The Bison Games

I have to say one thing about the Bison Olympic Games – they are confusing.

Last weekend I caught a glimpse of the competition in Elk Island National Park. I was trying to keep up with these wild bison as they put on quite a performance. I wasn’t always clear on the finer points of each event but I may have just been distracted by all those wonderfully toned bodies.

The first event was fairly straight forward. It was a race to the edge of the snow line. Those big bodies could move right along.


Of course, some bison didn’t fair so well. One of the smokers had to stop and catch her breath.


Then one of the younger bison quickly got left behind in the snow. She seemed to be sliding around without much traction. Perhaps she didn’t have the right hoof wax for the conditions.


Part way through the race, one delegation left in a huff. I wasn’t clear exactly what country they represented or what was their beef. I found it a bit amusing since it appeared as though they put their hoods over their heads and left in some sort of choreographed pattern.


Another group tested positive for steroids and was forced to leave the games. No wonder those bodies looked so good.


The next performance was confusing. It seemed to be some sort of judged event that involved a lot of wandering around and closely following. I decided to show this event by photographing a whole bison in two parts. Thinking about it now, the first bison may not have fully appreciated the effect.


Suddenly one of the matriarchs stopped in mid performance. She turned around with a glare that had even the normally unflappable Canadian judge scrambling to raise her score.


I took my cue and decided it was time to leave. Apparently these Bison Games are a bit more serious than I first imagined.

Latest Comments

  1. Scott Marshall says:

    Mr Krahn – the one thing about your posts is I tend to chuckle through them and then wander back through the images – image 4 where the Bison fill the screen offers real scale – all we need is smelli-vision


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I like the idea of smelli-vision though it some cases it might be more than you wished for! Happy to hear about the chuckles – they are worth a lot to me.


  2. J Haeske says:

    Some excellent photos here, much better than mine. Really enjoyed them.


  3. dweezer19 says:

    I am always amazed by the majestic sense I feel when seeing the bison. To see them up close must be a unique and unforgettable experience. Wonderful photos as always. 🙂


  4. Mike Powell says:

    Loved these shots and, of course, your humor (or humour, if you insist) as well. It’s a definite understatement to say that these beasts have personality, and attitude in abundance and you captured them marvelously. Was this the two-hundredth anniversary of the Games? It sure looks to me to be the bison-tennial edition.


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Definitely the bison-tennial edition! Nice. It’s a lot of fun catching personality of wildlife and these big animals seem to show a lot. Glad you enjoyed the post and the humour – I don’t insist on the spelling, just trying to be consistent with Canadian spelling.


  5. Alison says:

    Too funny, Lyle! I don’t know how you think these posts up. I love them!


  6. Garden Walk Garden Talk says:

    Cute story and your photos are wonderful. I don’t see these guys much, even though living near Buffalo, NY.


  7. Phil Lanoue says:

    I wish the Bison Olympics were every year. No, the heck with that, I would tune in every weekend to watch this event!
    That steam locomotive in the second photo looks ready to really blast off!
    And pic 4 is the best butt shot I have ever seen!


  8. whichwaynow101 says:

    An excellent story for your excellent pictures!


  9. Gunta says:

    Hard to imagine anyone not connecting with your humor. Then again I could be a bit dense. 😉


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Our humour definitely seems to connect which makes it fun. It turns out humour has different flavours and sometimes people prefer a different kind. Ours is not to question why …


  10. Sue says:

    That was definitely a glare, or a dare, thrown down but the matriarch. What a look!


  11. Carol says:

    Lyle you’l have to go when the Bison have their calves as they remarkable little creatures and will put on a tremendous show for you. They bounce in joy and put on quite a show. As usual great pictures and wonderful story.


  12. Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat says:

    Fantastic photos of such a majestic animal.


  13. Dick Trew says:

    Humour, it seems, is best shared. The final image reminds me that this is not always possible. Some are simply unable to enter into the joy of the lightest moment. The message translates best as the Victorian “We are NOT amused!” She appears to be serving up a main dish of judgement with a side order of disgust. It’s probably best to not invite her to your next party.



    • Lyle Krahn says:

      After discovering many times when humour doesn’t connect, I began to realize it’s extra special when it’s possible to share humour that others enjoy. She’s definitely not coming to the next party!


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