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Antelope Island

I took a day trip out to Antelope Island today to see what there was to see, scout out some mountain biking trails and shoot some images. Little did I know that I would get so close to some of the larger wildlife that lives out on the island. I’d known that there was a herd of about 600 bison on the island, and had seen them in the far distance before, but this one sorta crept up on me.

I was in the grass stalking some antelope to try and get a good shot, when I kept hearing this sound behind me. I took another couple of photos thinking it was something blowing in the wind and then decided to actually look, discretion being the better part of valor and all that. Well, I see this bison walking on over towards me. Hrmmmm…. do I stand up?….. do I lay still?….. I was looking very hard at any possible indication that this bison was aggressive but he did not appear to see me and the wind was coming from his direction so he likely did not smell me either. He kept coming closer, so fearing that he might freak when finally discovering me, I figured that I’d slowly rise to announce my presence and move slowly over to an uncomfortably small group of rocks about ten feet away figuring it would provide some protection. I slowly started to get to my feet when he noticed the movement and startled, raising his head but held his ground…… He looked me over while I slowly acted like I was minding my own business keeping him in my peripheral vision and looking for any sign of aggression like arching his tail or grunting or snorting… After about two minutes of watching me mind my own business he dropped his head and started feeding again, much to my relief. He had found a tasty patch of grass which meant he was not going anywhere fast, so I started moving up the hill away from his as relaxed as I could possibly act trying not to give this magnificent animal any reason to cut my life short.

This of course should mollify my friend Robyn who appointed me Minister of Science and Magic, but was disturbed to find out that my picture of a water buffalo was in fact taken of a museum quality stuffed buffalo and was concerned that I did not exhibit a measure of bravery. How’s that Robyn?

Other species of note include the Chukar or Alectoris chukar, the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), the yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus), an eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) and of course sea gulls.

Categories: Daily.

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2 Responses

  1. Bryan,

    I’m Jake Gehring, a Roundtable Commissioner for a local district of the Boy Scouts (Indian Springs–Woods Cross, North Salt Lake, Bountiful).

    Your pictures are wonderful. I was hoping you’d allow me to include one in a handout (and eventual PDF, probably) that I’m creating for camping on Antelope Island…?

    Jake GehringDecember 9, 2012 @ 7:23 pmReply
    • Thank you Jake,

      I’d be more than happy to license images to the BSA. Please let me know distribution numbers and type of reproduction desired, and I’ll be happy to draw up a contract.

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