Yellowstone Reports

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Buck Lake Otters

Filming With Marty
by Dan Hartman

July 22, 2012

It seems things in life come full circle, sooner or later. Cindy and I had just returned from Alaska in the early 80s and had found work in Jackson, Wyoming. On one of our first days off we drove up into Yellowstone. A grizzly was supposed to be fishing below Inspiration Point, so we checked it out.

While we were watching, two young photographers came up and we began visiting. Their names were Marty Hall and Don Koller, and they were from Ohio. As we talked, our hopes and dreams of making it out west kept surfacing out of our conversations. Marty worked in law enforcement at Lake Hope State Park and Don was a teacher. Cindy and I were determined not to return to Indiana. We spent the day together searching for wildlife, and then went our separate ways.

Years passed. When I ran into Marty again, he had left his job in Ohio to spend time out west. At the time he was filming for Bob Landis. Just last week, I received an email from Oliver and Ivo (film makers Ive been working with the last six months). They wanted me to assist a cameraman theyd hired to film otters at Trout Lake. The cameraman was Marty. It took us a couple of hours to locate the otters. (They were at Buck Lake.) We filmed them feeding and rolling in the grass, but now they were bedded.

Marty glanced at me and smiled. When we met some thirty years ago, who would have thought wed be here working on a Yellowstone Film together? We worked two days, and then Marty returned to his job in Glacier National Park. Being with someone who was there in the beginning made us appreciate how far we had come, and how lucky we are.

I returned to the great grays this morning to see if I could find them again. And I did! It had been 9 days but they were not far from where I last spotted them. I saw one adult fly off and both chicks perched. Cool!!


View slide show


Otters In The Grass

Marty Filming Otters

Injured Pup Following Mom


Me Carrying The Tripod