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About Us


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Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris is a guide owned and operated tour company that strives to educate, entertain and connect our guests with this amazing place we call home. Our mission is to provide you with the highest quality wildlife tours and photo safaris available by combining our love for this area with a desire to share this passion with you. Founded in 2007 by veteran Jackson Hole guide and professional wildlife photographer Jason Williams,  Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris has gained a reputation for providing guests with once in a lifetime experiences while giving them a deeper understanding of the geology, history and ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This 10-15 million acre, nearly intact ecosystem, serves as the global standard of successful conservation from Yellowstone’s humble beginnings in 1872 to the expansion of Grand Teton National Park in 1950. Our tour guides will lead your safari with years of experience and first hand knowledge that can only come from living and breathing Jackson Hole, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Staff

 

As a guide owned and operated company, we know how important our guides are to the quality of our safaris. We pride ourselves on hiring the most talented and experienced local guides in order to provide the best wildlife safaris and photo tours available. The first thing we look for in a guide is a strong passion for Jackson Hole, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks along with a desire to share that passion with you. Passion is a large part of what makes a guide great but a depth of knowledge about the Greater Yellowstone Area is also crucial for us to provide expert interpretation during your safari. This requires our guides to have a deep understanding of the history, ecology, geology, geography and wildlife of both national parks and over 10 million acres known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Though most of us have college degrees, no degree in the world can fully prepare someone to be a Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari guide. Developing a deep understanding and love for this area requires years of hiking remote trails, climbing peaks, floating rivers, discovering secret trout filled pools, skiing the backcountry and tracking wildlife deep into the forest. We believe that nothing is more valuable than first hand experience and observation when it comes to learning and teaching. Good guides tend to be energetic, curious, highly intelligent and continuously studious (It never ceases to amaze me that 20 year veteran guides buy more books than our guests!) Lastly, a good guide will intuitively calibrate their guiding style during your safari to focus more time on your areas of interest. Unlike a canned tour where the so called ‘guide’ just says and points out the same things day after day, our guides will engage you in a rolling discussion about what you are seeing, stories about the area and an insider’s perspective on current local events. Read about our guides and staff below:

Jason WilliamsJason Williams (Naturalist Guide/Photography Instructor)

Jason is the owner/operator of Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. He has been guiding float trips, snowmobile tours and wildlife safaris in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for 16 years. His field of experience includes scuba diving, caving, rock climbing, backpacking, backcountry skiing, canoeing, sailing, snowmobiling and whitewater rafting. Jason has a B.S. Degree in Geography with a minor in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University in addition to being a professional wildlife photographer and freelance writer. Publications include the Washington Post, Denver Post, Frommers, Powder Magazine, the Teton Journal and the Jackson Hole Explorer magazine. See some of Jason’s work at www.JasonWilliamsPhoto.com. Jason is a Wilderness First Responder, Dive Master, Leave No Trace Master Educator and holds a Level II Avalanche Certification.

Kyle WilliamsKyle Williams (Lead Guide)

Kyle is our lead guide and director of the exclusive Fours Seasons naturalist program. He has been guiding float trips, snowmobile tours and wildlife safaris in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for 15 years. Before moving to Jackson Hole, Kyle built a career as an accomplished outdoor educator in both the St. Louis and Washington DC areas. Kyle’s deep understanding of the Greater Yellowstone area comes from years of exploring, studying and teaching about the place he calls home. When he is not entertaining and educating his clients, he can probably be found fishing a secret trout filled stream, snowboarding in the Tetons or running Class IV rapids with his beautiful wife Tracey and newborn son Oliver. Kyle is currently a Wilderness First Responder through the Wilderness Medicine Institute and holds a level II tracking certification with Cybertracker.

Daveweb Dave Green (Naturalist Guide)

We were lucky enough to find Dave after returning to Jackson Hole after a 6 year adventure teaching science and math in remote Inuit villages in Alaska. Dave is going on his 19th year guiding in the Greater Yellowstone area, including 13 years as a river guide on the Snake River through Grand Teton National Park. He has a bachelors in education from Indiana University, has volunteered with the Jackson Hole Historical Society and assisted with archaeological digs in the area. He is an avid outdoorsman with descents of dozens of western and Alaskan rivers under his belt. Dave’s knowledge and experience in Jackson Hole combined with his training as a teacher make him a great resource to anyone traveling with him on safari. He is also a Wilderness First Responder through the Wilderness Medicine Institute and holds a level I tracking certification with Cybertracker..

