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Wild Bison in Yellowstone (Photo Essay)

Matt Skoglund

Posted June 29, 2012

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A group of bison cows and calves in Yellowstone National Park in May 2012.


Last month, I posted an array of photos from a spring trip into Yellowstone National Park. Conspicuously absent from that post were any photos of wild bison, the largest animal in Yellowstone and, in fact, the largest land mammal in North America.

I wrote about some good news for wild bison in Yellowstone a few months ago, and I expect to write about more good news in the near future. Separate from the issue of Yellowstone bison management, the State of Montana is finally moving forward with developing a statewide bison management plan and deciding whether to restore a wild, free-roaming population of bison somewhere in Montana.  We think there is incredible potential for such a restoration program (e.g., in and around the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge), and I will be writing more about it going forward.

But, for now, enjoy some photos of the wild, gnarly beast of the plains.

(Click on the photo to see a larger image.)


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A big bull bison shedding his winter coat for summer. 


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Cow and calf in the evening. With lots of predators in Yellowstone (thankfully), calves stay pretty close to their moms in the spring.  


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A big group of bison grazing in the afternoon.  


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The restless energy of the young calves always makes you smile.  


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A big bison skull near Slough Creek -- and a reminder that even in their deaths (whether from a wolf, a tough winter, or old age) bison benefit the ecological health of Yellowstone.  


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 A young calf trying to hide behind its mom. I love this photo.


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Mia McPhersonJun 29 2012 04:54 PM


I hope that Montana does move forward and reintroduces wild, free-roaming Bison.

Barbara KingJun 30 2012 12:04 PM

The Yellowstone bison are amazing- thank you for the fabulous photograhs. I look forward to more on this topic.

I've blogged on them too, so, sharing this piece which itself links to a second blog post I've done

Nate SchweberJun 30 2012 12:33 PM


Matt SkoglundJul 2 2012 05:40 PM

Mia, Barbara, and Nate:

Thank you for the great comments. And, Barbara, thanks for the link.


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