Spring time Bison bull on Antelope Island State Park

Grazing bullGrazing bull- Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/320, ISO 250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 130mm, natural light

The American Bison on Antelope Island are starting to show signs of shedding their winter coats and for awhile they will look a bit ratty. In this image you can see a couple of patches where the winter coat has been shed, directly behind the Bison’s right front leg, in front of the right back leg and its hindquarters.

Scratching Bison bullScratching Bison bull- Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/640, ISO 250,  Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 200mm, natural light

The Bison do a whole lot of scratching while they shed, on the ground, against the huge boulders that dot the island and if they can they rub against some of the signs. It must feel good to eventually get the loosened winter coat completely off.

Bison bull rubbing its belly on the groundBison bull rubbing its belly on the ground- Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/750, ISO 250, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 130mm, natural light

This bull rocked back and forth against the ground in this position for over a minute, I am still not sure what it was doing.

Bison bull standing upBison bull standing up- Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 135mm, natural light

Afterwards the bull stood up and started to graze. It is lovely to see the grassy slopes of the island turning green, to see the silvery green new growth on the Sagebrush and feel the warmth of the sun on my own skin.

These images were taken two days ago, yesterday I woke to a very light snow on the ground and there may be snow flurries today. Crazy weather is normal for spring in Utah.



Additional posts you might enjoy:

About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Thanks for all the comments, I appreciate them.

  2. I love your bison photos, and this guy is a beauty. Whenever I look at a bison, I can’t help but think how close they came to becoming extinct. Thankfully they have not gone the way of the poor passenger pigeon …

  3. Such a regal, powerful, and beautiful animal! Excellent photographs, Mia.

  4. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    Crazy weather is normal for us here all year round. The more we watch it lately the crazier it gets too. Half the time I just have to wait to see what it’s going to be outside since forecasts are next to useless. I have to tell you though, what I have to look forward to photographing is quite boring so I’m glad the variety of subject matter is in front of your lense.

  5. Impressive animal & pics, thanks for the up-close &wild on the plain, Mia! Third picture: my guess he was either scratching his rump, or trying to get up – or both.

  6. Jane Chesebrough

    great shots, yes they do look ratty this time of year.I can relate to the weather.

  7. They look like they indeed did well over the winter!

  8. Beautiful close-ups. I love their shapes.

Comments are closed