It’s Bison Time

These aren’t the best photos …

Bison family.

… but I wasn’t going to get out of my truck for better ones, either.

Big bison daddy.

Bison are hungry, unpredictable and big. Really big. They weigh up to 900 kg (2000 lbs), so photos have to come from the protection of my vehicle.

Greetings from the woodlands bison of the Northwest Territories. 🙂

40 thoughts on “It’s Bison Time”

  1. I’ve seen the bison in Yellowstone National Park several times … magnificent creatures, but as you say, best viewed from the safety of a vehicle! Are wood bison a separate species / sub-species?

        1. Thanks for the link – a very interesting and informative post. They look the same as ours and also stand in the road the same way, too. Driving after dark in the autumn can be dangerous as they like to stand there at night, too. As it gets colder, they head into the forest, so not much of an issue after about the end of October, though.

    1. It is pretty wonderful. They roam very freely all over this area and don’t seem too concerned if you stop your vehicle to watch, but I have heard of them abruptly charging people (and vehicles sometimes, too) who get too close.

  2. Just to see such magnificent creatures in the flesh must be wonderful, a real privelege. You do well to keep to the safety of your vehicle, Lynette. Outside, you might be seen as an invader in their territory.

    1. They are really something! So big. I had to stop on the highway because there was a large herd of them just standing there in the road. I stayed a respectful distance away and waited. I took a couple of photos through the windshield but it was so covered in bug juice that they weren’t at all good.
      Another good reason for staying inside is that their distance eyesight isn’t great, and you don’t want to be mistaken for either an invader or a rival! 🙂

        1. They were nearly wiped out, yes. They are still either threatened (woodland bison) or endangered (plains bison). Human behaviour is just so unforgivable sometimes.
          Thanks, Stuart, you too.

  3. Beautiful animals! I read how we nearly annihilated them in our attempt to annihilate Native people, and it’s only due to their work that bison have made a comeback.

    1. Yes, the wood bison were nearly wiped out. They are still defined as threatened as there are only about 12000 of them. What’s worse is that there are only about 2000 plains bison, although their habitat in western Alberta has been preserved and they should make something of a comeback. Human behaviour can be so sickening sometimes.

  4. Cool. The only time I was around bison was my two times in South Dakota. As a kid, we went on a jeep safari of sorts, with our parents, right into the middle of a herd. I remember being told not to make a sound or they might stampede. I was scared, but glad I experienced it. We saw a few in the Badlands a few years ago when I went with my husband.

    Glad you stayed safe. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome. 🙂

      We have big herds of them around here. This herd was parked right in the road and I had to stop and wait for them to decide to move. I would never try to drive through them, though. They could turn my vehicle into scrap metal.

      That must have been really scary, driving among them when you were a kid.

  5. There used to be this tiny park close to me when I was growing up that had some. I’m still not entirely sure how or why because we were in the suburbs so it seemed odd. They did some renovations (I think someone bought the property) and the bison were gone after that.

    1. If they were in the suburbs they may have been a cross between bison and cattle. The result is an animal that looks a lot like a bison but much smaller. Wild bison don’t do well in captivity.

    1. Right? I once watched from a hotel window in Lake Louise as a tourist approached a full-grown moose that was shedding the velvet from his antlers! As you likely know, that means they are mating and very dangerous. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This guy was maybe centimetres away. It was the moose who was smart enough to leave. People can so stupid, and then it’s the animal who pays.

  6. I don’t blame you for not getting out of the truck to go closer. I’m even afraid of cows. The domestic kind. They stare at you, and stare, and you don’t know what (or if) they’re thinking, and then the slime drools down from their lips and you wonder if it’s time to get out of there. I imagine bison are the same only way scarier. Great to see at a distance though.

    1. Your description of the “cow stare” is so accurate! That’s exactly what they do! I don’t know if bison behave like that as every time I see them, they have their heads down eating. Takes a lot of vegetation to keep those bodies going! 🙂

      1. I think it would be really something to be close enough to take bison pics (with the zoom). I felt that way when I saw pronghorns in Alberta and then Montana for the first time. Very cool. Enjoyed this post.

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