Man injured, arrested after drunk-kicking bison at Yellowstone National Park

Rangers arrested the man and the driver of the vehicle he was found in on multiple charges related to wildlife endangerment and intoxication.
Bison at Yellowstone National Park.jpg
Posted at 2:12 PM, Apr 30, 2024

An Idaho man who was injured after kicking a bison at Yellowstone National Park has been arrested.

The National Park Service said Monday that the incident happened on the afternoon of April 21, when 40-year-old Clarence Yoder disobeyed the park’s warnings of keeping at least 25 yards away from large animals like bison, elk and deer.

NPS said rangers sought out Yoder after responding to reports of an individual who was harassing a herd of bison and kicked one in the leg. They located the vehicle Yoder was in near a park entrance and stopped it in West Yellowstone, Montana.

Yoder was arrested and charged with being under the influence of alcohol to a degree that may endanger oneself, disorderly conduct as to create or maintain a hazardous condition, approaching wildlife, and disturbing wildlife, according to NPS.

The vehicle Yoder had been traveling in was being driven by 37-year-old McKenna Bass. Bass was also arrested and charged with driving under the influence, interference for failure to yield to emergency light activation, and disturbing wildlife, NPS said.

Yoder had sustained minor injuries from his attack on the bison. Rangers transported him to a nearby medical facility where he was treated and released. He was then transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center.

Both Yoder and Bass pleaded not guilty in court on April 22. Each violation against them carries a fine up to $5,000 and jail time up to six months.

An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

NPS urges visitors to follow safety regulations when visiting the park to protect people and wildlife.

In addition to the 25 yards rule for animals like bison, NPS says to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. If you find yourself getting too close, turn around and head in the other direction.