Chasing Bison

A Photographic Journey Documenting the Majestic Bison

I‘ve always been fascinated by bison. Their size. Their majesty. Their unexpected grace hidden within their brute strength. This winter I set off with the goal of documenting these mysterious creatures in two distinct habitats.

Yellowstone, U.S.A.

In February I travelled to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, U.S.A., home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, elk, and bison. The only way into the park in the dead of winter is by snowcat or snowmobile, dependable machines made in the 70’s and built to last. Our meet-up point was Old Faithful, where a herd of bison are frequently spotted at a geyser nearby, but luck wasn’t on my side. My first bison sighting would happen the following day.

In the early morning mist, before the sun was fully up, we snowmobiled 100 miles into the wilderness. And suddenly, there they were. Two majestic bison bulls stood just five feet away from our group. I was face to face with the creatures that had captured my imagination, and they were breathtaking. Over the next few days we explored more of the park and I photographed many bison, as well as moose, big horn sheep, elk, antelope, even a pack of wolves, feasting on a carcass in Hayden Valley. I perfected the skill of driving a snowmobile with one hand, while steadying my camera with the other, and I came home more enamoured than when I left.

Alberta, Canada

The second leg of my journey took me to the province of Alberta, Canada, in search of more bison. I found them in Elk Island National Park. I had been driving around all morning and hadn’t spotted a single bull. I was feeling discouraged when, on a hunch, I turned down a side road toward a hiking trail, and there in the distance, was a herd of 40 magnificent bison. Bison have a keen sense of smell and sound, so I kept a safe distance and trailed them for nearly two hours, watching them roam across the rugged landscape, shooting footage the entire way. I felt an overwhelming sense of calm, humbled by the strength of the herd and the beauty of the Canadian wilderness all around me.

 

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