Interview: Adam Lackner #5

BrushBuck Co-Founder Adam Lackner’s Fifth Interview with local radio station, 96.9 The Mountain

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

FISH: 8:54 on the KMTN clock, special guest Adam Lackner joins me again this morning, as he does, on Wednesday morning, from Brushbuck WIldlife Tours, getting ready for another beautiful week in Jackson Hole. And it’s gotta be good weather for wildlife viewing right now.

ADAM: It is good weather for wildlife viewing. You know, I’m the seeing bull elk starting to bachelor herd back up together,  so the younger bulls are gonna move in. So you’ll see some small, subordinate bulls that we what are called satellite bulls in the breeding season, they are now gonna move in and kinda do a little practice run on the cows that are already bred. And so that’s what we’re seeing now. So the harems still have bulls with them, but those aren’t breeding herd bulls. They’re kinda more practicing for when they get a little bit older. And the herd bulls have broke out, and they’re going back to areas where they can put winter weight on.

FISH: I seem to learn something new every Wednesday when you’re in here. This is not my thing, I mean I love watching wildlife, I love viewing it, but I don’t know, like, a lot of that stuff. And then I’m guessing this is kinda part of the package when you go on a tour with Brushbuck.

ADAM: It really is, you know, tying what a tour, the time of year it is, to what’s happening is really something that’s really cool. You know, like wolves come into mating season in February, and that’s-

FISH: You kinda have a lot of mating on your mind right now. (laughs)

ADAM: (laughs) Yeah.

FISH: Talking about elk mating, and bulls, and wolves…

ADAM: Yeah, you know, I gotta say man-

FISH: ‘Tis the season.

ADAM: In the animal world, it’s all about sex and food.

FISH: Yeah.

ADAM: So we do talk about the mating seasons quite a bit, or hibernation, and things that tie into wildlife in that way. And we currently have a guide, Trevor Bloom, who’s doing a study on phenology, that ties into the Craigheads, and all their studies they did. Which is tying, basically, the lessening and lengthening of days to plant and animal events that happen throughout the year. Like blooming flowers, and hummingbird migrations coming to the blooming flowers, and tying all that together.

FISH: Everything’s related.

ADAM: Everything’s related. And you know, that’s what brings the elk into the rut, is the lessening of days. And so it changes their hormones, and brings them into the breeding season, that way the calves are born at the right time of year.

FISH: The bears are still out, I know, too, I get a text every weekend from you, saying “we’ve spotted them at this location”.

ADAM: That’s right. We’ve had a lot of bear sightings. We got a bear that’s been named ‘Huck’, and he’s been out quite a bit around the South entrance of Yellowstone. And we do think he may have moved on, he’s going into a different spot, because we’ve had another bear move into that area that’s smaller, and obviously not as big as him, so we think that maybe he’s moved on.

FISH: Not too early to start booking Winter tours, if you’ve got friends or family coming in to town. I want to mention this too, because right before the break I mentioned that you also do tours up in Alaska and Africa as well, you mentioned you just signed up some folks for an African getaway. Let’s go Africa first.

ADAM: Yeah!

FISH: Tell me a little bit about that.

ADAM: Well, Africa, you know, it’s a fantastic destination. There’s a saying out there, if you could visit anyplace in the world twice, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? To two different destinations. And a lot of people say, “I’d go to Africa twice”. The reason for that is the luxury, the wildlife, the nature, it’s just really an incredible place. And when we do Kenya and Tanzania, the hotels are very luxurious, the food is fantastic, you drive around in open-air safari vehicles, and so you see lions, you know, literally 2 yards out of the vehicle.

FISH: Lions, giraffes?

ADAM: Yeah!

FISH: Cheetahs?

ADAM: Cheetahs, yeah, we’ll have cheetahs come up and use the vehicle for shade! So I mean, they’re super close. A lot of these big cats, you know, they come in super close unexpectedly. And so you’ll have even leopards-

FISH: Listen, an African safari is, I’m probably not the only person that would say this, but it’s certainly on my bucket list.

ADAM: It needs to be. African safari should be on everyone’s bucket list. And any way you can put it together, you need to get it done at least once in your life.

FISH: And it’s nice to go with people you know. Because I feel like if you’re out there in radioland, whether you know Adam or not, you know him! We get to talk to him every Wednesday from Brushbuck. I also mentioned you do the Alaskan tours.

ADAM: Alaska, yes. So we fly into a remote lodge and go see bears for a couple days, around Lake Clark National Park. And the bear sightings can be very close, right out of the bus, lot of photography opportunities at bears less than 15 yards, in safe situations. And these are massive bears, they fish for salmon. In the early spring, when we go in June, we’re usually seeing, once again, you’re going to hit me for this, the mating season. (laughs)

FISH: Mm-hmm. (laughs)

ADAM: And so then we fly back, and we hit Seward, so we’ll go see whales, and do some cool hikes if people want to do them. And then we go around to Wrengell-St. Elias, which a lot of people say they feel the real Alaska is Wrengell-St. Elias National Park. Because of it’s remoteness, you don’t hear planes very much, it’s very vast. A massive glacier comes right down to our lodge, the Kennicott Glacier. And then we head around to Denali, and Denali, you know, has everything Alaska is known for: the caribou, the interior grizzly bears, Denali the mountain-

FISH: Beautiful mountain ranges…

ADAM: Yeah, exactly, so.

FISH: Well, I used to think that I had the greatest job in town, now I kinda am a little envious of your job.

ADAM: (laughs)

FISH: Adam Lackner from Brushbuck Wildlife Tours, you can check them out online, If you’re traveling, thinking about where to go to go, maybe you don’t have a destination yet; well certainly Africa might be worth thinking about. Check in with Brushbuck, and they can get you set up, up there. (888) 282-5868 is their number, and as I mentioned online, If you have friends and family coming in this Winter, let Brushbuck take them up to Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Park. Multi-hour and multi-day options available. Adam, as always, good chatting with you, man.

ADAM: Hey, good chatting with you as well, Fish.

Listen to Adam’s other radio interviews:

Adam Lackner - BrushBuck Wildlife Tour Guide
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!”