National Bison Range

Bison by the RoadsideAt the peak of the North American Bison’s existence it is estimated there were over sixty million of them roaming North America from Canada to Mexico. If fact they were once so numerous the species earned the nickname “rolling thunder” because distant stampeding herds sounded like thunderstorms on the prairie. Greed, gluttony and politics however, as it often does, almost completely destroyed the entire bison population and by the late 1880s there were only an estimated 1091 left.

The National Bison Range in western Montana was established in 1908 to provide a sanctuary for the bison. At approximately 18,500 acres the sanctuary has relatively small herd of 350 to 500 bison and accordingly there was no guarantee that we would see any. We were however rewarded almost immediately on arrival when we came upon a few score of them crossing a road very near the entrance. The 2,000 pound creatures were wandering around seemingly as peaceful as dairy cows. There were signs warning about getting too close and I tried to keep a safe distance. It was only after further research that I learned a bison can easily outrun humans and will attack if provoked. I am not exactly sure how to provoke a “buffalo” but I took grunting sounds as a warning, quit taking pictures and got back in the car.

Buffalo at National BIson Range

National Bigon Range Photo

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Author: Jonathan Look

In 2011 Jonathan Look decided to change his life and pursue adventures instead of comfort and possessions. His goal is to travel the world solo; one country at a time, one year at a time. To accomplish this he got rid of most of his possessions, packed up what little he saw as necessities and headed out. His goal is to spend ten years discovering new places, meeting new people and taking the time to learn about them, their values and their place on this tiny planet. He embraces the philosophy that says a person is the sum of their experiences and rejects the fraud of modern consumerism that makes people into slaves of their consumption. He doesn't intend to be modern day ascetic, just more mindful of his place in the world and to make decisions according to that new standard.

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