Jody TibbettsJody Tibbitts (Naturalist Guide)

It’s hard to find a true Jackson Hole local but Jody certainly qualifies! Jody grew up in Jackson hole and has dedicated his life to share his knowledge and passion of the outdoors with his guests. Right out of high school he began working for Jackson Hole Whitewater as a river guide. He spent the next 15 years guiding Whitewater and scenic float trips on the snake River. He has done everything that you can do in Jackson hole from being a fishing guide to snowmobile guide. On his days off you’ll find him on the river fishing with his family or in the backcountry looking for more wildlife. Jody has four children and a lovely wife that puts up with his nonstop humor. He loves guiding families and treats his clients as if they are his friends and family. Jody is trained in Wilderness First Aid and holds a level I tracking certification with Cybertracker.

Julie Johnston

Julie Johnston (Naturalist Guide)

Julie is one of the most experienced guides in Jackson Hole! She has guided snowmobile tours, pack trips and wildlife safaris throughout the greater Yellowstone area for over 30 years. Julie’s passion for wildlife and teaching about the area is made deeper by her expertise working with animals as a horse trainer and dog groomer. She is the owner and operator of Hawk’s Rest Ranch where she boards and trains horses and assist with animal rescues in the area. Julie has a degree from the University of Kentucky, is trained in Wilderness First Aid through the Wilderness Medicine Institute and holds a level II tracking certification with Cybertracker.

Josh Myers (Naturalist Guide/Photography Instructor)

Josh is an internationally published and award-winning photographer based in Teton Valley, Idaho. He is a Nikon Pro Photographer and his work has been published in multiple magazines and news outlets throughout the US and England including National Geographic Adventure, Backpacker, Outdoor Photographer and the Sierra Club. He is also a regular contributor to regional newspapers and is the owner of Trekking Photography. He has photographed a wide variety of subjects across the country and overseas including his documentation of his thru hikes of both the Appalachian Trail (2174 miles) and the Pacific Crest Trail (2663 miles). Josh is an excellent teacher and works with us as an interpretive wildlife guide, hiking guide and photography instructor. See more of Josh’s work at www.TrekkingPhotography.com. He is also trained in Wilderness First Aid and holds a level II tracking certification with Cybertracker.

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Joe ‘lefty’ Martinez (Naturalist Guide)

Joe has been guiding snowmobiles, snowcoaches and wildlife safaris in the Greater Yellowstone region for 15 years. His depth of experience in both Jackson Hole, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park in both summer and winter gives him a deep well of knowledge to draw on to educate his guests about the area. After growing up in Michigan, Joe joined the Marines before moving to Jackson Hole where he learned to snowboard and fell in love with life in the mountains. He went on to become an advanced backcountry snowmobile guide and believes that who we are is based on life experience and that adventures in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem will enhance life for anyone willing to look. Joe is trained in Wilderness First Aid and holds a level II tracking certification with Cybertracker.

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Seth Ames (Naturalist Guide)

Seth is a professional wildlife guide and biologist with a depth of experience spanning decades on several continents. He has guided everything from bear tours in Canada to years leading wildlife tours into the Amazon rain forests. Seth has a degree in Zoology from Southern Illinois University which he has used throughout his career in varied research positions including studies involving lynx, wolverines, raptors, a variety of bird projects and even a project on mussels! Throughout his adventures Seth has developed a passion for photography and has sold his work internationally. Seth is also trained in Wilderness First Aid through the Wilderness Medicine Institute and holds a level II tracking certification with Cybertracker.

Duane Newman (Naturalist Guide)

Duane Newman grew up in central Wyoming with 11 years of guiding experience in and around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. His guiding career includes leading Snowcoach tours in Yellowstone, wildlife safaris in both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, winter wolf watching tours, petroglyphs tours to the Dinwoody collection, and Sandhill migration tours in Nebraska. Duane has a Leave No Trace certificate, a Naturalist certificate, and an interpreter certification through NAI. He is also trained in wilderness first aid and holds a level 3 tracker certificate from Cyber tracker. Duane loves the outdoors snowboarding, camping, hunting, fishing, and hiking.

Dwight Vasel (Naturalist Guide/Photography Instructor)

Dwight is a 14 time Emmy Award winner with a decades long career in broadcast television with NBC. He was born in central Illinois and earned a degree in Radio and Television from Southern Illinois University. His lifelong passion for photography has taken him to the top of skyscrapers, to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and even onto the field with the Dallas Cowboys. Dwight is a popular digital photography instructor with Texas Christian University and leads sold out photography classes and workshops across the country. Dwight is also trained in Wilderness First Aid through the Wilderness Medicine Institute and holds a level I tracking certification with Cybertracker.

Shelby Huff (Naturalist Guide)

Shelby hails from the Pacific Northwest, but her passion for environmental education and fascination with bears has ping-ponged her across the West. She has worked as an Education Ranger with the Park Service, as a bear guide in Alaska and as an educator with the Great Bear Foundation. She received her B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish from Western Washington University. When she’s not out looking for large carnivores, you can find her exploring the surrounding hills, on her bike, or on some sort of boat. She is a firm believer in Drew Hamilton’s saying that, “success is being on a boat, watching bears.” Shelby is a certified Wilderness First Responder through the Wilderness Medicine Institute holds a level II tracking certification with Cybertracker.

