Caution: Bison ahead

Jun 15, 2024, 10:43 AM | Updated: 11:08 am

The best thing people can do to stay safe around bison is to give them space....

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 are moose.

In June, the moose are having their babies. This is the time of year where 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 its 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.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15 in Davis County, leading to mul...


Excessive heat causes Interstate 15 buckling, damages multiple vehicles in Davis County

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage in Davis County, leading to multiple vehicles being damaged.

4 hours ago

A smokejumper parachuting to help contain the Speirs wildfire, which started Saturday night....

Emma Keddington

Speirs wildfire burning near Flaming Gorge, caused by lightning

A lightning strike ignited the Speirs wildfire Saturday night. The fire is currently 0% contained, but hasn't caused evacuations.

17 hours ago

The state law doesn't require people of all ages to wear a life jacket while they’re out in the w...

Michelle Lee

Be mindful of these summer water safety tips

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Cassidy Hadden, Utah Drowning Prevention Coalition Chair of 2024, to learn water safety tips.

24 hours ago

The Unified Fire Authority received a call on Saturday about a helicopter having to emergency land ...

Kennedy Camarena

Helicopter emergency lands in Herriman

A helicopter pilot had to perform an emergency landing in a field in Herriman, Utah on Saturday after a mechanical failure occurred.

2 days ago

An evacuation order is in place for Shurtz Canyon and upper basin above the Graff Point Fire....

Kennedy Camarena

Evacuation order in place for Shurtz Canyon and upper basin above Graff Point Fire

The Graff Point Fire in Iron County is growing and has caused an evacuation order to be put in place in the area.

2 days ago

Utah air quality is going down and it could get worse...

Josuee Sanchez

Utah air quality is deteriorating and could get worse

Utah is lacking of good air quality due to wildfires but it is mostly because of the hot weather.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Caution: Bison ahead