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Vermejo NM – Elk and Aspens

September 25, 2021 - September 30, 2021



Vermejo in September is magic. Vermejo’s mountains and meadows come alive with the sight and sounds of bugling bull elk during their fall rut.  And Vermejo’s huge, high mountain aspen groves can provide stunning autumn displays and unique landscape opportunities.

This workshop is especially unique as we pair up small groups of photographers with one of the Vermejo’s world class wildlife guides to help position them to get great opportunities to photograph bull elk as they bugle, display and fight to build and maintain their harems. This is a rare and unique opportunity, done responsibly.

I will be there to help assist photographers and guide the overall experience.

As a special treat, we are staying this year at the beautiful high country Costilla Lodge. It is a small and intimate lodge and we may have the entire place to ourselves.


Cost $4000 for single participant in own room (5 nights at $800/night). Cost for couples sharing a room is $3750 each (5 nights at $750/night). Price includes lodging, meals, professional guides and on-site transportation.

Workshops usually limited to 6 photographers. Lodging is for standard accommodation.

Company Store purchases, alcoholic beverages, staff and guide gratuity and New Mexico State sales tax are not includedClick here for more information about tipping and my Vermejo workshops in general.

Contact me at 214-213-4193 or for more information about the workshop and what to expect if you join us.

To book, contact Vermejo Park Ranch at (575) 445-3097 or


Vermejo has taken measures to protect visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more at Keeping You Safe.



We will adjust our itinerary depending on the weather and those serendipitous opportunities that will likely present themselves. But this gives you an idea of what to expect.

We keep the itinerary open on this workshop give us the flexibility to work around the weather, the elk activity, and the status of the fall color. Ideally we will start off before dawn and go out to look for elk, as well as other elk and opportunities that pop up along the way.

The opportunity to photograph elk while accompanied by a guide is an incredible opportunity, and every chance is different in terms of the response, the behavior you might observe, and the habitat and weather in which you shoot.

With guides assigned to small clusters of photogrphers, I will be there to help and teach, either in person or back at the lodge at mid-day or in the evenings.

I will also be available during our down times to work with each participant on their images, their photo techniques, or digital issues. Bring your laptop and I can look over your shoulder if you wish! If the weather and action is good, however, we will spend as much time out in the field as we can, chasing photo opportunities.

The first day is very relaxed. Arrive at noon or early afternoon. You will have time to grab some lunch, get checked in and take a nap from your journey. Participants usually arrive between noon and 2pm at the main lodge at Casa Grande. Then we will assembly into the ranch vehicles and proceed to the high country lodge at Costilla. If possible, we will go on a game drive before dinner and then meet to discuss logisitics and skills for the next few days.

We will spend the days looking for elk photography opportunities as well as landscapes and fall color.  The exact schedule will depends on the conditions, animal movements, and weather.

We hope to spend at least one day chasing autumn landscapes, with specific landscape photo destinations in mind.  If the fall color is look great, we will spend a full day out, looking for aspen displays in Vermejo’s high country.

Our typical itinerary

Pre-dawn. Gather for breakfast and to coordinate with you guide for the day.

Leave before dawn to get into position. Groups are usually out until late morning, then return to the lodge for lunch and a break.

We leave again in the mid-afternoon to look for elk and stay in the field until after sunset.

We then return to the lodge for dinner.

Depending on the fall color and other factors, we may take the last day to go as a group together to several prime locations to photograph landscapes. This can be an all day trip and include a picnic lunch and snacks in the field.

On the last day, we can sleep late and enjoy breakfast before heading back down to the main lodge at Casa Grande, where participants can check out and return home.

All Vermejo Workshops


September 25, 2021
September 30, 2021
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Sean Fitzgerald
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Vermejo Park Ranch
Raton, NM United States + Google Map
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