Physical characteristics and distribution

Body length: females: 200 – 260 cm, males: 300 – 350 cm
Weight: females: 300 – 500 kg, males: 400 – 1000 kg
Life expectancy: 20 – 27 years
Distribution: Reserves of North America, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus
Habitat: forest, grasslands
Species: Wisent critically endangered, bison low endangered


The most powerful land mammals in Europe and North America are easily recognized by their shoulder hump. Their shaggy black to brown fur can sometimes be up to 50 inches long. On the head they wear a “beard” and a mane, and both sexes have quite short curved horns. Her entire front body part looks oversized. Since the American bison and the European bison can produce fruitful offspring, some experts believe that it is wrong to consider them as different species – but this is quite common. The external difference between the two forms lies mainly in the stature and the thickness and length of the Beinfells: The wisent is narrower and has a little longer legs than the American bison. In addition, bisons do not have so much “leg hanging”. Her cousins from America wear veritable “puffed sleeves” on their legs that reach down to the shackles.

Reproduction and development

The rutting season of the bison is from May to June. Then, individual bull and cow herds unite to form a large group of several hundred animals. In this time, it also comes to fierce ranking battles. After a “short marriage” of a few hours or days, mating occurs between cows and bulls; After that, the herd dissolves slowly. About nine months later, the female gives birth to a baby. The bison calf is nursed for about a half, the calf of the American bison a whole year. At about two years, the young are sexually mature; However, the males usually do not mate until five or six years later, as they are then fully grown and successful in the battles for the females.

Lifestyle and behavior

The bulky ungulates do not have a classic activity time. In addition to eating and wandering, another point is high on the agenda: body care. To do this, they roll around in the dusty soils of the prairie or scrub their bodies against tree trunks, branches and everything else that is offered. Cops probably also do that to break down excitement in the rutting season or when they’re in combat mood. The huge four-legged friends are not exactly safe, and when cornered they can attack with lightning speed. Even with the rank fights among themselves, in which they use their blunt horns, can also kill an animal. Another special feature of them is a noticeable curiosity. They always examine stranger objects with all thoroughness, as do dead fellows, who then toast them with the horns – probably to encourage them to get up.

sensory abilities

Both forms of bison have a very sensitive nose, with which they can perceive odors even in one to two kilometers away. The biologist Garretson wants to have even more than 70 years ago that they smell “water”, even if it is seven or eight kilometers away. That makes sense, after all, the animals are very dependent on tracking each day, but whether the route is actually true, is rather questionable.


The bison are ruminants. In the summer they eat grass and herbs; The forest bisons in northern Canada also occasionally allow shoots, leaves and barks. In the cold season, they have to make do with mosses, lichens and dry grass. Especially the latter is often covered in the distribution area of the animals by a thick layer of snow, the animals then only with the hooves wegscharren to eat the grass can. Every day they visit a waterhole at least once, because they do not live without water for long.

Hunting style, equipment and countries

American bison and the European bison have multiplied very well in recent decades and there are again very stable stocks in the USA and Canada which allow hunting. The hunt for bison usually takes place as a stalking in which the herds or individual bulls are targeted. For the bison, stronger calibers, e.g. 8x68s, 300 Win Mag or similar.

Hunting trip Countries