All through South Dakota’s Custer State Park,Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana’s ranch lands, and the roads in between, we were blessed to continuously view wild life most often only see in captivity.  Herds of wild bison, antelope, and elk are scattered over the plains, as are white tail and mule deer, pronghorn, and wild burros. Along the road between Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone Park we saw a grizzly bear mama and her cub playing, and we saw three moose in two days. And then there were the prairie dogs–so numerous their colonies are called towns.

Our favorite animal was the buffalo. They are massive, regal beasts who have fooled more than one Yellowstone visitor lately with their head down, lumbering demeanor. Signs are posted everywhere warning visitors that buffalo are wild, swift, and agile–and will hurt you if you get too close. A Yellowstone ranger’s most frequent duty? Keeping visitors safe from their own stupidity.

Bison in the a Yellowstone Valley

Bison in the a Yellowstone Valley

Buffalo Licking his Chops

Buffalo Licking his Chops, Yellowstone

Pronghorn

Pronghorn, Yellowstone

Elk in Fort Yellowstone

Elk in Fort Yellowstone

Burro in the Wild

Burro in the Wild, Yellowstone

Female Big Horn Sheep

Female Big Horn Sheep, Badlands National Park, South Dakoka

Grizzlies, Outside Cody, Wyoming

Grizzly Mama and Cub, Outside Cody, Wyoming

Moose, on the Road to Yellowstone

Moose, on the Road to Yellowstone

Prairie Dogs

Prairie Dogs, Wind Cave National Park