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Field Trip Tips

Parent and child looking at birds through binoculars. Photo by Pat Jamieson/USFWSThe National Bison Range is happy to have you and your students visit us. The Bison Range offers programs, talks, demonstrations, teacher workshops and field kits to help you conduct your outdoor learning activities.  We thank you for scheduling in advance so that we may better serve you and so groups will not interfere with each others' activities.

We suggest that a few safety tips be considered when bringing students to the National Bison Range:

  • Bison can be dangerous. When watching them, do so from a distance or from the safety of your bus. Bison are always unpredictable but cows with calves are especially dangerous during spring months and bulls are most aggressive during the breeding season in July and August. Other animals with young may also be dangerous. Even delicate looking deer will defend their young. So keep a respectful distance. Animals that are unafraid are not tame. They have only lost their fear of people and can, therefore, be even more dangerous. Give them space and do not allow students to approach them. 
  • When doing activities in the nature trail area along streams and ponds, you should caution students about safety near water. Mission Creek is especially swift and has deep holes. Children could very easily be swept off their feet and into deep water. Do not allow young children to be unsupervised when near the water's edge. 
  • When traveling the Bison Range roads, you may get out of your vehicle but stay near it and on the road. This is not only for your safety but also for the preservation of grasslands and wildlife. It will also be less disturbing to wildlife, which do not mind vehicles. There also could be rattlesnakes in the dryer areas. Snakes are not aggressive and only react in self-defense. But please be cautious about surprising them. Snakes, other than garter snakes, do not usually frequent the Day Use Area or the Nature Trail areas but it is wise to be alert in very dry seasons. 
  • Caution students to be careful when walking on, or across, the paved roads near the Visitor Center and Day Use Area. Please walk along the side of the roadways and look both ways before crossing it. This is especially important in high traffic areas between the Visitor Center, the Nature Trail, and in the Day Use Area where students are apt to run across without looking. 
  • Students should bring hearty lunches and plenty to drink. There are numerous picnic tables in the Day Use Area. Safe drinking water is available from May to October. Caution students to bring lunch items that will not spoil if it is hot. Also, during cold or rainy weather, extra fuel from snacks will help keep them warm. Suggest appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes for changeable mountain weather and for the activities you plan. Please pick up and pack out you litter. If you forgot to bring garbage bags, please ask at the Visitor Center. 
  • Check if your students have any particular medical problems or allergies that you need to be aware of. Be sure those allergic to bee stings have their epinephrine kits with them. 

Bison Range staff has first aid training and supplies.  Contact them if you have an emergency.

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2013
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