Happy bison at Antelope Island during record winter

Feb 28, 2023, 6:58 PM | Updated: 7:01 pm

ANTELOPE ISLAN, Utah — This winter has been challenging for many of us and it’s been hard for our wildlife to find food.

Some animals have nowhere to turn because they live on an island.

There’s just something about being on Antelope Island in the winter.

Visitation is lower during the colder months, which can make it feel like you have the whole island to yourself.

“It is a quiet, peaceful, beautiful time to be out here,” Wendy Wilson said. She is the assistant park manager at Antelope Island State Park. “Our trails are still open. If you’ve got fat tire bikes, you can still bike out on the trails, so there’s still a lot to do. The animals are really active.”

However, it’s those animals some visitors have been asking about. Especially with how much snow we’ve received so far this winter.

“Last year at this time, I was out in a t-shirt looking at some rocks. This year, it is still freezing,” Wilson said. “It has been a while since we’ve had as much snow as we’ve had this year for sure.”

Many people wonder if the bison at Antelope Island are having a difficult time during this severe winter. (Aubrey Shafer/KSL TV) Many people wonder if the bison at Antelope Island are having a difficult time during this severe winter. (Aubrey Shafer/KSL TV) Many people wonder if the bison at Antelope Island are having a difficult time during this severe winter. (Aubrey Shafer/KSL TV) Many people wonder if the bison at Antelope Island are having a difficult time during this severe winter. (Aubrey Shafer/KSL TV) Many people wonder if the bison at Antelope Island are having a difficult time during this severe winter. (Aubrey Shafer/KSL TV)

Wilson said wildlife, like antelope, look for lower elevations when there’s a lot of snow.

Since some of the snow has been melting since last week’s big storm, it means you will see antelope closer to the roads looking for food right now.

However, even though it’s named Antelope Island, the island is best known for its bison.

“I mean, it’s a unique animal that’s out in Utah, right? It’s our own little special herd,” Wilson said.

A lot of people care about the bison.

Even in the winter, many people visit the island just to take pictures of them.

With as deep as the snow has been at times this winter, many have asked if the bison are able to find food.

Wilson understands that concern but says they’re doing just fine. 

“They have all that insulation and that have got that huge head that big hump on their shoulders and that is kind of like their big snowplow,” she said. “They can just plow through the snow and get to the grass and stuff that is growing underneath.”

Wilson also says bison are actually built for the cold and seem to do better now than in the summer when it’s so hot.

“You can see them being frisky with each other and the males butting heads and they’re rolling all around,” she said “It is a great time to come and see them.”

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Happy bison at Antelope Island during record winter