Saturday, December 15, 2012

Close Bison Encounter

I pretty much tell exactly what happened on my skiing adventure. I wanted a photo of this bison that came bursting out of the woods about a tenth of a mile away. At first, I thought it was a big griz, my heart was pounding like crazy. Then, the creature shook his black scraggy head, and I saw the horns, knew it was a bison, about 3 years old. Not your monster bison, granddaddy, but an upstart.
I reached for the zipper on my side pocket, began to open it for a photo shoot. He was pissed, paced back and forth, then suddenly started running towards me, not a charge, a fast trot. I called out to him, Hey, I'm not a bear! He kept coming. This summer I watched a bison take on a full size griz. The griz ran. I should too, I decided, and skied down a shallow embankment, through deep snow, until I stood just inside the forest behind a tree. I stood very still, didn't say another word. The bison stopped.
He looked around, headed to the right hand side of the road, stopping just inside the cover of the trees. I waited, wanted to actually ski farther, down to Pelican Valley.
After some reconsideration, I headed the opposite direction, every once in awhile pausing to glance behind me, make sure the guy wasn't right on my trail.
After all, I'll live to ski another day. I am the female survivalist!


  1. Young bison with lots of attitude. Would bear spray stop a bison? Glad you did not have to find out! What an adrenalin rush.

  2. I fear it might be like stopping a freight train. How much stopping distance does a bison need? Might they slide right into after being sprayed?

    I know they don't see that well, so I always were slealth colors so I can blend. Wearing nearly all black, I can snug up to a tree. Sort of what he did, too.