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Project Yellowstone
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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Project Yellowstone on 05/30/2010 15:25:11 MDT Print View

As some may know I set a goal last summer of visiting the park at least once a month for a full year. I let grad school cause me to miss April, but did alright otherwise.

Video summary:

If I stay in MT this fall I'll attempt another project, but with new rules: each trip must spend 48+ consecutive hours away from the frountcountry.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Project Yellowstone on 05/31/2010 08:12:07 MDT Print View

Awesome video as usual.

Do those buffalo pose any type of danger? Or do they basically ignore you...just curious.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Project Yellowstone on 05/31/2010 09:16:52 MDT Print View

Bison are herbivores, so they really don't want to eat you. If you get too close or threaten them, an irate adult might charge you, or maybe just bluff charge. So, if you keep a reasonable distance and move laterally, they don't care much. Once in a while you will find a bison cow who is overly protective of her calf, or maybe find a bison bull who is in a bad mood, so allow a safer distance and everything is OK. It is possible to get gored by a bison if you were stupid.

I was in Yellowstone, walking at night about 45 minutes after sunset. I had my headlamp switched off as I ambled along a trail. All of a sudden, there was a Snort just a few feet in front of me. I lit up a light feature on my camera and saw that it was a bison bull. I just backed up and then moved laterally until I was safe, then ran like crazy!


David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
bison safety on 05/31/2010 09:29:03 MDT Print View

Bison have been responsible for more human injuries and fatalities than all other park critters put together, mainly because folks think they're big shaggy cows and get too close taking pictures. Generally speaking, if you stay a reasonable distance away (25 meters is the parks guideline) the bison will hardly acknowledge your presence. (The close up of the bison shaking off dust was taken from our truck.)

There do seem to be exceptions to that rule, when for whatever reason the bison are a bit more skittish. In late October last year I dayhiked out the Lamar Valley and ran into a couple hundred strong herd on the way out and on the way back. Part of that group is pictured running away from me in the video. Both times I tried to go off trail and around them (we were in a big sage field) and both times they ran off en mass as soon as I got within 100 meters. I've walked right past similar herds in different seasons with little more than a snort to acknowledge my passing. I've read some articles and asked a few rangers since, but have found no definitive answer to that question.

Bison are one of my favorite things about the park. I've spent hours over the past year sitting and watching them.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Project Yellowstone on 05/31/2010 10:05:39 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info...and the correct term: Bison. I've only ever seen them at the zoo, but it would be cool to see a whole herd like that.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Project Yellowstone on 06/06/2010 17:04:36 MDT Print View

Very cool video (photos & music)!