Over President’s Day Weekend, photographer Timothy C. Mayo drove through an escalating ground blizzard to the confluence of Soda Butte Creek and Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park. Though he had set out to photograph wolves, a large bison bull wading through drifting snow caught his eye.
“As the bull moved through the deep snow, he tripped on several snow pockets caused by the sagebrush,” Mayo wrote in an email to WyoFile, “and to catch his balance he rushed forward.”
Mayo captured these movements — which to the naked eye look almost like the large bovid is bounding through the snow for fun. Bulls can weigh 2,000 pounds.
America’s national mammal, 4,829 bison populated Yellowstone in the summer of 2019, according to a park count. Advocacy group Buffalo Field Campaign reported Thursday that 40 bison migrating outside the park have been killed by hunters this season, part of a controversial effort to keep herd numbers down.
Yellowstone’s goal is to cull between 600 and 900 bison this winter, some of which will be trapped inside the park and shipped to slaughter.