Antelope Island – Where the Buffalo still roam

Close up of a an American BisonClose up of a an American Bison – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/200, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Antelope Island State Park in northern Utah is a place where the “Buffalo” still roam unfettered by fences in a wild and majestic location. This photo; taken yesterday, shows how the grass has begun to green up and after a long winter of nothing but dried vegetation this bull seemed quite content to nibble on the fresh green grass.

An American Bison in early springAn American Bison in early spring – Nikon D300, f8, 1/250, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 200mm, natural light

The dark patches of hide on this Bison’s rump and back show that it is beginning to shed its thick winter coat. It won’t be long before the hind end of the bulls are sleek.

When I saw and photographed this bull yesterday I thought of the bison slaughter going on up in Yellowstone, how nearly 600 bison including pregnant cows were rounded up for culling slaughter because they don’t know where the boundary of the park ends and for population control. The bison “might” expose the cattle to Brucellosis which can cause late term abortions in cattle. The thing is that Bison never had Brucellosis until they were exposed to it by the cattle early pioneers brought with them.

I read this morning that the Yellowstone Bison Slaughter is done for the season but also that it doesn’t mean that more won’t be captured. I linked to a Miami media outlet because the AP article is complete whereas most of it is truncated in the media outlets closer to the park. I have to wonder why that is.

I know that I am much less inclined to visit Yellowstone now than I had been in the past because of the slaughter of these Bison and the Gray Wolves outside of the park area.

I couldn’t help but think of that yesterday as I watched this bull grazing peacefully on Antelope Island. Enough said. For now.


Warning, this link has graphic images of Bison being rounded up and dead bison:

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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. Jane Chesebrough

    I am grateful for Elk Island national park. When the herds grow too large they ship the bison all over the world.But there is a lot of controversy over the proposed culling of the wild (actually feral but they are still running wild) horse herds near Sundre Alberta. That fellow you captured the image of is a majestic old soul.After I saw the way the bison were handled it doesn’t look like they will at least go to feed people.

  2. Grace Dunklee Cohen

    Thanks for raising AWARENESS of this critical issue, Mia! Photographers can simply document, use their images to speak, or raise their voices to accompany their photographs to bring awareness – and hopefully – affect change. Keep speaking up – and speaking OUT on critical environmental issues, Mia!

  3. Superb images as always. I don’t think I’m that eager to visit Yellowstone after what you’ve said here. I knew about the wolves, but not about the Bison. What as a shame, shame, shame.

  4. I’m with you, Mia…agree with you 100%…Great pictures..ever notice how difficult it is to see a bison’s ears? Maybe they don’t have any!!! P. (-;

  5. Gorgeous photos, Mia.
    And thanks, too, for raising my awareness re Yellowstone…

  6. Such a majestic beast. And how wonderful it can roam free.
    Like Sally I cannot look at the links. It reminds me of the kangaroo carnage (cull) that our council indulges in each year.

  7. Wonderful close-ups, Mia. Glad they are still able to roam Antelope Island. Can’t bring myself to look at the cull and kill link though.

  8. oh they are SUCH cool looking critters!!

  9. Love that first shot. looks so peaceful an animal as opposed to the other animal.. man
    I think I will start walking around with some grass behind my ear like this guy in case i get peckish ;)
    Wonderful photos Mia

  10. Mia – thank you for your attentiveness to your surrounding activities. I certainly endorse the end of the slaughter of these magnificent creatures.

  11. Great shots Mia!
    I agree with you on what you said about the Bison. Read all the comments.
    But, although I’m concerned with what I construe as miss management of the Yellowstone Bison Herd and wildlife in general, I am just as concerned with Yellowstone which is a Super Volcano ready to erupt. Not if, but when. But, that is another topic for another time.
    Love your shots, and many thanks for sharing!!

  12. Really nice shots of the Bison.

  13. Simply beautiful!

  14. Beautiful Bison, nibbling the cud.

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