Ever since I was a little boy, Bison have been one of my favorite animals. When I was a little boy, the City of Cheyenne had a few Bison in pens in Lions Park, on the north side of town. In the summer months, we’d make lunch and head to the Park to have lunch with Dad. We’d frequently go by the Bison pens and marvel at their beauty. Eventually, the Bison went away, along with the Deer and Elk that the City had in adjacent pens. The Terry Ranch, south of Cheyenne on I-25, rebranded itself as the Terry Bison Ranch and we were able to see lots of Bison on our trips to and from Colorado. The Terry Bison Ranch also operated a restaurant with Bison on the menu. When we visited Mom and Dad, we stopped by for a delicious Bison Burger. After I got serious about photography, I’d stop by the Terry Bison Ranch for pictures.
Another favorite venue is the Bear River State Park in Evanston WY. I always stop there on my way home, say howdy to the Bison, and visit with the Park staff. It’s a great rest stop!
When my lovely bride and I visited Yellowstone National Park four years ago (has it been four years already?), we encountered Bison up close in the Hayden and Lamar Valleys. Taking pictures of Bison is challenging. Their bodies are dark, so the tendency is to overexpose to bring out detail. In bright light (like the middle of the day), that’s a deadly combination. Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn’t. On that trip, the magic was mostly ‘doesn’t.’
Our recent trip to Wyoming, however, was a different story! We saw Bison on the North Fork of the Shoshone River, the road between Cody WY and the east entrance to Yellowstone, near Meeteetse WY, and along the road in Grand Teton National Park. The skies were frequently overcast, diffusing the light, so I was able to make some great Bison images on this trip. I hope you like them!
North Fork Road (along the Shoshone River between Cody WY and Yellowstone National Park):
West of Meeteetse WY:
Grand Teton National Park:
Bison are magnificent animals! In the right light, they photograph very well. Or, if one is a good photographer, one can account for the light better! Regardless, the most important thing to remember is ‘Don’t Pet the Fluffy Cows!’
Enjoy – PHOTOROGR