In the hazy dog days of the western summer, temperatures and testosterone rise to their peak.
Yellowstone National Park is a sprawling and brutal 2.2 million acres of untouched natural land where things haven’t changed much to the multitudes of wildlife that have called the area home for thousands of years.
Wolf packs circle helpless prey, grizzlies fight for mating rights, and mountain lionsstalk silently, all displays of a violent, but necessary, battle happening beneath nature’s tranquil surface.
But the creature most head west to see is no doubt the American bison.
Weighing up to 2,800 pounds and standing over 6 feet tall and 11 feet long, some 6,000 of these majestic horned beasts roam the Great Plains for most of the year in herds separated by sex, but that changes as July turns to August and the rut begins.
Like many animals, bison do not breed year round, but instead save up their energy for what can only be described as a raucous month of fighting and fornication. Androgen levels double for males and similar hormonal changes occur in females, leading both to ditch their herds in search of potential mates, a migration that inevitably leads to head to head competitions for potential partners.
One of these battles was captured in a beautiful video by wildlife photographer John Robertson while visiting Yellowstone on August 16th. It shows that all is fair in the war for love, as this bull found out the hard way.
The clip begins with a large bull seemingly minding his own business, grazing on what looks to be salt brush, when he noticed another male encroaching on his territory. He let out a deep growl in hopes to shoe the unwanted competitor away, but it had the opposite of its intended effect and the intruder charged.
Whether he was new to the game or just unable to prepare himself, this bison gets absolutely railroaded by what appears to be a younger, smaller bison, but one who came with much greater vigor. The aggressor put his horns down and hit at top speed, sending his opponent’s hooves screeching through the prairie land and pushing the beast over a short bluff.
Dust and birds fly everywhere and the seemingly younger bison is left victorious on the top of the hill, blood pumping in the thrill of the moment.
If the first bison ran that area, he was unseated, and if he was trying to make his claim, he failed, forced to move onward in hopes of another opportunity.
The highs and lows of life on the plains.
Excellent work by this photographer and another great reminder that we should be thankful for the lives we live; it’s much easier than fighting for every square inch.
Bison Herd Defends Calf From Hungry Pack Of Wolves
Another day, another episode of cool stuff going down at Yellowstone National Park.
Captured by Yellowstone guide, wolf tracker, and photographer Michelle Holihan, this awesome footage features the Junction Butte Pack trying to take down a bison calf.
Only problem is, mama and papa bison had other ideas:
“We had an exciting morning of wolf watching in Yellowstone today as several members of the Junction Butte Pack tried to take down a bison calf.
After the adults ran them off they gave up the chase and went back to the rest of the pack.”
Watching wolves hunt might be one of the coolest wildlife experiences you can encounter, and Yellowstone might be the best place to do it.
So methodical, so organized… sure they rely on speed and power, but they also rely on executing the perfect attack plan.
Unfortunately for these two wolves, they were outmanned and undersized against the defenses of the herd.
I ask myself that all the time but there always seems to be a new video that one-ups the last one I saw.
Time and time again we see tourist doing some dumb stuff with bison. We’ve seen enough examples of why this is a bad idea, there’s one that sums it up perfect with this bison railroading another bison.
If a bison can do that to a bison imagine what it can do to a person…
But this fella in the video is a special kind of stupid. The video starts with a man approaching a wild bison in the woods. The big fella is laying down relaxing in the sun, so naturally this bozo had the great idea to walk up and annoy it. The results will be spectacular.
The video continues in clips as he gets closer to it.
“Hi. I’m your friend”
“Do you mind if I ride you? Can I ride you?”
Stupid is as stupid does…
Firstly, bison don’t speak English, secondly this bison is going to ruin your week if you attempt to ride it. But if he’s willing to try, I’m willing to watch.
This man is dangerously close to the Bison and I hope he learns his lesson the hard way here.
“I wanna pet you. Can I pet you?”
No, you cannot pet a wild bison…
The video ends and the man is considerably farther away from the Bison with a quote that tells you he learned the lesson quickly and got very lucky.
“You’re not very friendly, are you?”
I can’t help but think this dummy cut out all the good parts of the video because he near shit himself when it came at him.
You can’t fix stupid and you can’t teach common sense.