Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bison,sheep and bears, OH MY

Remember when I asked if you we tired of Mountains?  Same mountains.
By the time we got down they were lost in the clouds
Today, we made our return trip to the National Bison Range.
I'll begin with the facts this time.
By the early 1900's the number of plains bison found in the wild was numbered at 100.
Then President Theodore Roosevelt signed a law establishing a "Permanent national bison range" to be manage by US Fish and Wildlife.
(Good old Teddy-we have him to thank for our National Park System too!)
In 1908 Congresses funded the range and the next year 34 bison were brought here to live.
Numbering now between 350-400 head they free range on nearly 14,000 acres.
In 1921 part of it's purpose became as a refuge and breeding ground for birds.

So here's a fine looking bison!  
I only saw maybe 40 of them but 14,000 Acres is a big space.
 The road through the refuge is gravel and you have two choice
-go left and turn around and come back.
Go right and there is no way back until you meet the other road.
I went right, of course.
They tell you to plan for at least two hours.
I think I took longer.
The road goes up and down a bit with a little mostly flat thrown in.
Then it goes UP.
The views from the top are amazing!

All the way going up you know in the back of your mind that at some point you
The sign said steep grades.
They weren't lying!

The rest of the wildlife I saw:

Big horn sheep.  There were four together but this is the best of my pics.

Mama black bear and her two cubs walked out of the brush and sauntered up the road in front of me.
Luckily, I saw them coming.
It's really a good thing I like slow,
I'd have missed them if I'd been going faster.

Pronghorn Antelope-called Speed Goats around here.

One other thing I saw that got me excited (the bears really did it)
I saw some OREO COWS! Black on both ends and white in the middle.
The Belted Galloway


a good yarn said...

How amazing to see all that wildlife! The bison is such a magnificent creature. I recall seeing a photo of thousands of them killed and heaped into a pile. Those big-horn sheep are quite remarkable. Fabulous views from up on high.

Charlene S said...

Thanks for sharing. I love being along on your trip.