When Guns are Outlawed, only Outlaws will have Bison

Mr Bison says, "It takes a special kind of stupid to crowd me, and then turn your back on me."

Mr Bison says, “It takes a special kind of stupid to crowd me, and then turn your back on me.”

Buffalo demand respect. So what happens to today’s tee-ball narcissus generation? You know, the ones for whom life has been a constant featherbed of praise without challenge or accomplishment? The Unique and Special Snowflakes™? The sublime selfie squad who respect only their own image, graven or otherwise?

Yellowstone National Park officials are warning tourists to keep their distance after a bison flipped a woman into the air as she posed for a selfie with the massive beast.

The dangerous encounter was the fifth run-in between park-goers and buffalo this year.

Looks like she got buffaloed.

Park officials said the 43-year-old Mississippi woman turned her back on the animal to get a photo with it near the Fairy Falls trailhead just outside Old Faithful.

Someone nearby saw the woman and her daughter about 6 yards from the animal and warned they were too close just before it came at them.

They tried to run, but the bison caught the woman and tossed her with its head.

Does that make her The Bisonic Woman? And the sound when she hit, a bisonic boom?

The woman’s family drove her to a nearby clinic where she was treated for minor injuries.

“The (woman) said they knew they were doing something wrong but thought it was OK because other people were nearby,” park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said. “People are getting way too close.”

They “were doing something wrong but they thought it was OK.” Great Googly Moogly, is there ever going to be a better marker for Unique and Special Snowflake™-hood?

In separate incidents earlier this year, bison gored a 68-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl and tossed an off-trail teenager and an Australian tourist into the air.

Well, bison are herd animals. It could just be one rogue bull, of course. Egged on by the cows: “Bill, do that thing you do with the flying tourist again, please!”

Five bison encounters resulting in injuries is unusual during a tourist season, Bartlett said.

“We typically have one or two per year,” she said.

via Bison injures woman posing for selfie at Yellowstone Park – NY Daily News.

It’s a good job they’re not sentient, or they’d know your great-great-great-Uncle Tony was the guy who whacked their great-great-great-grandfather Lemuel, just to eat his tongue. Sure, this year the score may be Buffalo 5, White Man 0, but the buff could keep this up for centuries and not even things up.

20 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, only Outlaws will have Bison

  1. Jim

    I just got back from a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite and other Western parks and couldn’t believe the number of assclowns falling all over themselves to get danger close to wildlife just to try and get that perfect picture – bull elk in particular on this trip. Even saw a family dragging their screaming small kids to within a few yards of a huge bull elk. Didn’t see anyone get gored, but that was just sheer luck.

    1. John Distai

      I was guilty of that type of photo once. Nothing came of it, thankfully.

      I’ve been caught in a stampede of elk. It was not fun. There was a particular area where my dad liked to hunt elk. The elk were smart enough to know the “legal” area, from the illegal area. They stood and grazed just across the road from it. As a wee young lad I was assigned the task of “game driver” (as a break from “pack mule” duty) to get the elk from point A to point B.

      So my dad drops me off up the hill in the illegal area and tells me, “son, you wait about 10 minutes, and then begin chasing the herd towards the road. I’ll be on the other side of the road waiting…”
      I spotted a couple of young spikes in the herd (we had a bull tag). As I thought about my assignment, and looked at the spikes, I thought “fuck that, I’ll get killed!”. I hid in the trees and waited.

      Some other redneck, who I imagine was drunk, came running through the trees screaming, chasing the herd. Dozens of them thundered past the tree that I was plastered to, like a herd of horses stampeding by. It was very scary.

      A few moments later, a long series of rifle reports.

      I climbed down the hill and crossed the road into the “legal” area to find my dad. As I walked up the mountain, there were probably a dozen dead elk in a line up that mountain, where he and nearly a dozen other waiting hunters had filled their tags.

      I don’t remember if the Division of Wildlife busted the redneck who did the actual chasing.

  2. Matt in IL

    Off topic. If you ever need a good fix or high quality photos of firearms, check out http://gunrunnerhell.tumblr.com

    Updated consistently, and he’s working through some interesting ideas of AR builds, including one for each of the seven deadly sins.

  3. Jim Scrummy

    Not to sound like an echo chamber, but when I was visiting Yellowstone many moons ago I saw a Bison hanging out about 30 yards from the road in a meadow, minding it’s own business. I left the car to get a better picture, but I didn’t venture any farther than the shoulder of the road to get the photo. Incredibly, about 4 people who parked behind us took off like bats out of hades to get closeups of the Bison? ? I couldn’t believe it, as if they thought the animal was behind a fence at a zoo?

  4. Wyoming

    People out here are so oblivious to the nature they have come to visit. Once, out of Jackson, I witnessed three wolves taking down a muley in an open field not 400 yds from a scenic turnout containing several tourists gawking at the Tetons. Bison and Elk will charge you much faster than you can run, and they can easily kill you.

  5. Boat Guy

    We ran bison for a few years before hay prices drove us out of the business (bison eat a LOT if you want to keep them happy and you DO want to keep them happy).
    You are correct – they are “herd animals” and there is only one predator for bison in a herd – us. As a rule bison don’t much pay attention to any other critter but seem to have a dislike our species. A rancher once desribed it as “They look at you like ya owe ’em money”
    Coulda been a bull, but except for rut, they’re kinda lazy; more likely one of the cows ( a bison herd is a matriarchy).
    Snowflake was VERY lucky. We know of two ranchers who were killed by their own herds. Bison deserve substantial respect. They are amazing animals and we miss them; but we don’t miss the “exciting” times that came with working them.

