Today, I went through my regular morning routine. I walked over to the dining hall, ate breakfast, packed a hoorah (field lunch), and came back to my cabin to get ready for a day in the field. I was packing my backpack when I heard yelling and slamming doors, so I stepped outside to find out what all the commotion was about. There were people outside their cabins and a few people down by the main lodge pointing towards the woods. I ran down the path, then saw a herd of bison running through the trees. I looked down at the narrow path between the closest cabin and the main lodge and saw that the entire path had been torn up by bison hooves. People were shocked, excited, and everything in between. Some people had been on the path just moments before, and had just barely missed the stampede. Others felt the vibrations of the stampede from inside their cabins. A herd of bison had just torn through our campus, and the flattened grass and torn up dirt on either side of the path were testaments to the power of these massive animals.
Although I didn’t get any pictures of the bison herd running through campus, I did get pictures of a bear scrape on a lodgepole pine.
Bears will tear the bark off of lodgepole pines with their claws, then they will come back later to eat insects that have been trapped in the sap oozing from the tree. On our hike today, we saw ten bear scrapes on a two mile stretch, indicating high bear activity in the area.