Idaho Man Arrested After Getting Drunk & Kicking A Bison In Yellowstone National Park

buffalo Yellowstone national park
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People do a lot of dumb things when they’re drunk, but kicking a bison might be near the top of the list.

Of course we continually see people in Yellowstone National Park tempt fate by getting too close to the wildlife, often with disastrous results. But an Idaho man is lucky that he’s safe behind bars after having too much to drink and kicking a bison in the park.

According to a release from the National Park Service, rangers responded to the park after reports that a visitor had been harassing a herd of bison and kicked one in the leg.

When they got there, they found 40-year old Clarence Yoder of Idaho Falls, Idaho in a nearby vehicle, and stopped him in the town of West Yellowstone, Montana. It was then that they realized that Yoder had suffered minor injuries from his foolish encounter with the bison, so he was transported to the hospital.

After receiving medical care, Yoder was then arrested on charges of being under the influence of alcohol to a degree that may endanger oneself, disorderly conduct as to create or maintain a hazardous condition, approaching wildlife, and disturbing wildlife. And the driver of the vehicle, 37-year old McKenna Bass, was also arrested and charged with driving under the influence, interference for failure to yield to emergency light activation, and disturbing wildlife.

Both Yoder and Bass have plead not guilty to all charges, but they’re facing a fine of up to $5,000 and six months in jail on each charge if found guilty of the allegations.

The NPS says this is the first incident of a visitor to Yellowstone being injured by a bison in 2024, with the last incident coming in July of 2023 when a bison gored and seriously injured a woman who was trying to run away from the charging animal.

Of course it should go without saying that you should never get too close to these massive creatures – much less try to kick one. A male American bison, called a bull, can grow to 6 feet tall and weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They can also run three times faster than humans, and especially during mating season, bison can become easily agitated when visitors get too close, often leading to injuries or worse.

The National Park Service advises visitors to stay at least 25 yards away from wildlife, and to make sure to walk the opposite direction if you find yourself too close to these large animals.

Because if you get too close…well, bad things happen.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock