The Bison of Elk Island National Park

This place is on my list of favourites, a quick drive (one hour) east of Edmonton. I don’t mind the entrance fee because it goes to the upkeep of the park. Bison from this park are shipped all over the world to improve populations. The ones here are Plains Bison, a little smaller than their Woodland relatives south of the highway.

I have been here twice in a week with two different friends. The latter time we took a drive around the bison loop but the animals were in the bush on the other side of the road. However, on the return drive the mammals were in the field we had originally driven through, so we stopped on the pull-off area and got some decent  views. It was nice to see a herd together with the young, a first for my friend Frank who has been coming here for thirty years. I got out of the car to see above the grass but it was high and I used a long lens and stayed right beside the car. There were people across the field who got out of their cars and walked toward the herd. I do not think it is worth harassing wild animals nor worth risking my life to get a shot. I stay away from situations where people stop all around the bison, fencing them in.


The bulls below were grazing beside the road, bothered mainly by the mosquitoes. Here we took photos from the car.I have seen these giants go into a full gallop across a field and have no illusions about being able to out-run them.






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