Oregon Man Pays Price for Trying To Play Chicken with a Bison


Been remiss in planning your summer vacation? Need a place to go for a last-minute swing? If you can get reservations, you could certainly do worse than Yellowstone National Park. It’s a beautiful place, home to innumerable natural wonders. I would highly recommend it.

Here’s one thing I would highly recommend you don’t do while you’re there, however: play chicken with a bison.

That’s what an Oregon man is accused of doing in a video that went viral. Raymond Reinke decided he was going to try and bait a bison into attacking him.

According to KRTV-TV, Reinke, a 55-year-old from Pendleton, Oregon, was arrested on Aug. 2 after rangers put together a series of citations they had written over the past few days and the video of the bison-baiting.

In the video, the man can be seen in the midst of bison-related traffic trying to get the animal to acknowledge him. The buffalo doesn’t do so at first, instead choosing to face the woods. The bison, in other words, is a much more intelligent mammal than the man.

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Nevertheless, he persisted, and eventually managed to provoke an action from the animal.

Wonderful. I know this may surprise you, but Reinke was apparently caught after officials began piecing together a long string of incidents involving a man who appears to have a problem with inebriation.

Are you glad this man is facing punishment for his behavior?

“On July 28, he was arrested by law enforcement rangers at Grand Teton National Park for a drunk and disorderly conduct incident,” KRTV reported. “He spent the night in the Teton County Jail, and was then released on bond.

“He then went to Yellowstone National Park, where rangers stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation on July 31. Reinke appeared to be intoxicated and argumentative. He was cited as a passenger for failure to wear a seat belt. It is believed that after that traffic stop, Reinke encountered the bison.

“Yellowstone rangers received several wildlife harassment reports from concerned visitors and found Reinke later that evening, issuing a citation requiring a court appearance,” the report continued.

“The video of the event surfaced after that citation had been issued.”

Rangers eventually connected all of this to Reinke, and on Aug. 2, his bond was revoked. Since he told authorities that he planned to visit Glacier National Park in northern Montana next, authorities began searching for his vehicle there.

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They needn’t have expended much effort. That same day, police responded to a call at the Many Glacier Hotel dealing with two guests who were arguing in the hotel’s dining room. Reinke, unsurprisingly, was one of them. He was expected in court Friday for his first appearance.

“We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow rangers in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks on this arrest. Harassing wildlife is illegal in any national park,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said.

Well, yes. That should go without saying, especially when the animal weighs roughly half of what a car does. And, unlike your automobile, bison are known to attack things that are harassing them.

So, in other words, have fun in Yellowstone. It’s a rare opportunity to visit a natural wonder unequaled in all of our United States. Don’t get drunk, don’t run out in the middle of traffic and definitely don’t bait the bison, though.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture