A Grizzly Called Snow & The Bison

Even though I had only one day to visit Yellowstone during this years Spring trip, I hoped to see Raspberry and Snow. Snow is Rasberry’s four year old cub. I’ve been photographing them over the past four years.

Last spring, Raspberry left Snow. It was time for her to be on her own. This past winter, Snow would have hibrinated by herself. I was anxious to see how well she had fared through the winter by herself. With so little time, I knew my chances were not very good to find them but I was not going to let that stop me from trying.

I left Jackson two hours before sunrise to get to the area where I had seen them in the past. I wanted to be there as the sun was coming up. It’s when the light is normally the best. It had been raining and snowing but there was suppose to be a break in the weather so I was hoping for good light and a lot of luck.

As I approached the area, I saw a small group of people with a park ranger parked on the side of the road. I stopped. The photo below is what I saw.

It was Snow! She was on the other side of the road up on the hill sleeping. How Lucky! I got my camera gear out and waited. Several minutes later she got up and started to feed on grass. As she grazed, she slowly worked her way down the hill towards us.

On our side of the road, about 65 yards away, was a big bull bison. As you can see, he seems content on grazzing.

Well, Snow kept coming down towards the road.

Then, she noticed the bison. At about the same time, the bison noticed her. He was not too happy. Notice, how his tail is up. That’s a sign that it’s not happy and may charge.

Snow is a four year old sub-adult and not quite ready to take on a full sized bull bison. However, she kept watching it.

There seem to be a standoff. All of a sudden, the bison made a move as if to charge. Snow quickly ran up the hill. It was a fake charge. I didn’t get any shots of that encounter. Not knowing where he was going, I moved quickly away. I believe no photograph is worth jepordizing the safety of the animals or the photographer. It’s always best to do the right and safe thing.

Snow didn’t run very far up the hill. She sat down and looked down the hill as if she was assessing her options. It looked like she was really wanted to go across the road.

The bison had moved very close to the road towards her but stayed on the far side. Suddenly, a large dump truck came up the road towads it. As the truck approached, the driver honked his horn. It was very loud which frightened the bison. The bison ran away from the road and stopped just a little way down the hill close to where it had been previously grazzing .

Snow seemed intent on crossing the road. She continued to move close to the road but kept her distance from the bison. After a while, she did cross it with no interference from the bison.

She found a little grass to her liking. Perhaps, the grass is greener on the other side of the road.

The bison still didn’t seem to like her there but did nothing more than snort and watch her for a while. Notice, his tail is still up.

Eventually, he settled down and moved off. Snow seem to be looking for a place to rest.

She found a spot to her liking and seemed content. Every now and then, she would look up to survey the area.

I have a lot of photos of animals sticking their tongues out… don’t know why…

A little while later, she got up and wondered around a bit. The next three pictures were taken during that time. They are my favorites from this encounter.

Shortly after taking this photo of her, I left. It was time to head back to the Gros Ventre River to look for Mother Moose and her calf.

I thought you’d like to see a close up of Snow. Below are a couple of cropped photos. I think she’s simply a beautiful Grizzly.

I didn’t see Raspberry during my short visit. I had been told by some locals that even though she had been seen mating last year, she didn’t have cubs this year. Perhaps she will next year.

I know this is a long post but I hope you’ve enjoyed this adventure and seeing Snow as much as I have.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bill