so she needs to eat enough to get ready for the winter

FISH: And she’s eating berries fairly close to the road, so even if you’re like on the road travelling, you have a fairly good chance of running into her.

ADAM: That’s right, you gotta know where to go, because definitely there’s not a whole lot of cars that are on the sightings, it’s mainly guides, actually. So that’s nice. We’ve been having a couple Bison carcasses up in Yellowstone, so wolves and bears are on those as well, so we’ve had a fantastic about last 7 days. Our guides, our updates have just been going wild.

FISH: Wow. Let me ask you about Winter tours. I know we’ve been talking a lot about summer stuff. Are you guys, do you do winter tours?

ADAM: We do winter tours. And you know what, one of the favorite tours, I guide all over the world, I do Africa, Alaska, I gotta tell you, one of my favorites is the Yellowstone Wolf Tour that we do. And it’s pretty amazing. We go out, we look for wolves, you have to do a lot of glassing, with the optics, we sometimes, on hard years, we’ve sent out forward observers to actually go find them as well. So we’ll cut tracks before the snowplows come in, figure out where [the wolves] are at. And that’s in the dark. And we listen for howls. Cut tracks, and then go find them at first light, and stay with them until our [tour group and] team arrives.

FISH: Wow, that’s pretty cool. But you don’t see bears in the winter, right? Because they’re hibernating?

ADAM: We don’t, but 399 did stay out one year until, January 2nd I think, was the last sighting, which is extremely late for any bear, but we were just having a mild winter, she was finding enough food, and so she stayed out extra late.

FISH: Well you obviously are very knowledgeable in not only tracking but the, and not only the history of the area, but obviously just about the whole biology aspect of the wildlife.

ADAM: Yeah that’s right, I mean, we train our guides, we try to hire biologists [to be our guides], and that’s worked very well for us, and so when people are going out on these winter tours, they know a lot of things, like how to dress here. We have quite a few locals [as guides] that grew up here, so they know how to dress, how to take care of the customers, for being dressed properly for cutting tracks in the snow, telling people about different things like that, and then of course going out and finding animals that other people don’t see.

FISH: Yeah, I’m with Adam from Brushbuck Wildlife Tours. Not too early to start booking your Winter trips, by the way. You can dial them up at 888-282-5868, or go online to brushbucktours.com, you’ll also find a couple of different options available, you guys do day and half-day, and overnight trips as well. And if you’re in town visiting for the eclipse, your best bet, sure you could drive up to the park, and maybe run into something, but as you mentioned, it’s all about the guide. It’s a huge difference –

ADAM: Yeah.

FISH: – when you’re searching for [wildlife].

ADAM: It makes a big difference. I mean, if you have a guide, we have 25 guides in our ‘Update’ program, so they’re updating us on where they’re seeing things, so every day a guide goes out, they’re way ahead of just the average person leaving their hotel, because we know where we’ve been seeing things the last week, we know right where some of these wolves and bears have been hanging out, due to maybe a Bison carcass, or where we’ve been seeing them for whatever reason, it could be a denning site. And so, if you leave from your hotel you’re not gonna know that. If you go with a guide, they can oftentimes have you there, sometimes within 30 minutes, on a bear.

FISH: Wow. Are you, is that bear, I mean that bison carcass, mauling thing, what is it? [laughing] It’s not a mauling. Sorry, it’s not the right word.

ADAM: [laughing]

FISH: It’s a buffet. It’s more of a buffet.

ADAM: Yes, it’s pretty much a buffet.

FISH: You put that up on your website?

ADAM: We, I’ve put it on Facebook, I’ve put quite a bit of the updates on Facebook, so that’s probably the best way to see it contantly, is to jump on [Brushbuck’s] Facebook.

FISH: Alright, well, again, if you’re looking for a wildlife experience, that’s what it is, not just wildlife, because you get beautiful scenery, and great history, thermal features, if you’re heading up to Yellowstone, go with Brushbuck Wildlife Tours, again you can find them online, brushbucktours.com, if you’re going to Africa or Alaska, tours up there as well. And as I mentioned, Winter tours available here in Jackson and in Yellowstone, I mean Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Adam, it’s always nice to chat with you. Incredible pictures as well, from the last couple of –

ADAM: Thanks!

FISH: – days.

ADAM: Thank you! Fish, congratulations on your award as well!

FISH: Thank you very much.

Listen to Adam’s other radio interviews:

Adam Lackner
Adam Lackner

The backcountry is a place of enjoyment for this outdoorsman. Adam spent five years in the Marine Corps before heading for seasonal guiding positions in Alaska, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Mexico, and now Wyoming. “Being where the mountains are big keeps the complaints small!”

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