Big Game Species in BC

NORTH AMERICAN BISON

North American Bison

Bison can weigh more than a ton and stand up to 2 meters tall.

Bison (Bison bison), also known as buffalo, are very large animals with a shaggy dark brown mane. Bison can weigh more than a ton and stand up to 2 meters tall, and inhabit the northeastern regions of British Columbia and the southern regions of the Yukon and Northwest Territories. There are two subspecies of bison; the wood bison and the plains bison.

Wood bison are slightly larger and darker than plains bison. Their heads and forequarters are covered with shaggy chocolate-brown hair that is shorter and lighter behind the shoulders. Wood bison have long tails that have a small tuft of hair at the tip. Bison appear to carry their heads quite low because of their beards and shoulder humps. Both the male and female bison have short, round, black horns that curve upwards.

A bison’s diet consists almost entirely of grass, but will also include shrubs, lichens and twigs. Bison herds are extremely aware of their environments and can distinguish smells from several kilometers away.