Caution: Bison ahead

Jun 15, 2024, 12:12 PM

The best thing people can do to stay safe around bison is to give them space. Photo taken in July 2...

The best thing people can do to stay safe around bison is to give them space. Photo taken in July 2022. (Kira Hoffelmeyer, KSL NewsRadio)

(Kira Hoffelmeyer, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — When going hiking and camping in Utah this summer, it might be a good idea to keep bison safety in mind. Especially if taking a trip to Antelope Island State Park.

Faith Jolley with the Division of Wildlife Resources came onto the KSL Outdoors show to talk about bison and how to stay safe around them.

“They are wild and there are some things you should keep in mind,” Jolley said.

According to Jolley, the best thing you can do is give bison some space and watch your distance. She said whatever distance you think you should stay away from the bison, double that distance.

Most likely, if you think you’re too close, then you are too close to the animal.

On Antelope Island State Park, in particular, there are trail restrictions meant to keep people on the hiking trails. Jolley said if you run into a bison while on a trail at the park, safety always trumps the island’s trail restrictions.

“If you come across bison and it’s in your path or it’s near the trail, either leave the trail or go all the way around the bison,” Jolley said, adding to keep a large distance from the bison if choosing to go around it.

“Or just back away slowly and really give it that space.”

Keep in mind that the bison may look docile and cute, but they are still wild animals.

“With, particularly bison and moose, they’re not predators so people don’t really think they’re dangerous. They look like fluffy cows or whatever but in reality, both of these species can be pretty aggressive if you’re getting too close,” Jolley said.

“[People] just always end up getting too close. They’re trying to take their selfies; they’re trying to get up and see it right up close. And that’s when we see a lot of these incidents. It doesn’t end well.”

Where are the bison?

Most people will run into bison on Antelope Island State Park. However, Jolley said there are some other areas in Utah where people may find the animals.

“We do have a bison herd on the Henry Mountains and in the Book Cliffs,” Jolley said. “But they’re both super remote, so most people are never going to see these bison.”

Caution with other animals

Another animal to take caution around is moose.

In June, the moose are having their babies. This is the time of year when a mother moose can become more aggressive and territorial, according to Jolley.

“We see incidents every summer. We just recently had one where a lady had her dogs and there was a mom and two babies, and it just [charged],” Jolley said.

“And people get hurt, you know, they’re big and they’re fast and so you definitely just want to give them as much space as you can.”

In the fall, Jolley said it’s breeding season, and the bulls can become aggressive and territorial as well.

Jolley said if you stumble upon a moose, just back away slowly, and do what you can to give them their space.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A former San Juan County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of child sex abuse. (San...

Daniel Woodruff

Former Utah sheriff’s deputy arrested in child sex abuse case

A former San Juan County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of child sex abuse.

55 minutes ago

FILE - President Joe Biden participates in a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House, Dec. 2...

Mary Culbertson

Utah leadership reacts to Biden’s decision to drop out of the 2024 presidential race

Following President Biden's announcement that he would stop his reelection campaign, leaders in Salt Lake City offered their thoughts.

2 hours ago

FILE -The Lucin Cutoff is seen in a flight over the Great Salt Lake on April 9, 2024. (Scott G Wint...

Mary Culbertson

Plane goes down in field near Great Salt Lake

A plane went down in a Weber County field. Authorities said there were no injuries.

3 hours ago

A man and young girl were injured following a motorcycle accident on Tuesday....

Mary Culbertson

One dead after semitruck, RV collided on I-70 in Grand County

One person is dead after a semitruck and an RV collided on I-70 near the Colorado border.

3 hours ago

West Valley City firefighters on the parking lot of the strip mall....

Mary Culbertson

33 Utah firefighters to deploy in Oregon through emergency compact law

Thirty-three firefighters are being deployed to Oregon through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

3 hours ago

Adre Seldon Jr. is pictured in his gear ahead of the Utah State University 2024 football season. (U...

Mary Culbertson

USU mourning loss of student-athlete whose body was found in Porcupine Reservoir

The body of a football player at Utah State University was found after he had been diving at a reservoir and didn't resurface.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Caution: Bison ahead