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Bison

Eye of the buffalo

What to do when the bison get so close to you that you are unable to capture a face portrait, let alone a full body shot? Zoom in further and get an extreme closeup! This massive bull came right up close to my truck allowing me to get this image and in fact, you can see the truck in the reflection in its eye. Amusingly enough, after it passed I was focused on others in the herd and this big guy would start licking my truck and scraping his horns against it! Kind of fun!

Black and white closeup of a Bison bull's face. (© Tony’s Takes)

Black and white closeup of a Bison bull’s face. (© Tony’s Takes)

Two-week old Bison calf experiences first snow, arctic outbreak

What a welcome to the world this little guy / gal received. Soon after being born, Colorado was hit with a blast of cold weather that sent temperatures plunging to record-setting levels and a healthy shot of snow. Early in the morning this past Sunday the temperature was a bone-chilling cold 10 degrees below zero when I came across the Bison herd.

The little one seemed to be handling it well but you sure would think it was wishing it could return to the warmth of its mother’s womb! Here it is seen working through the brush, following the herd as it moves to a new grazing spot. I managed a number of nice, close-ups of it and of the adults as well.

A two-week-old Bison calf stands among the frost and snow covered landscape. (© Tony’s Takes)

A two-week-old Bison calf stands among the frost and snow covered landscape. (© Tony’s Takes)

Big. Bad. Bison. Bull.

Black and white image of a Bison bull as he walked through some fresh snow for Tatanka Tuesday. I happened across this guy on Sunday and he ended up so close, a full body capture was impossible. I took advantage of his proximity by zooming in close and capturing that very cool face.

These massive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.”

Black and white closeup of a Bison bull in the snow. (© Tony’s Takes)

Black and white closeup of a Bison bull in the snow. (© Tony’s Takes)

Little buddies

There are quite a few of the little ones among the herd at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and when you come across them, you can’t help but take pictures – they are so darned cute!

It used to be we called these buffalo but that actually was incorrect. While they are part of the same family that includes the European and African buffalo, the Bison is its own, distinct species. It is believed they were called buffalo by early North American explorers due to their resemblance to the Old World species.

Two Bison calves hang out together at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Two Bison calves hang out together at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

American Bison showing some attitude about the snow

This was taken back at the end of March during one of the Denver area’s last snows of the previous snow season. Today we are receiving our first of the 2016 – 2017 season, a lot later than normal. Colorado’s weather sure can be bizarre. Yesterday we set a record high temperatures of 80 degrees. Today’s high is 40 degrees.

Black and white image of an American Bison in the snow.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Black and white image of an American Bison in the snow. (© Tony’s Takes)

Small, medium and large

Not a particularly great photo in terms of quality or composition but I find it interesting. This really shows the size differences between an American Bison calf, cow and a bull.

When born, a calf weighs only 50 pounds or so. This one is a month or two old so has likely doubled or tripled that. Mature cows will top out at 1,100 pounds while those massive bulls can get up to 2,000 pounds or so!

These massive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.”

A Bison calf, cow and bull walk through the grass. (© Tony’s Takes)

Young Bison sports a mohawk

Boy, I wonder what his parents think about the look? 😀

Taken last Friday afternoon in some pretty harsh mid-afternoon light. I still had some decent luck overall as the main herd moved right by me, including two of the calves that are only a couple of months old.

It used to be we called these buffalo but that actually was incorrect. While they are part of the same family that includes the European and African buffalo, the Bison is its own, distinct species. It is believed they were called buffalo by early North American explorers due to their resemblance to the Old World species.

A Bison calf shows signs of losing its red color. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison calf shows signs of losing its red color. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison bull goes for a roll on the prairie

It’s Tatanka Tuesday! This is a fun series of images I captured on Sunday. This bull and another were hanging out near each other and there seemed to be a bit of tension between the two (the day before I had seen them fight). This one, the larger of the two, decided it was time to show off and rolled on its back and side and thrashed around a bit.

This is called wallowing and Bison do this to deter flies and remove old fur. Perhaps in this case, they also do it to leave behind their scent and show their strength during mating season.

Earlier this year the American Bison became the official mammal of the United States – a very fitting and long overdue honor.

These massive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.”

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison rolls in the dirt at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

The new and the old west

An American Bison grazes on the Great Plains with Denver, Colorado serving as a backdrop. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning in the Mile High City yesterday and a prime opportunity to visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The Bison kept their distance with the exception of this big bull.

Bison were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.”

A Bison bull grazes at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge with the city of Denver in the background. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison bull grazes at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge with the city of Denver in the background. (© Tony’s Takes)

An ‘aged’ Bison portrait for Tatanka Tuesday

An image from a couple of weeks ago when cold, snow and dim lighting made for tough shooting conditions and subject matter was sparse. I did come across four easily accessible bison at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge though.

It seemed like there were often distracting elements behind them so I did a lot of close ups and played around with some filters in post-processing on a few of them. The ‘aged’ coloring of the image, to me, invokes the old American West when millions of these creatures roamed the landscape.

Bison were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated literally means “bull buffalo.”

This image is available for purchase in a wide variety of formats here.

Old style portrait of a Bison bull in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Old style portrait of a Bison bull in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)