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When Bison Bellow Like African Lions

In Jackson Hole, a half-minute vignette of rutting bulls with the Tetons rising behind

Yellowstone National Park is a preserve that played a critical role in saving bison from the closest of brushes with extinction.  In America's best-known nature preserve, there are plenty of great venues for spying bison—Hayden Valley, the Lamar Valley, and the geyser basins extending from Norris to Old Faithful.

Travelers can also see some of Ted Turner's 5,000 bison on his Flying D Ranch along the public Spanish Creek Campground road southwest of Bozeman, Montana. And then there is the wild herd roaming across Jackson Hole between Grand Teton National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the National Elk Refuge. This is a special herd and the only one that is close to being truly free ranging, allowed to move in and out of a national park.

Not long ago, Mountain Journal editor Todd Wilkinson joined nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen and a group of his collectors on a few days of wildlife-viewing safaris in Grand Teton Park. On a golden late summer evening in September, they encountered this scene with bison bulls still in the rut and the Tetons rising off in the distance.
Todd Wilkinson
About Todd Wilkinson

Todd Wilkinson, founder of Mountain Journal,  is author of the  book Ripple Effects: How to Save Yellowstone and American's Most Iconic Wildlife Ecosystem.  Wilkinson has been writing about Greater Yellowstone for 35 years and is a correspondent to publications ranging from National Geographic to The Guardian. He is author of several books on topics as diverse as scientific whistleblowers and Ted Turner, and a book about the harrowing story of Jackson Hole grizzly mother 399, the most famous bear in the world which features photographs by Thomas Mangelsen. For more information on Wilkinson, click here. (Photo by David J Swift).
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