No other animal symbolizes the essence of the North American Wilderness better than the Bison. One of the national animals of the US the Bison used to roam almost the entire continent in numbers of 30 to 60 million. In the early 1800 the mass destruction due to habitat loss and reckless hunting decreased the population to dwindling numbers, killing up to 2 million individuals per year. Within less than a hundred years there were only a meager 500-600 animals left. Those were saved by ranchers and used for breeding to keep the species from extinction. Crossbreeding with cattle occurred intentionally and accidentally which results in the fact that there are only few purebred bison left in the world.
You can probably understand my excitement when the first Bison that I had ever seen in my life got in range. I was completely concentrated on shooting that bison when I saw some movement in the corner of my eye.
I was just able to get a few quick shots until he had almost reached my position. I just stood completely still and silent while he walked right past me, calmly and not the least bit interested in my presence. I can assure you that you can't assert the sheer size and mass of a fully grown 900 kg bison until you've seen one up close.
To be continued…
There is still one more wildlife article to come later in this series but the next one deals with forest landscapes.