Wildlife Viewing Tips

Visitors in vehicle watching pronghorn antelope along scenic drive.  Photo by NBR/USFWS

For those who enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, the National Bison Range provides some of the best wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities available. The following tips and hints can make your visit more successful.

Your car is an excellent observation and photographic blind. The animals at the National Bison Range are quite acclimated to vehicles but are quite skittish around people. Please stay in your car to avoid scaring wildlife - the next visitor will appreciate it.

Regulations require that you stay at your vehicle at all times except when on designated hiking trails or along fishing access. Use binoculars or a long lens for a closer look. A window mount for your camera is very helpful but if you want to set up a tripod, keep it close or even behind your vehicle to prevent wildlife from recognizing your silhouette as human.

Dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife, especially during the heat of mid-summer. Pace you trip to be done by the time the Refuge closes at dark (times are posted on front gate and at the Visitor Center).

Drive slowly, stopping to scan places wildlife might use. When stopping, be considerate of other traffic and do not block roads or gates.

Try staying in one good location for a while. Although animals often disappear when you drive up, they may return shortly if you remain quiet and still.

Use quiet observation habits and teach children the same. Please do not disturb wildlife by using electronic or game calls, including elk and bird calls. Not only can this disrupt viewing opportunities for others, but can cause stress on the animals. Other wildlife watchers will appreciate your consideration.

The Seasons of Wildlife link will give you an idea of when wildlflowers are in bloom and of the activities of wildlife at different times of year.