Bison are back

_40A3761_IR.jpgBison at North Rim, Grand Canyon

Back in the mid to late 1800’s over 60 million bison roamed the plains.  From North Dakota to Arizona herds were plentiful and prolific.

bison54_IR.jpgBison at Raymond Wilderness Area

Until they weren’t.  Hunters decimated much of the herds.  In fact, it was in large part ‘how the West was won’, as hunters kill Native American Indian’s food source.  With only some 23 bison left, concerned citizens the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and the Bronx Zoo, among others isolated the remaining bison to prohibit their extinction.

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Today, bison are being re-introduced and bred under the watchful eye of Game and Fish Departments, National Wildlife Federation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and private organizations across the country.  Today’s bison are carefully monitored for disease and genealogy to assure healthy, robust, diverse herds.

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It’s a real treat to see them grazing on the Plains and to appreciate and observe these large historic animals.

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For more bison pix, see my post here … https://kritterspix.com/2018/11/05/they-are-not-buffalo/

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Yellowstone National Park

buffboy halfPSiWe just got back from our big trip to Yellowstone National Park.

For more photos check out my photo blog, kritterspix.com.

We were less impressed by the scenery than by the animals.  We got up close and personal with over a dozen animals, from the big three (bison, elk, and bear) to fox, marmot, pika, deer, antelope, moose, and numerous birds (eagle, osprey, and white pelican).  It was a lesson in humanity to see how people stop on the road, and get right up in the animals faces taking selfies… and the animals tolerance of this stupidkind.   We witnessed one couple charged by a bull elk when people got too close.. they tend to forget that they are wild animals.

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For our part, we are trained in our environment (living in the woods), to be respectful of animals and keep our distance.  No doubt we could have gotten closer… or a better angle.. but we didn’t want to interfere with the animals.

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It was just cool to see them… and the variety we were fortunate enough to witness.

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Yellowstone is broken into a circle-8 scenic byway.  People warned us how crowded it would be.. but it was less crowded than we anticipated.  Maybe it was just the build up from all the ney-sayers.  The upper northern loop (on the west side) was far more crowded.  This section one can find Old Faithful, and  is ‘hot’ with geyser activity… and people.  The geyser sections were much more full of people.steamtreesPSi

gpyPSiAdmittedly the geysers were fascinating to observe. But we were happy to stay on the south eastern loop, in the Lake Village where there were less people, and more animals.  Which by the way, was also where there was a deadly bear attack the day we arrived, making everyone, locals and tourists alike, bear aware.

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Next stop, Grand Tetons.  We hope to see moose.

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