Buffalo Field Campaign helps Bison and Motorists

Each spring hundreds of bison leave Yellowstone National Park in search of greening grass and birthing grounds. While on this search bison regularly cross highways 191 and 287 in the Hebgen Basin of Montana and Highway 89 near Gardiner, Montana. The Buffalo Field Campaign is also out there to warn motorists of this danger with bright signs, vests, and now flashing lights.

Before Buffalo Field Campaign was gifted these important items it was routine that bison were hit on the highways at night. I witnessed such an event and it was very frustrating since we were trying to warn people at the time. Since then, collisions with bison have been prevented.

If you are passing through these areas be sure to watch for bison and thank the Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers who are watching out for you and the bison.



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  1. Richie G Avatar
    Richie G

    Glad to see nobody got hurt !

  2. sleepy Avatar

    Good work these folks do.

    Amazing video towards the end in–what town was that, West Yellowstone?–where I noticed a herd on a hill above town, then all of a sudden you see two buffalo galloping along in traffic, then cutting through a parking lot.

    1. Ken Cole Avatar

      That is Gardiner on the bridge that crosses the Yellowstone River.

  3. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    Wow. The Buffalo Field Campaign is awesome. Do people really have to be reminded of this? That relentless “whooshing” sound of speeding traffic is unsettling – the poor animals. They seem to be adapting, we need to give them a chance.

  4. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    Has it ever been considered to build one of the wildlife overpasses or underpasses, or to herd them in some fashion, out of harm’s way? Or is that not realistic? These animals are absolutely gorgeous.

    1. Ken Cole Avatar

      I think that under or overpasses would be feasible.

      As far as herding them, they get herded off of Horse Butte several times each spring which exacerbates the problem because they just go back across the highway that same night.

      1. alf Avatar

        They’re STILL herding them off Horse Butte ?? I thought that when the forestry circus closed that grazing allotment, that that alleged “conflict” went away, and the bison were allowed at HB.

        What’s the “conflict” now, and why aren’t they allowed at Horse Butte ? It’s my understanding that the landowners not only are willing to tolerate them, but actually WANT them there !

        1. Ken Cole Avatar

          It has gotten a little better in recent years but yes, they still have a big hazing event every year to get them all back into the park by May 15 or something like that.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole