Yellowstone: The Animals!

Except for wolves, reintroduced here 20 years ago, nothing has been hunted by man within the bounds of Yellowstone Park since 1872.  The upshot of this has been that shy and hard to spot species are now comfortable around people.  Consider the buffalo.  Our ancestors hunted them right up to a knife’s edge of extinction.  They survived thanks to their increasing scarcity, decreasing market, and to hunters turned conservationists like Charles Jesse “Buffalo” Jones, who among other things, introduced Zane Grey (a dentist) to the west, and founded several buffalo ranches to supply zoos around the world.

 

Buffalo Jones was famous for domesticating buffalo calves, and along with legendary Texas rancher Charles Goodnight, was a pioneer in cross-breeding the hardy buffalo with beef cattle.  Legend has it Goodnight called those hybrids “Cattalo”, but the superior marketeer Jones coined the term “Beefalo”.   Because these two fellows found a way to make money in buffalo, the critters were ranched if not domesticated, and thereby protected from hunting and hence, extinction.

y buFF herd

And today, next to the bears, buffalo rule the roost in Yellowstone.  Here’s a snapshot of the mayor of Mammoth Campground strolling down his Main Street.

buff in mammoth camp

Speaking of bears, we spotted this one in a meadow about 300 yards from the highway, but it was easy.  All you have to do to see wildlife is look for parking lots where they don’t belong … like amid a two-lane road.  In such cases the wildlife is more the photographers than the game – the guys with cameras think nothing of running across the highway with nary a left/right glance.

kats cousin zc

What about big-horn sheep?  This guy seemed to be the boss of his herd, and there they were sitting on the side of the road, just like they were on the Park Service payroll.  And as shy as Lindsay Lohan.

big horn ram

Bull elk are a bit more private, but some of the cows have become pretty domestic.  These came through our campground, and while taking care to avoid The Mayor they didn’t worry about people.

bull wlk

elkinmammothsprings 002

Here’s a shot of the absolute peak of the animal food chain.  Think about it:  dogs are the most successful parasite of all time.   Unlike ticks or tapeworms, dog’s hosts pamper them, spend fortunes on their healthcare, and spend more on doggie dental than our own.

Pink in the Sled

 

Here’s the fool who’s the dog’s best friend.  We’re looking for buffalo chips.  I’m trying to not step in them.  Pink’s looking for one fresh enough to roll in.

dog jax river

4 thoughts on “Yellowstone: The Animals!

  1. i REMEMBER IN ABOUT THE SUMMER OF 65 ‘ VARIE HAD NERVES OF STEEL , AND A NEED FOR ADVENTURE … TOOK THE 3 OF US AND CHARLIE SCOTT… BEAR WEREN’T AS DOMESTICATED QUITE , BUT WERE WELL ON THAT ROAD… WE WERE IN YELLOWSTONE ON A WHIRLWIND TOUR , AND FOUND THE ONLY THING STINKIER THAN THE SULFUR POTS BUBBLING EVERYWHERE WAS DOUG’S UNDERWEAR. , BOUT THE SECOND DAY THERE , CARS WERE PULLING OVER CAMERAS WERE EXTENDED OUT THE SEDAN WINDOWS . TO GET PIC . OF LARGE BROWN/ BLACK BEAR… ROAMING FROM CAR TO CAR LOOKING FOR A HANDOUT …. CHARLIE GRABBED UP THE BOX OF CAP’N CRUNCH AND EXITED THE CAR ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE CAR FROM THE BEAR…. THROWING LARGE HANDFULS OF THE CAP’N TOWARDS THE BEAR WHO’S COMING AROUND TO GET CLOSER … VARIES PANTALOONS FILLED AS SHE SCREAMED AT CHARLIE TO GET UR ASS IN THE CAR! THAT CAP’N CRUNCH MUST BE BETTER THAN HUMAN LEG , CAUSED HE MADE IT BACK UNSCATHED.. VARIES UNDIES DIDNT FARE AS WELL.

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    1. I knew he or you offered the bear something … I thought it was a tuna sammidge.

      And Pinkley, answer me this “Very pretty, but can they fight?”

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  2. Amazing blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any tips? Bless you!

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    1. ‘Amazing’ seems a bit over the top, but thanks for reading us.

      Free is good, but if you want to make money blogging, free may not work. Be sure you understand your contract with Word Press.

      As for tips, all I can suggest is 1) read a lot and 2) write a lot. When you find your voice it gets closer to easy. And that you have to find stories to tell, which was a big part of the appeal of Hemingway: the man led a very interesting life.

      Again, thanks for checking us out.

      Jackson

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