Skip Navigation

Wildlife Watching Tips

Group of visitors watching wildlife through spotting scope set up next to vehicle on scenic drive.  Photo by Pat Jamieson/USFWSWildlife watching opportunities are excellent at the National Bison Range, and you will be much more successful if you follow these tips. Regulations exist for the welfare of wildlife as well as for your own safety.

  • The wildlife at the Refuge are quite acclimated to vehicles along the scenic drives. Your car is an excellent observation and photographic blind. Please stay in your car to avoid scaring wildlife - the next visitor will appreciate it. Walk only at designated trails along the scenic drives and in the Day Use Area. This will also reduce disturbance to wildlife.
  • Typically dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife, especially during the heat of mid-summer. There are some notable exceptions, so learn a bit about the animals you wish most to see. Note that the Range closes to all public use at night and does not allow overnight camping. Pace your trip to be done by the time the Refuge closes at dark (times are posted on front gate and at the Visitor Center).
  • Use quiet observation techniques and teach them to children. 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.
  • Binoculars and spotting scopes can be most helpful to enjoy viewing from a distance. Drive slowly, stopping to scan places wildlife might use. However, taking time to stay in areas that are the most likely habitats for particular species will be rewarding as animals move between feeding, resting and watering places.
  • 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. When stopped, please pull over to the side of the road to avoid blocking traffic.
  • Do research prior to your visit. Bring field guide books to help you identify various species and learn what habitats they prefer, when they are active and what they eat. Ask Bison Range staff about what has been seen and where – we love sharing the Refuge with you. 
Last Updated: Feb 06, 2013
Return to main navigation