We got a super early start on Friday as we headed to the National Bison Refuge about 30 miles away.
OK, it wasn’t pre-dawn or anything, but for what normally is a no-alarm day, I think we did pretty good. The plan was to get to the refuge early enough that the critters wouldn’t all be taking their mid-day nap! And while we weren’t overwhelmed with the amount of wildlife we saw, we still counted it a good day!
Even without the wildlife sightings, the views were spectacular –
The drive through the refuge was also delightful!
To say it was a bit windy might be an understatement!
And as for wildlife sightings, we really did just fine –
There were Mule Deer –
Bison (of course!)
Some Pronghorn and Bison –
Some Bison rolling in the dirt
And then some up close and personal Bison –
And a Bison or two who just seemed to want to pose for the camera –
So it was a pretty good day for the Bison sightings!
We also saw some Bighorn Sheep, though they were doing their best to hide in the tall grass –
Can you see them where the grass meets the trees?
Here it is with a bit of zoom –
and then a bit more –
Can you sense just how excited they were to have company?
It was a delight when a large family of Ruffled Grouse crossed the road in front of us –
and even the White Tailed Deer managed to come into our range –
Or maybe we came into their range. Or maybe they’re mule deer. But they were there, and we got a picture!
We also saw, but did not document a Coyote (with a Pronghorn watching him very carefully) and a Golden Eagle looking for lunch.
And of course, I had to stop and take a couple pictures the beautiful late summer thistles and grasses.
We finished off our excursion with a run into Missoula (and a Costco stop, or course) and then back to camp. As you can see, it was a beautiful day to be out and about. And we were glad to be able to take it all in! There are some additional pictures of the Bison Refuge HERE if you’re so inclined!