This is an Ocelot, an endangered cat in the US that use to roam through much of Texas and into Louisiana and Arkansas. There’s some in Arizona too. They’re unbelievably beautiful 35 lb mini jaguaresque felines that roam the brush eating birds insects and small mammals. Researchers think there’s about 50–100 that still exist in South Texas on both public and private land. A contiguous border wall would block any natural exchange of genetics with populations in Mexico but that has possibly/probably already happened due to habitat loss in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. There’s been talk about bringing a few cats in from Mexico to supplement the genetics but hasn’t happened yet. They tend to get run over and the Dept. of transportation has sank a lot of $ in road improvements to avoid road mortality. I really want to do a short film on Ocelot habitat conservation and the species in general. I’m really fascinated by them and their future depends on conserving both public and private lands with a variety of agencies and land use. There’s a lot of landowners in south Texas who care deeply about wildlife so I’m optimistic. These pics and accompanying video are by my co-workers @katybaldock7 and @skipswildlife of an ocelot in the Victoria Zoo for @theriverandthewall , great work! #ocelot
Back in the day when wildlife biologists did capture-release reintroductions by roping bighorns and dragging em off the mountain in their undies 😂- Found this archival gold editing a film on desert Bighorn recovery in West Texas. Too good. Capture-Releases have come a long ways! Thank you @texasparkswildlife for the awesome archival.
Floated the Devils River in West Texas and I forgot how unique it is. The river springs out of hillside aquifers in the middle of a desert and flows over 50 undammed miles to the Rio Grande at lake Amistad. Awesome country
The West Texas Desert Bighorn Sheep population has gone from zero to over two thousand in the last 50 years due to capture and release reintroductions. We’re making a short film about the success story and the visuals are unreal. Stoked to share this one later this year, possibly in spring ‘19. Big thanks to @yeti and @sitkagear for making the film possible and to Texas Bighorn Society, @bri_srsu and @texasparkswildlife for all the hard work and letting us follow you around.
Reminder to all my Texas friends to cherish the landscapes you see this year. Photograph them and store them in your long term memory bank. All the red dots in this google image are locations of the permits for wind farms that have been approved by the state as of December 2017 but have not yet been built. I understand and support the need to invest in renewable energy but it’s still sad, especially the ones going into some of the last undeveloped parts left in the state. I believe there’s some places that are better suited than others for wind farm construction in regards to surface damages, impact on birds and bats, etc... but I don’t really know much about the process. I was surprised by this map and thought I’d share because I had no idea this many turbines were going up so fast.
My mustangs Luke, Tuf, Dinosaur, Ford, and Violet are headed to Montana today to volunteer for the summer for @heroesandhorses . They’ll be teaching vets how to ride as part of their backcountry therapy program. #prouddad
@yeti recently had a publicity fiasco because they stopped a product discount program to the NRA and other orgs. It was taken out of context and they were made out to be anti-outdoorsman. @yeti has supported a few films I’ve been a part of along with organizations I support like @heroesandhorses @bri_srsu @texaswildlifeassociation and @texasparkswildlifefoundation. They sponsored the @wildfilmtour and donated product that raised tens of thousands for wildlife research and habitat restoration in Texas. Not once did they ask for recognition for their donations, an act that tells me they genuinely care. I’m writing this post to defend @yeti and thank them for their support to conservation. I’ve had that hard cooler for ten years, a soft cooler that’s done about 1500 horse miles and a thousand river miles and those water bottles will last til after I’m dead. You get what you pay for and I support them because they give back to efforts I believe are important. In the court of social media, you’re guilty until proven innocent and it’s a shame to see people unnecessarily try to tarnish the reputation of a company that has done so much for conservation and sportsmen. Pic from a recent paddle trip when I realized nearly all the outdoor gear we have is Yeti because it’s tough and it works. #builtforthewild
A few timelapses from the Rio Grande I shot earlier this year. Those West Texas skies are tough to beat. Music @red_shahan #riogrande #timelapse
Got a short film “Wildlife and the Wall” accepted to Telluride @mountainfilm this year May 25-28. Excited to go and see their programming on migrations but more excited to drive the length of the Rio Grande River from El Paso to its headwaters on the way. Any of y’all have any suggestions on scenic spots for filming, good fishing holes, a river stretch to run, etc.. along the Rio between El Paso and the headwaters? Thx in advance and hit me up if you’re going to the fest.
