Holy cow!

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 10:18:50 08/15/15

In Reply to: Yup... posted by ND


That is some scary stuff! I wonder if these whackos are as incensed about ISIS engaging in long term systematic raping of hostages, and rampant decapitation.

Just in case there are any whackos reading these posts, who believe in some sort of twisted quasi-religious ursine divine virgin birth, and the consequent impossibility of a grizzly being subject to the same occasional bizarre deviation we see throughout all species, including humans, I will recount my experience IN YELLOWSTONE with inexplicable wildlife behavior. My apologies to those who have read these one or more times previously.

1.) Perhaps the most scary was the time a sub-adult (yearling or two year old) bison went out of the way to charge my wife and I in an open meadow along the Clear Lake/Ribbon Lake trail. The weather was relatively nice, with no radical barometric fluctuations going on. There were no obvious insect harassments under way. For whatever reason, this critter chose to race directly toward us at high speed from a distance of at least 75-100 yards, maybe even further. I started yelling loudly at it as it got closer. With no boulders or trees to climb, my only survival strategy was to bring a Lowe-Pro Omega II belt bag full of film SLRs and lenses down firmly across the bridge of its nose. I was on the verge of carrying out my plan when the bison pulled up to a sudden stop about 3 or 4 feet in front of us, and just stood there, breathing heavily. It's eyes looked unlike any bison eyes I have ever seen. They were a fairly uniform milky white throughout. Over the years, I have formed a theory that this animal may have lost its vision, been abandoned by its herd, and feared that we were predators. It is possible that my loud yelling convinced it we were something other than a grizzly.

2.) In mid to late August of 1989, on a horsepacking trip in the Bechler, we set up camp for the night at the mouth of Bechler Canyon, planning on heading up to Three Rivers Junction for two nights. Nasty weather was approaching from the southwest. You could see sheets of rain and dark, low clouds sweeping across Bechler Meadows. A juvenile pelican flew in, and commenced to running around on the ground, "attacking" the stock. We had both horses and mules hobbled near the camp. I never would have expected such large animals to panic at the site of a juvenile pelican "charging" them, but they did. After 5 or 10 minutes of the crazy behavior, the bird went down to a gravel bed along the river, perched with its wings tightly folded, and went silent. In the morning, it was still in the same position, dead as a doornail. There was no obvious explanation for what the problem was, but I suspect some dread disease, like rabies.

Granted, given a subject population of 2, I can't argue for statistically significant results in my ad hoc "study", but I have heard similar stories from other long term Yellowstone wanderers that involve other species. If you spend enough time around enough critters, sooner or later, you will encounter one that is several standard deviations from the mean!


Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Please enter the following value as your Submit Key:     
Submit Key:
Note: The Submit Key is Case Sensitive. Do not Copy and Paste!

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]