Bison at Elk Island Park
Since my annual pass is about to expire, I took advantage and went to Elk Island National Park this weekend, about 45 minutes east of Edmonton, Alberta. The name of the park is almost a misnomer because while there are elk here, I rarely see them. The reason most people go here are to see the free-roaming bison. The best time to see them is in the morning or the evening when they come close to the road to feed. There is also a bison loop which will afford you a view of hundreds when they are not in the field across the road. Just before I took this picture I drove around the loop and saw three go through a gate and enter into another pasture where they broke into a full gallop. It awed me to see how fast they could move and was a reminder to be respectful and move on when I was closer because they do charge and have chased people and cars, sometimes doing great damage. The most dangerous times are in early spring when the cows are having calves and in the fall when the males are in rut. On the south of the highway are the Woodlands Bison and the north are the Plains Bison which you see here. I took these shots from my car with a zoom lens and stayed in first gear so I could stop for as brief a time as possible. The bull in the second picture he is making eye contact and moving forward as he is grazing and I figured that was a good time to leave.