The 20 Best Montana Outdoor Photos of 2011

Photos by PAUL QUENEAU

Missoula writer and photographer Paul Queneau shares his twenty favorite outdoor shots that he took around Western Montana in 2011. Click on a photo to see it larger or page through as a slideshow. Enjoy!

 

On the heels of a challenging Montana winter, a whitetail doe keeps a watchful eye during an April snow squall in Missoula.
On the heels of a ch...
A mature wild turkey tom prepares to gobble on a May morning above Missoula.
A mature wild turkey...
No other wildflower captures the exuberance of May quite like the riot of Arrowleaf Balsamroots that stage a massive block party on Waterworks Hill and Mt. Jumbo's saddle.
No other wildflower ...
Young pronghorn bucks begin spring training among the June bloom of lupine at the National Bison Range.
Young pronghorn buck...
While not quite as flamboyantly blue as their male counterparts, female mountain bluebirds like this one perched high above the Mission Valley are nonetheless gorgeous.
While not quite as f...
An elegant whitetail doe enjoys the lushness of a wet spring in the North Hills above Missoula.
An elegant whitetail...
An August evening greets Bonner Mountain with two shocking lightshows at once.
An August evening gr...
After weeks of snow and rain, Mount Sentinel's south face goes hog-wild on an overlook above  Pattee Canyon.
After weeks of snow ...
A Western Meadowlark plies the last light of a late July evening in Missoula.
A Western Meadowlark...
The West Riverside fire detonates on August 22, as seen from East Missoula.
The West Riverside f...
A heavy bomber from Neptune Aviation in Missoula attempts to douse the flames of the West Riverside Fire above Bonner on August 23, 2011.
A heavy bomber from ...
The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas prepares to live up to its name in the Jocko Valley, just north of Arlee.
The Garden of One Th...
A coyote goes full-throttle after a whitetail deer in Pattee Canyon.
A coyote goes full-t...
Two bucks become accustomed to new headgear, having just shed their velvet in early September.
Two bucks become acc...
A soon-to-be third grader surveys a snouty cedar in Glacier National Park.
A soon-to-be third g...
A massive bull elk takes its fall angst out on the streamside foliage on Mission Creek at the National Bison Range.
A massive bull elk t...
Cub Scout troop 4904 from Missoula prepares to erect the flag at the Lewis and Clark Caverns campground near Boulder.
Cub Scout troop 4904...
A bowhunter tries to convince bull elk to join him on an early October morning in Montana's Castle Mountains.
A bowhunter tries to...
After a late-October cold snap, Missoula's annual leaf expo ends abruply in a shower of gold.
After a late-October...
With its stout neck bulging from testosterone, a handsome mule deer buck completes the scene on a mid-October afternoon in western Montana.
With its stout neck ...

 

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Paul Queneau is an avid outdoor recreationist, naturalist, and hunter. He works as conservation editor of Bugle Magazine at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, where he writes about, photographs, edits, and films wildlife. See and read more of his work on the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s website and Paul’s photo portfolio.