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on Jan 20, 2010 in Moose Adventures, Wildlife Photography, Yellowstone Life

Yellowstone Adv – Bison Found but not Perfected

This might sound really weird and contrary to common belief, but Bison in Yellowstone, those massive, historic herds have just not been around for the past month. The popular theory is the warm winter has left open meadows higher up so the Bison have had no need to move down to the thermals to graze. Not that the 3″ of snow received today was any great dump, but we finally found some Bison to work.

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Just after the sun rose (but still hidden in the snow storm), we found some lone bulls and with the knowledge of the day before, we parked, waited and worked them while we could. Nowhere near great stuff, it was good lessons in Bison biology (two main traits, food goes in, crap comes out). When this bull moved out of range, we wiggled down the road. A while later we were in Hayden Valley and there we found the herds that they day before weren’t present.

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Both of these photos demonstrate the one aspect of Bison in winter I’m lookin for, that crusted snow on the face. Neither one of these photos (bull top, cow bottom) is the final image I’m looking for but it’s a good start. We’ll keep working the herds in hopes of making that one clean, snow crusted face shot.

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And then there is this shot. You might be thinking this should have the cut line of “The End” but that’s not actually what I was seeing. The symmetry of this pregnant cow just caught my attention. True, it’s an ass that only a bull could love but I found it photographically pleasing. And I’m going to leave that and that!

Photos captured by D3s / D3x, 600VR w/TC-17e on Lexar UDMA digital film