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Topic: Yellowstone Safety  (Read 3908 times)

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Mr_Gone
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« on: March 12, 2012, 05:39:58 PM »

How concerned should I be regarding bison and bears in Yellowstone National Park? First, Iím on a motorcycle. Meaning: Iím not in a cage. Second, those 1,000-pound bison arenít in a cage, either. Motorcycle versus bison: bison wins.

Same with bears. Theyíre not in cages. Me = food. Iím just a rolling hors d'oeuvre.

I guess Iím not very worried about bears. I think the bears know to avoid people, vehicles, etcetera, for the most part. The bison donít seem to give a damn but they're just so HUGE. Maybe Iím wrong here. Maybe the bears will be extremely aggressive. Maybe Iíll be bear-food by noon. I donít know.

Someone set me straight: Are my concerns well-founded, or should I just ride without fear of the local mega-fauna?
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 05:43:45 PM »

I rode thru there once.

they wuz too busy eating grass to notice me.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 05:58:38 PM by Orson » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 05:55:26 PM »

Heh.  In 2001 I sloooowwwwly eased my GL1800 past a buffalo in Yellowstone that was blocking all the traffic in the road.  As I went by it held it's ground and let out a long, low grunt/snort that had my cheeks still clinched 100 miles later.  Also had a fantastic encounter with a full grown elk in YP (below), and a wild white stallion in Navajo National Monument.



« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 06:05:29 PM by Scratch33 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 05:59:47 PM »

Last time I went through there, I was on a bright red Sprint, rode within touching distance.  Same deal near Rushmore last year at the National.   No problems.  Smile
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 06:18:52 PM »

Motorcycles in close proximity to large carnivorous wildlife=======Meals on Wheels Lol
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2012, 06:20:18 PM »

You have more to worry about with the cagers who brake suddenly and randomly when they think they see a beastie.
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2012, 06:32:17 PM »

Problems are unlikely.  Encounters are almost guaranteed.  I have video of a massive herd at full speed coming off a hill and into the road.  They have zero regard for traffic or people.  If you're in the way, they'll either go around or go in front or push by.  Traffic was stopped both directions and a HUGE bull strode right down the middle brushing cars and trucks like a bully in a playground.  Just pay really close attention because they usually stay put or maintain direction but not always.  

See this day in history for some interesting perspective on Buffalo behavior...

http://vulcanbill.blogspot.com/2010/11/october-30custer-state-park-day-3.html

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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 07:48:41 PM »


You have more to worry about with the cagers who brake suddenly and randomly when they think they see a beastie.


Definitely agree with this!  We spent two days riding through Yellowstone last fall.
http://www.volkswagenhaven.net/Hell-2011.html

I thought I was going to see the pretty red Ducati ahead of me on the ground at one point when the stupid gorbie ahead of him slammed on the brakes in the middle of the road - but ZED managed to save it.

We definitely saw buffalo near the road, and were bloody uncomfortable about it as the cars ALL stopped, but we did make it through without incident.
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Orson
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 07:53:29 PM »

I read on the innernet that buffalo have an inherent respect for the stylish elegance and elan of Italian machinery, but that might be an urban myth.
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birdrunner
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 08:08:29 PM »


You have more to worry about with the cagers who brake suddenly and randomly when they think they see a beastie.


Yup,

Plus for the record,  it's the Elk that are most likely to hurt you,  they're protective of their harems.


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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2012, 08:10:22 PM »


I read on the innernet that buffalo have an inherent respect for the stylish elegance and elan of Italian machinery, but that might be an urban myth.


Well   Moto Guzzi is Italian for Buffalo isn't it?

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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2012, 08:11:41 PM »


You have more to worry about with the cagers who brake suddenly and randomly when they think they see a beastie.


 Lol  Haha - that's exactly what I was going to say!

Don't worry about it. Just use some common sense and enjoy the show (2003 STN Meet in Custer, SD)

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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2012, 08:12:48 PM »

My ex and I came out unscathed.  As long as you give them room enough so they feel comfortable and unthreatened, they'll leave you alone. They're so used to all the tourists.

I did come up upon some at a high rate of speed one day.  Got them stirred up and running in the other direction.  I almost felt like chasing them like Gus did in Lonesome Dove.  Then I thought twice. Nuts
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 08:18:58 PM »

Quote from: Mr_Gone link=topic=70506.msg1636969#msg1636969 date=1331588398 Second, those 1,000-pound bison arenít in a cage, either. Motorcycle versus bison: bison wins.[/quote

You're being optomistic.  Try 2000 lbs.

I should have stated before.  To be on the safe side, don't position your bikes between cars.  If they feel the need to bust through, you're the path of least resistance in their eyes.

But truly, as someone else said, you have more to worry about with tourists swerving and slamming on the brakes suddenly if they see a photo op.  Espcially the Asians with their 6 different cameras hanging around their necks.  It's a stereotype for a reason. Lol
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2012, 09:50:37 PM »

I should add: DO NOT ride at after dark. A car coming the other way flashed their lights to indicate 'something', and despite proceeding at a crawl I was within 20' before I saw the giant bison on the roadway.  They seem to function as black holes.
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2012, 11:35:37 PM »

don't piss em off and don't keep food in your tent and you will be fine...
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« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2012, 02:09:26 AM »

Glad to see this thread!  I've been hoping to make it up to Jellystone sometime this year and have been thinking the same thing...  I've done Yellowstone on a snow mobile before, which was cake, but then again the bears are hibernating, bison are all frozen to the ground, and you don't have a mass of cars to block you into a bad spot.

I've definitely seen some friendly bears getting too close for comfort up there, but I'd definitely be more worried about the bison and elk; and the brake checking sightseers are probably a huge one too (watch out for my dad!).

I think I'll try it out, but will probably leave the side bags in the hotel room so I can lane split more easily if I have to get out of a hairy situation.
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« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2012, 04:53:34 AM »

Guy on a buffaloOOOO!!!



Can't believe nobody said it yet.
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2012, 12:44:47 PM »

Been to Yellowstone 4 times and several other National Parks with wildlife. As others have said, slow down, don't ride at night and watch the sudden stops of cagers.
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2012, 01:25:21 PM »

My suggestion is to ROK-strap 2 large whole salmon to the top of your sidebags and ride very slowly through the park yelling "Hey Bear, hey bear".
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