Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bison in Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park this year is 140 years old.  DSC_3950-Edit September 12, 2012 NIKON D800 And is the home of the largest land animal in North America, The Bison.  Yellowstone is the only place in the lower 48 states to have a continuous free-ranging bison's and population since prehistoric times.  By 1902 approaches that reduce the Yellowstone's small herd to about two dozen animals, the U.S. Army who administered Yellowstone, at that time protected these bisons.  Utilizing bisons from private herds the native herd was augmented.  The herds in Yellowstone average more than 3000 who roam the grasslands of Yellowstone National Park.  In the summer, the bisons of found in the grasslands of the park, especially in the Hayden and Lamar valleys.  In the winter.  They are found in the hydro-thermal areas and along the Madison River.
As you drive along the roads in Yellowstone, you need to keep your eyes open for the bison, as they can suddenly appear and cross the road.  While I was in Yellowstone recently, we had a number of stoppages due to bison crossing the road.
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Photographing the Bison from in the Van
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One of the more interesting aspects that I observed were bull bisons fighting.  These were probably young males, learning how to fight, rather than bull seeking out females.  The rut season for bison usually occur in late July and August.
American Bison (Bison bison)Everone Needs to Get Into The Act
Despite being the largest land animal in North America, bison a very agile and quick and are capable of reaching speeds and exits at 30 mph.  Every year bisons to injure park visitors who approach to closely.  The regulations of the park state that you should be at least 25 yards away from bison, elk and other animals.
This bull bison crossed from the other side of the gully and up toward us, while will were photographing it and started to give us "an evil eye", we all return to our van very quickly.
American Bison (Bison bison)
Calves are born, usually in late April and May.  They usually have a cinnamon-colored coat which is shared and about two months.  We did find some younger calf's with the cinnamon-colored coat even into September
.American Bison (Bison bison)
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Cows, calves and some younger bulls usually comprise a herd.  Mature bulls will spend most of the year alone or with other bulls.
 DSC_3105-Edit September 11, 2012 NIKON D800American Bison (Bison bison)American Bison (Bison bison)