Massive thanks to congressman @betoorourke for taking time out of your busy schedule running against Senator Ted Cruz to give us an interview today for @theriverandthewall . He went deep on the border wall, US-Mexico trade, immigration, bipartisan bills with @hurdonthehill , and some consequences of American drug demand. Beto represents the El Paso district and I’m really grateful for his time and willingness to discuss controversial and complex topics about some really hard issues. Thank you congressman. #theriverandthewall pic @hillaryfierce with @jaykleberg @johnny_aldrich
@texaswildlifeassociation Annual Convention is July 12-15 in San Antonio and @jaykleberg and I are giving a 90 minute footage/photo presentation about the Rio Grande, the Border Wall, and our 2.5 month journey down the border. There’s also presentations by border patrol, landowners in path of the wall, and a private property rights lawyer to explain the legalities of eminent domain and wall construction. Im presenting July 13 at noon and will be presenting some visuals from @theriverandthewall . Come check it out if you’re in the area or interested about what’s going on down on the border. twafoundation.org for tix and info
Watched the movie “The Rider” in a theater tonight. Best movie I’ve seen in a long time. Choked me up and I’m headed out to go see my horses. yanks hard on the heart. Well worth a $8 movie ticket and a couple hours of your life. Compliments to their film team, some of the prettiest horse and landscape photography I’ve seen. Photo is a from the movie
My friend @micah5326 started @heroesandhorses. Last year they adopted 16 mustangs, trained them, and completed a 500 mile ride to prepare the horses for his Veterans Backcountry therapy school in Montana. I got to go on part of the trip and help shoot a film they made on the experience called @500milesproject . Micah is in Austin for a screening tonight at the @filson1897 store at 6PM. See y’all there!
RIP Barbara Bush. The Bush Library at Texas A&M hosted a screening of Unbranded and I got to sit next to her, one of the biggest honors of my life. She talked the whole movie but you can’t tell a First Lady that’s bad manners. I’ll never forget her quick wit, loving eyes, and commanding personality. My only regret was failing to convince her to adopt a mustang. Grateful to meet such an amazing lady. #rip #barbarabush
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to accompany Theodore Roosevelt IV, Senator Tom Udall, and a group from @americanrivers on a 4 day canoe trip along the Rio Grande river. I was the trip’s camera op to make a short film about the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and writer Nick Paumgarten was there to write a story for The New Yorker. That story just released, link in profile, goes into the W&S Rivers Act, TRs thoughts on the Wall, immigration, and river flows. It also describes how I’m scared of spiders, got duped into eating a bobcat, and got a senator to play drinking games in Mexico. So proud! Never thought those facets of my life would make the New Yorker! Link in profile, it’s a full 15 minute read and pretty interesting. #riogrande #lowercanyons #boquillas
Last summer @cliffandcactus and I spent a few months filming bears and desert Bighorn in West Texas. We didn’t even try to get mountain lion footy because seeing one in the wild is so rare. We were trying to glass bears one evening and on the way home, this mountain lion darted across the road in front of us. I slammed on the breaks, grabbed my camera and got set up on an exposed ridge 100 yards away hoping the cat would cross. It never did. Logan then ducked down to get a different angle into the brush and saw these big beautiful yellow eyes staring at us from a mere 15 yards away. The cat gave us just enough time to reposition the camera where he stared straight into the lens for a few seconds before slipping away. I’ll never forget that moment or the fear that my camera settings were off. Seeing a cat is rare, getting one in the wild on film might be a once in a lifetime opportunity. It makes me wonder how many times I’ve walked within 20 yards of a mountain lion and had absolutely no clue. They’re such awesome animals. #mountainlion #r3d @reddigitalcinema
Boquillas standoff. Donkey for a camera.
This cemetery is about 10 miles north of the ghost town of Porvenir, TX near the Rio Grande and US-Mexico Border. I got the creeps getting this nightlapse. 100 years ago this year, a group of Texas rangers and US Calvary soldiers separated 15 Mexican men and boys from the town of Porvenir, marched them out of town, lined them up, and executed them on a hill via firing squad. Supposably they were thieves, despite having no evidence, who were part of a raid that killed a few settlers on the Texas side of the river. At that point in history, there was a lot of anti-Mexican sentiment, anger, and fear along the border in the wake of Pancho Villas raids. The massacre wasn’t reported for over a month and the reports are conflicting. What exactly happened is still murky. In the aftermath, the Texas Ranger company was disbanded and Rangers as a whole were more scrutinized and had stricter recruitment. The Texas Observer did a really good article on the massacre this year on the 100th anniversary. Google it, it’s worth reading. #porvenir #timelapse