Bison bull grazing on a crisp January morning

/, Antelope Island State Park, Davis County, Utah/Bison bull grazing on a crisp January morning

Bison bull grazing on a crisp January morningBison bull grazing on a crisp January morning – Nikon D810, f10, 1/800, ISO 320, -1.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light

When I photographed this bison bull grazing on a crisp January morning I recall how cold my hands and cheeks were and that I could hear the crunching sounds the bull made as he ate.

My favorite times of the year to photograph the bison on the island are in the spring when the grasses are green and lush, when their red calves arrive, when they are in rut and during the winter when the ground is covered in snow.

I haven’t photographed the American Bison on Antelope Island State Park in a long time and I am not quite sure why. I haven’t spent much time on the island since the fire this summer that scorched half of the island but I realize that I should do something to fix my lack of recent images of bison.

Life is good.



  1. Kathie Brown October 9, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Mia, what a wonderful bison shot!

  2. Elephant's Child October 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Majestic and magnficent.
    We get fires each and every summer. They scare me, and make my heart ache.

    • Mia McPherson October 9, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Thank you EC. Our wildfire can be beneficial but they are scary too.

  3. April Olson October 8, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I have only gone to the island once since the fire and that was for the Spider Festival. I was planning on going tomorrow, Sunday, in the am to explore the fire areas and Garr Ranch to see the barn where the roof was taken off by the sever weather in September. I thought it would be interesting to photograph and document the areas that burned as they recovered.

    • Mia McPherson October 9, 2016 at 8:31 am

      April, I hope you enjoy your trip to the island today. My first trip to the island after the fire made me feel sad but I know it will come back.

  4. Utahbooklover October 8, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Fire is a double edged sword, very destructive of course and yet fire can renew vegetation that provides better habitat for wildlife and enhance biodiversity. Yellowstone Park has called in a special federal team that studies fire behavior to fine out why this year the fires burn much more readily in the 1988 fire scars. Read more in the SLTrib 6Sep16 (Team studies wildfires…). BTW, I love this image of the Bison surviving the winter.

  5. Deborah October 8, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Fire is a devastating, terrible and sad event. Fire is probably the thing I fear most.
    These photos are wonderful. I had opportunity to photograph buffalo in 2012. I was in Wyoming for work and managed to get some great photos. It was Snowing and 9º. My fingers in my fingerless gloves were frozen stiff. It was an exhilarating experience though.

    • Mia McPherson October 9, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Deborah, I feel for your frozen fingers, I have experienced it myself a few times (more times than I can count), but I am glad you got your bison photos!

  6. Patty Chadwick October 8, 2016 at 10:03 am

    That’s some image! The strength and power of that bison is so obvious…just the size of the head alone is as impressive as heck! I’ve dreaded seeing pictures of the island after the fire…and learning about the threat to the wildlife there…especially the young, the old and those who could not fly and might not been able to escape. (I pulled horses out of a burning barn TWICE!)– fire terrifies me….

    • Mia McPherson October 8, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Patty, I know what you mean about fire and being terrified. When I was 11 years old I watched as all of our possessions and home burned to the ground. I didn’t even know at the time of the fire that I had become so terrified and that I was in a trance like state until our neighbor and close family friend slapped me in the face and apologized immediately. I was confounded and asked Anne why she slapped me and she said “Sweetie, you were screaming and couldn’t seem to stop”. I realized she was only trying to help me.

      House & building fires and the acrid smoke they produce to this day make me feel physically ill. I don’t like the destruction that wildfires cause but they don’t induce as much fear in me.

      Your are a brave woman saving those horses.

      • Patty Chadwick October 8, 2016 at 11:16 am

        I was a teenager at the time…we thought my youngest sister had died in it, but she had panicked and run up the hill to a neighbor’s. if I even smell the slightest whiff of smoke, I HAVE to find out where it’s coming from. Open burning is illegal now, so I seldom smell smoke anymore….

        • Mia McPherson October 9, 2016 at 8:32 am

          Open burning in some areas isn’t illegal here so sometimes I smell the smell that horrifies me.

  7. Glen Fox October 8, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I have noticed that you have posted almost nothing from the park since the fire. I look forward to hearing what you see and find there as it (and you) heal. Glen

    • Mia McPherson October 8, 2016 at 10:11 am

      Glen, I haven’t been out there on my own since the fire and that is what I need to do to formulate all my thoughts and feelings about it and the aftermath of the fire.

      One thing I have noticed is that there are not the number of birds I have seen in previous years and that might be related to the fire killing off prey and destroying shelter.

  8. Bob McPherson October 8, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Beautiful picture of this gorgeous, majestic creature, Mia.

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