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Vermejo NM – Bison Rut and Night Skies

August 30, 2021 - September 3, 2021


Vermejo Park Ranch – Bison Rut and Night Sky!

Vermejo Park Ranch features 585,000 acres of spectacular and relatively un-photographed wild country in New Mexico. It is a magnificent place, way too big to see in just one trip!

Our August workshop at Vermejo is at the height off the annual bison rut, and we can often park in the middle of the rut and watch the action unfold around us. Elk and mule deer are in velvet, and the black beers are feeding on berries and acorns. The weather tends to be clear with the afternoons bringing dramatic clouds and even rainbows. It is a great time to be in the high country. And the Milky Way is big and bright under Vermejo’s dark skies. We will be able chase wildlife opportunities, explore several of Vermejo’s stellar ghost towns and historic structures, and shoot a range of landscapes, day and night.

Guests also have an option to extend their stay another two days if they wish to experience more of what Vermejo has to offer, such as additional night photography or more time with the bison.

If chasing wildflowers and newborn animals is more your style, check out our early summer “Babes and Blooms” Photo Workshop.


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




Cost $3200 for single participant in own room (4 nights at $800/night). Cost for couples sharing a room is $3000 each ($750/night). Price includes lodging, meals, professional guides and on-site transportation.There is an optional two day extension available for anyone who wants more time to shoot, explore or learn, subject to room availability.

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


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.

Arrive at Vermejo at noon and get checked into your room. After everyone arrives, we will head out toward Vermejo’s iconic Castle Rock, a huge rock outcropping in the middle of a beautiful, flower-filled field.

We will have a discussion on the Lodge patio about what to expect, and I will check more on your skill level and what you would like to see or achieve during the workshop. I use this time to get a feel for how I can personalize my help for you, or get you specific types of photos.

Then we will go on a photo drive and look for Vermejo’s large bison herd and other animals before returning for dinner and a good night sleep.

wLate in the morning we will return to relax and get lunch.

In the afternoon, we will head to the beautiful Canadian River and look for wildlife as we travel to the massive old charcoal kilns to photograph them against the setting sun, and then return to the lodge to relax before the  big day to follow.


We get up early and head to the Koehler Coal Mining Town, stopping along the way as opportunity presents to shoot landscapes and wildlife.

Koehler is an amazing ghost town, with a row of beautiful and colorful abandoned homes to photograph, as well as the now abandoned mining operations. It is a fascinating place and eerily beautiful. And unlike most ghost towns, it has been rarely photographed.

We will pack a lunch with us and relax in the mid-day before returning back on a game drive.

Morning is left open to allow us some flexibility to decide from a lot of options depending on what the group wants. We can chase more wildlife, photograph wildflowers, drive to the top of a mountain,or do a number of other things depending on what the group wants and what is “happening”. Some may want to sleep in a bit after the long day, and rest up for the light-painting to come.

In the evening we will return to Castle Rock to photograph the sunset, and then stay until total darkness to “paint” the rock with light, with the Milky Way and stars. I will show everyone how to do it, in case you have never tried to light paint before, or have never photographed stars at night. We will work together to get some amazing and unique photos!

Sunday you get to sleep in after the late night.  We will have a late morning gathering before departure of those not doing the optional extension.

For those staying for the optional extension, we will tailor the itinerary to what the group wants to photograph, including more night photography or time chasing any particular animals or opportunities.

All Vermejo Workshops


August 30, 2021
September 3, 2021
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Sean Fitzgerald
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Vermejo Park Ranch
Raton, NM United States + Google Map
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