Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Bison Encounter I Never Had

My day wasn't all that newsworthy but I finally made it to my classroom. I cannot wait to get a look at my class list! Nah...the story of the day comes from TR.

There was a big bison jam in Hayden Valley (YNP) as there often can be and some visitors did something inappropriate. I mean, even the bison knew it was inappropriate. If you've never been involved, bison jams can be tricky because you don't know what might provoke a bison. Bison have been known to suddenly ram parked vehicles with no one inside just because they can. And it's not just a little dent. Those horns make holes in cars sometimes. So when you meet up with them on a road, you try to give them plenty of time and plenty of space. It depends on the situation, but most people understand that the bison own the park and get to do whatever they want. Sometimes you can get by them easily, but sometimes you might be driving along behind them since they've chosen to walk down the middle of the road, at their leisurely pace, and you just "blend in" with your car...all part of the same happy herd.

I have never exited my vehicle to get a closer look or a better picture of a bison. The rules say you should remain a minimum of 25 yards away and if the bison moves closer to you, it's your responsibility to move as well to ensure the 25 yards safety distance. Now of course some things can't be helped while you're driving. Say a herd is walking down the road as opposing traffic and they just walk right past your vehicle. I personally like to make sure my stereo is off and if I'm going to risk a photo, I really make sure the flash is off. I keep my windows rolled up if they are in close proximity. I also like to send off a little "chi" toward the bison by thinking happy thoughts and gathering peace so that the bison will sense no fear or threat in the vicinity of my car. It goes back to blending in with the herd and remaining calm. Those are just my own little personal practices.

Bison sure are funny looking creatures, but don't forget, they are like Olympic athletes. Some weigh as much as 2000 pounds and yet they can jump 6-8 feet! Never underestimate a bison. So today in Hayden Valley there was a bison jam and some human decided to reach out and PET a bison as it was walking past their car! The bison KICKED their vehicle and someone else reported it to law enforcement. LE caught up with these people at the next Visitor Center and CITED them! Now these folks have a fine to pay and an insurance claim to settle. Hooray for the bison!!!

On a side note, also in Hayden Valley, someone reported a child up in a tree (above the bison) with no adults anywhere to be found! A busy day for law enforcement, educating the public and keeping the bison unprovoked.

1 comment:

  1. Holy smokes, crazy people! So what would they say to the bicyclist we saw ride through a bison jam?