Idaho man arrested for kicking Yellowstone bison while drunk: officials

An Idaho man has been arrested after allegedly kicking a Yellowstone bison in the leg while drunk, park officials say.

Clarence Yoder, 40, of Idaho Falls, ended up injuring himself in the incident that happened near the park’s West Entrance on April 21, according to the National Park Service.


The wooden entrance sign to Yellowstone National Park, USA.. (Photo by: Jon G. Fuller/VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

"Rangers responded to the area after receiving a report of an individual who harassed a herd of bison and kicked a bison in the leg," the NPS said in a statement. "They located the suspect's vehicle near the West Entrance and stopped it in the town of West Yellowstone, Montana." 

"Yoder was arrested and charged with 1) being under the influence of alcohol to a degree that may endanger oneself, 2) disorderly conduct as to create or maintain a hazardous condition, 3) approaching wildlife, and 4) disturbing wildlife," park officials added. 


Bison near the North Entrance of Yellowstone;Jim Peaco;April 2014 (National Park Service)

They said Yoder "sustained minor injuries from the encounter with the bison" and was taken to a local medical facility for treatment before being transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center.

The driver of the vehicle he was in, identified as McKenna Bass, 37, of Idaho Falls, also was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, interference for failure to yield to emergency light activation and disturbing wildlife.

Both Yoder and Bass pleaded not guilty to the charges – which can result in fines of up to $5,000 and six months in jail -- during a court appearance on April 22, according to the NPS. 

Park officials say this is the first reported incident of a Yellowstone Park visitor being injured by a bison this year.  

"The last reported incident occurred on July 17, 2023," they added. "There was one reported incident in 2023 and three in 2022." 

The NPS advises that wildlife within Yellowstone National Park can be dangerous when approached. 


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