The bison at Caprock Canyons State Park were the subject of a 2015 post, Texas State Bison Herd, to this blog. If you really want relatively close views of bison, I strongly recommend visiting this park, where bison are allowed to roam freely throughout areas occupied by park visitors. Because these huge animals are unpredictable and can run up to 35 mi/hr, visitors are warned to stay at least 50 yards from them. This can be difficult to do, for example, when the bison stroll in the road running between the campsites in Honey Flat Campground. When walking along the road and sidewalks in the campground, guests must be careful to avoid contact with bison or, more commonly, their droppings.
Donnette and I visited Caprock Canyons again last month. Our first bison interaction occurred near the beginning of our first hike. Spotting a group of bison feeding along the right side of the trail, we had to stop before we got too close. As we watched them, the bison slowly wandered across the trail to a group of mesquite trees on the other side.
Olympus E-M10 (40mm, f/9, 1/200 sec, ISO320)
The trees had several broken limbs, and some individuals chose a particular limb to rub against vigorously. The one below apparently had an itch behind its ear.
Olympus E-M1 (270mm, f/7.1, 1/100 sec, ISO500)
That afternoon we decided to tour the road running from the campground down into the canyons. While entering the first canyon, we spotted a group of bison grazing on a roadside mound.
Olympus E-M10 (32mm, f/9, 1/1000 sec, ISO320)
There was no grass on the mound, so I do not know what they were looking for. Perhaps some kind of mineral?
The photo below was taken a few minutes later when one of the bison isolated itself atop the mound and became “king of the hill.”
Olympus E-M1 (171mm, f/7.1, 1/1000 sec, ISO320)
Outside the interpretive center of the park are a group of iron plate sculptures of bison, some of which are shown below. In my mind, this image combines the two group photos in this post, one with the bison at ground level and one with them at higher elevation.
Olympus E-M10 (16mm, f/9, 1/800 sec, ISO250)
I should mention that during our two visits to Caprock Canyons State Park, we encountered many bison but were never threatened by any of them. However, it can be a bit unsettling when one is staring at you with eye-to-eye contact, even from 50 yards away.
Hover your mouse cursor over any marker in the map below to see which photos were taken at that location.