On February 16th, I had an encounter with 7 Bison on La Chua Trail. First the official warning, NEVER approach or seek any encounter with any of the wild animals in this or any park. While this photo series would be interesting to most, it is not something to seek out. Observe the Bison and all animals in this park and all parks at a safe distance. The only problem here is that I was caught between two groups and had to improvise a place to retreat. Remember that Bison in Yellowstone Park are the leading cause of visitor injury. No reason to believe anything different here, and avoid contact with them at all times. This story unfolded as I was walking out to the observation platform on La Chua Trail to see the birds. As I rounded the last corner and headed out to the platform, six Bison came out of the tall brush and up onto the trail and started walking towards my position. I started backing up and tried to maintain two or three hundred feet distance between us. As I turned and looked back towards the north, one more came out of the brush behind me. I never felt in danger, but then again, they had a calf with them, and this makes them a bit more unpredictable. As I said in the narrative for photo 8, I felt very comfortable that this lead cow was not threatening me, but I still needed to keep my distance. Our Park rules are very strict that you should not approach any animals under any circumstances, but I feel privileged to have seen these animals this close. I would again advise use common sense and try and maintain as much room between you and the animals when you visit Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park or any other park for that matter.
© PHOTOGRAPHY BY GREG STEPHENS