    1. Miles

      “As a rule bison don’t much pay attention to any other critter but seem to have a dislike [for] our species.”

      Probably genetic memory starting from the Folsom culture and continuing up to Buffalo Bill and his associates.

  6. WellSeasonedFool

    Growing up the the Colorado Rockies all us kids were taught Mountain Man lore and advice. First rule, “Don’t go bothering nothing that ain’t bothering you”.

    Dudes? Who knows how their selection process aligns with the reality in front of them.

  7. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

    Aaaaaaand we are back to where I came in:

    Don’t screw around with large animals, the smart ones probably want to get away from you, the stupid ones are apt to step on you, which is bad even if accidental, and some will EAT you given the chance.

    I find it interesting that in the cases where the sex of the “Victim” is listed they are women…

    “Hey Bat Guano-I mean Sweety, stand over there by that cute, cuddly, BISON and I’ll snap a pic or two…

    As with most outdoor activities the standard civilian should have to take a class on basic safety or wave thier medical evacuation privileges before being allowed out of their car at the park.

  8. 10x25mm

    It’s a good job they’re not sentient, or they’d know your great-great-great-Uncle Tony was the guy who whacked their great-great-great-grandfather Lemuel, just to eat his tongue.

    Actually, Lemuel provided the leather belting for all that overhead common shaft, steam powered machinery which made Colts, Winchesters, Sharps, and railroad rolling stock. That’s why the bison were almost hunted to extinction. Nothing else provided better power transmission belting in the day.

    1. Hognose Post author

      If that’s true, that’s a detail I didn’t know, and I used to be a member of the machine tool museum in VT.

      1. 10x25mm

        Bison leather is 40% stronger than cowhide, twice as thick, and achieves much higher ‘grip’ on sheaves. Durability in service of bison leather two to three times cowhide, and it really didn’t require a lot of dressing (which cowhide does). Once the American bison were gone, American and British industry had to get serious about power transmission belting engineering. Bison leather stockpiles were exhausted circa 1910.

        Classic text on flat belting power transmission is Power Transmission by Leather Belting by Robert Thurston Kent. Pre copyright (1916) and available in various digital formats here:


        1. Hognose Post author

          Hmmm. I wonder if it was just natural economic superiority of individual electric motors that drove the change then, or if the economics of declining bison leather supplies drove that economic superiority! You know I’m going to read Kent’s document now… there goes a couple of hours.

    2. Y.

      That’s why the bison were almost hunted to extinction.

      I thought the primary reason was that the plains Indians were irate in regards to the encroaching settlers and utterly dependent on the large herds of bisons, and that the eradication of the bison was a military measure, with the resulting cheap hides more of a useful byproduct which made the necessary action commercially interesting and thus much faster..

  9. Dyspeptic Gunsmith

    We have a small park in town with a bull, two cows and the calves every year. Every year, we ship the calves when they get larger, because the carrying capacity of the park isn’t enough to support five+ head.

    There are benches that overlook this 50+ acres of rolling pasture with the bison behind cyclone fencing. Sometimes, I like to sit on the benches in spring and just watch them. Bison will be grazing rather placidly, and then, as tho hit by a cattle prod, they’ll switch ends and run uphill, then downhill, then around in a circle… ending up where they were before they started any of this. There’s no warning. They just suddenly hear voices in their heads, and then you feel the ground shake – from only one or two of them. I wouldn’t want to be any closer than at least 100+ yards to a couple of bison. And they do look at you like you owe them money.

    A friend used to raise up a couple of bison every year in his pasture outside of Rexburg, ID for meat. He eventually quit this because he couldn’t keep them in his pasture. It wasn’t a lack of graze, it was just that the bison wanted to graze “over there” about 10 yards on the other side of the fence. But would they go through the five-wire fence, where it would have been a cheap proposition to repair? Noooo. They’d walk up to the Power River gate, put their heads down and just push their way through the gate, twisting the pipe & breaking welds as they went. Then they’d step through, go graze for an hour, then they’d get tired of that grass, and walk back through the twisted and destroyed gate to go back to grazing in their usual pasture. He’d come home at 6pm to find a wrecked gate, grazed grass on his lawn, maybe a pile of bison biscuits in his driveway, and his two bison in their pasture, looking completely nonplussed by the whole thing.

    My buddy figured he wasn’t saving any money on this deal, because he was constantly spending what he’d save on cut & wrapped beef on new gates and panels. He was part Native, and he said that bison were considered a force of nature in his tribe, much like a thunderstorm, the rain or the sun. They’ll do what they want, when they want, as much as they want: If you’re in the way, oh well, sucks to be you.

  10. Eric

    They “were doing something wrong but they thought it was OK.”

    That will make a great inscription on their headstones.

  11. Gray

    “They’ll do what they want, when they want, as much as they want: If you’re in the way, oh well, sucks to be you.”

    All this time and I never knew Bison were democrats.

  12. Aesopo

    A friend who worked there one summer brought me a t-shirt:
    Feed the bears.
    Ride the buffaloes.
    Drive fast on the curves.
    We’ll be there for you. And thanks for keeping us employed.
    – Yellowstone Natl. Park EMS

    Tourist IQs haven’t risen appreciably in the 20 years since that was printed.

  13. Chris

    Okay, I can’t resist: The weirdest semantically correct sentence in the English language:
    “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.”

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