I think this really bugs me because of the long journey bison have faced as far as getting their numbers back up. There used to be millions of bison who roamed the plains of western America, up to Canada and down to Mexico. When settlers started moving west, the bison were slaughtered pretty relentlessly, to the point of near extinction. And this slaughter mostly happened for their skins, with the rest of the bison left to rot. This is depicted in the movie Dances With Wolves. Today, approximately 30,000 bison still roam freely on the range. Another 500,000 are actually captive bred for commercial purposes.
These animals are some of my favorite to see in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. One actually lounged around our campsite when we visited Yellowstone a few years back, and one took the time to block the roadway while we were driving in the park on the same trip. If you ever have the chance to see them, you should definitely do it. It really is quite something to see a field full of them. I don't care if you think I'm sort of liberal conservationist, I think it would really suck if I can't show my kids these awesome creatures one day.
If you want to read the story about this (click here). Below I have pics I have taken of these amazing creatures on my trip to Yellowstone.
|A herd of bison|
|Our bison friend who blocked the road.|