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Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to visit several National Parks and State Parks in the Great Plains.  During the trip I took a number of pictures of Bison.  There were large numbers of Buffalo in the Custer State Park in South Dakota and also in the Yellowstone National Park in the Hayden Valley area.  I was so amazed that the buffalo seemed to just enjoy walking along the highway on the pavement among the cars!  Of course, the big animals do have the right-of-way in the park areas.  The buffalo often tie up traffic as they stand or walk along roads in the parks.  The Rangers in Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley area actually encourage the Bison to move off the road by using recorded grunts that are played out of the windows of the Ranger’s cars!

I also was totally shocked to find that a small group of about forty or so of the buffalo were trotting through the Fishing Bridge Trailer Park campground in Yellowstone National Park early one evening at twilight.  This appearance of buffalo in the campground is highly unusual.  I heard the Bison before I poked my head out of my trailer and had a look.  I was amazed to see the herd trotting along both the last small roadway in the campground (about 10 feet behind my trailer) and in the forest at the edge of the campground.   During the trip I also got to see Bison fording or crossing the Yellowstone River.  That was really interesting to see.  The very young bulls also were testing each other and play-fighting by butting heads.

So I managed to get to see a lot of big buffalo in a safe and enjoyable way.  I took these pictures between Sept. 3-10, 2011 in Custer State Park and in Yellowstone National Park. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Comments on: "Encounters With Bison (American Buffalo)" (13)

  1. wow! the herd mixing it up with the cars is so neat to see! and the rutting bulls too! wonderful!!!

  2. Welcome back! Gosh, you got really good pictures, and even one of them fighting and butting heads!!! How exciting! I guess it might be easy to hit one in the twilight?

    • Hi Ginny, Thanks! It is good to be home. Yes, one must drive carefully and “Wait it out” when the Bison are on the roadway. Slow and steady with a great deal of patience is the order of the day in both the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop area and in the Hayden Valley of Yellowstone National Park (on way to Yelllowstone Canyon and Yellowstone Falls).

  3. You got some good pictures of the bison! I’m glad you got to see them up close!

    • Hi Montucky, Thanks! Yes, I was about 8-10 feet from the Buffalo at times. I was OK when seeing them in the car as I was the passenger and hubby had to dodge Bison! I was slightly frightened when I was standing outside watching the herd trot through the campground along the edges and on the street – powerful animals. I stood behind a pine and was stock-still and quiet, just for safety. Have a wonderful evening!

  4. Glad to have you back! Oh, my gosh, I would love to visit some of those parks! I didn’t realize that the buffalo come so close to human activity. That had to be an amazing experience. You got some really good photos.

    • Hi Kateri, Yes, the Buffalo were very close to the cars as well as close to our trailer and to me while I was outside taking pictures in the trailer park. I just made sure to stay well away and behind a tree and I was quiet. Have a super day!

  5. Awesome, Linda… Can’t wait til we go to that area… We are thinking about a trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons in Sept. of 2012…


    • Hi Betsy, I think that early in Sept. would be best as some areas are closing by mid-Sept. The weather can be iffy, too. I do not think you want to go mid-Summer as it gets very crowded (like Grand Canyon and like the Great Smoky Mountains does). You will love your trip!

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