Anna McDermott (Naturalist Guide)

Anna has had a passion for animals and traveling for as long as she can remember. After graduating from Smith College with a degree in biology, she sought to gain as much knowledge as possible from different wildlife fields. Anna spent a year at a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary in McCall, ID where she cared for black bear cubs, birds of prey, fawns, and many other local wildlife species. She also has experience working at a zoo with Asian mammals including Sumatran tigers, and worked in conservation research for rhinos, elephants, and predators on a private nature reserve in South Africa. Her love of seeing the world has taken her to every continent thus far except South America and Antarctica. She recently returned from Indonesia where she was studying traditional Javanese music. Anna is trained in Wilderness First Aid through the Wilderness Medicine Institute.

Mike Canetta (Naturalist Guide)

Mike has been a naturalist and outdoor enthusiast since he first visited Grand Teton National Park as a five year old. Mike holds a B.S. from the Program in the Environment at the University of Michigan, as well as an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, where he conducted research on native trout restoration efforts in the northern Rockies. Mike spent five seasons as a park ranger in Grand Teton National Park and worked for The Cougar Fund for over two years. In his free time, Mike can be found fly fishing, hiking, backpacking, and skiing with his wife and Australian Cattle Dog throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Mike also enjoys nature photography and writing, and has had work published in Montana Naturalist and Camas, as well as Yellowstone National Park and Yellowstone Park Foundation publications. Mike is certified in Wilderness First Aid through Sierra Rescue and holds a level II tracking certification with Cybertracker.

Eric Hope (Naturalist Guide)

Eric has had a passion for America’s national parks and wildlife since a very young age and has visited National Park units in all 50 states. Since getting his degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science (emphasis in Wildlife Biology) he has had the opportunity to work with the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Forest Service with carnivores across the country including wolves, lynx, mountain lions, ocelots, bobcats, wolverines, and several others. He is also an avid and published photographer specializing in wilderness and wildlife photography. When he’s not out guiding, Eric is often deep in the backcountry exploring the off-trail wonders and high peaks the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has to offer. Eric is a certified Wilderness First Responder through the Wilderness Medicine Institute and holds a level I tracking certification with Cybertracker.

Taylor McCleery (Naturalist Guide)

Taylor’s enthusiasm for the mountains and the outdoors began as a young child growing up at the base of the Sierra Nevada range in California. This passion led Taylor to pursue a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in environmental studies and geography at UCLA. Her research during her studies was focused on the effects of human disturbance to forest ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles. She investigated the effects of urbanization and global climate change factors on soil carbon storage and nutrient cycling in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Taylor’s passion for the mountains led her to move from Los Angeles to New Zealand and now to Jackson Hole. In her free time, she loves to hike and backpack, trying to climb to the top of as many mountains as she can. Taylor is trained in Wilderness First Aid through the Wilderness Medicine Institute.

Grant Bell (Naturalist Guide)

Grant has been guiding wildlife safaris in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks since 2011. As a boy he spent part of every summer in Yellowstone with his grandparents who worked for the national park service. After moving to Boise, Idaho his passion for the outdoors remained as he spent many days fishing, archery hunting, backpacking and photographing both wildlife and scenery. Grant attended Boise State and worked for Hewlett-Packard as a production manager before starting his own landscape company. Grant is intensely curious and has always loved to study nature, both experientially and academically. He feels very blessed to have the wonderful opportunity to  share this amazing area with others. It is definitely his dream job! Grant is trained in Wilderness First Aid through SOLO and holds a Level 2 Cybertracker Certification.

Carrie Wild (Brand Manager/Executive Assistant)

Carrie started working with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris as a reservationist in 2011. She was promoted to office manager and is now our executive assistant and brand manager. Carrie is an award winning wildlife photographer, naturalist and professional wildlife artist. Carrie is the owner of Carrie Wild Fine Art and you can see her work at www.CarrieWildArt.com. Her work is represented by and on display at Mountain Trails Gallery in Jackson Wyoming and Park City Utah, A Banks Gallery in Bozeman Montana and the Wiford Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Casey McFarland (Tracking Instructor)

Casey McFarland is the co-author of Bird Feathers: A Guide to North American Species (Stackpole 2010). He currently contributes to various wildlife projects, including wildlife connectivity and carnivore studies, and has worked extensively in mountain lion research. He trains and certifies biologists, research teams and the general public across the US and Europe through the CyberTracker Conservation evaluation system, an international standard for gauging and enhancing one’s in-field knowledge of track, sign and behavior of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Casey also has been involved in general environmental education for over a decade, instructing and presenting on various topics in venues ranging from Audubon Chapters and state agencies to the Sierra Club. Casey is a Cybertracker certified tracking evaluator. Learn more about Casey and Cybertracker at http://trackercertification.com