2023—The Bison Trip

For me, no two trips to Yellowstone National Park are the same. I usually visit the park three to four times in a year, in the dead of winter with deep snow, in the spring as the snow begins to recede, and a couple of times in the fall before the snow returns. Not only is the landscape entirely different depending on which season I visit, but which animals stand out during that visit changes too. Each past trip seems to have been distinguished by memorable encounters with a single species either once during the week such as with Gray Wolves on a carcass or Bighorn Sheep in a snow storm; or multiple times during a visit such as Coyotes, Pine Martens, Red Fox, Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, and River Otters. Of course the ubiquitous American Bison is always present in Yellowstone creating Bison jams as curious onlookers stop in the road gawking at the huge beasts as they lumber along the edge of the road or in the middle of it. Spring is the time when Bison cows are giving birth and all of the herds of Bison throughout the park have several newborns, called Red Dogs for their reddish coats, frolicking on the meadows. Although we did see seven individual Grizzly Bears and one Black Bear, a couple of Coyotes and a small band of Bighorn ewes, for me the most memorable encounters were the Bison, so I’ll think of this trip as the Bison Trip.

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