First off, if this is in the wrong place, I apologize and mods please move it.
I have gotten to where my wildlife work is doing well at local and regional shows. But I'm running into an issue of not having what I consider to be a very good variety - mostly ducks and black bears.
I'm looking to do a trip, preferably guided this year. The question I have is where would you go in North America (read as Africa is out)? Yellowstone in the spring is interesting as the young are out and the bears are pretty visible and shotable. But Alaska could be done with a focus strictly on the brown bears which I think would go over really well in my venues. Of course the Tetons in the fall with the colors and rutting animals would be very nice too.
Anywhere else I should consider or have I hit the biggies?
Anyone care to recommend a tour or guide in one of the areas?
I live near Yellowstone, so I can offer a couple of comments. There’s a lot of activity in the Park in the spring, but for me spring has some disadvantages too. Bears can look a little ratty. The elk start dropping their antlers in March and April, though they'll be in velvet by early June. Buffalo will be calving by then, too. It can be pretty wet and sloppy and, depending on the altitude and how hard the winter has been, hard to get to some places. Buffalo rut in late July/August, and that is an interesting time to watch them. Having said all that, I guess there is no bad time to be in Yellowstone.
You might be interested in the Yellowstone Association Field Seminars. There is one on photography at the end of May, but it looks to be at a more basic level than you’d be interested in. Still, these seminars would likely get to you good places and you can stay at the Lamar Field Campus. There is also a Road Scholar program on photography from May 12 – May 17th. It’s called "Inspired Images: Photographing the Wonders of Yellowstone.” The leader is very good. There’s also one in Sept. & Oct.
One place I just became aware of this winter that really interests me is the Sax-zim bog in Minnesota. It's primarily for birds, but it sounds really interesting. The New York Times has a nice article about it online.
You quite likely could find some osprey and bald eagles in the areas where you've been shooting, if those areas are suitable for ducks and black bears. I expect photos of the big birds of prey would be good sellers.
There are some amazing bald eagle photos on this forum made at an accessible spot on the Mississippi, at Lock/Dam 14.
working on it in Middle TN Nikon D3100
35 mm 1.8 Nikkor 18-55 mm Nikkor VR 55-200 mm Nikkor VR 55-300 mm Nikkor VR 150-500 mm Sigma OS MeFoto Road Trip w/Q1 ballhead Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead
No real destination advice to give, but Moose Peterson often writes and talks about shooting the large mammals in the fall as that's when their coats are at their fullest and they are nicely fattened up for winter. Take care, CK Nikonian in Ontario, Canada