BOZEMAN, MT (WJZ) — East Baltimore native Deion Broxton was working his job as a reporter for NBC Montana Wednesday when his camera caught his now-viral reaction as a herd of bison started walking toward him.
Broxton, who previously worked for WJZ’s web team, was setting up to shoot a television news package when the herd got a little too close.
As he started his countdown, he looked toward his right and said, “Oh my God, Oh My God.”
Then started walking away from the herd, who were off-camera, “Oh no, I’m not messing with you.”
“Oh no, oh no, I’m not messing with you,” Broxton said while he put his camera in the trunk with it still rolling.
— Deion Broxton KTVM (@DeionNBCMT) March 25, 2020
Montana officials closed Yellowstone Park Tuesday due to coronavirus outbreak. Broxton told WJZ he went down there to interview the superintendent of parks, but it turned into a phone interview.
However, he still had to get some shots for his TV story.
“I only saw a handful of people there because it was closed, so I couldn’t even get into the park as a reporter,” Broxton said.
“I’ve been to Yellowstone so many times to cover stories and this has never happened,” he continued. “When I pulled up to shoot my tease and standup, [the bison] were about 40-50 feet away from me, eating grass. The herd was getting closer to me, but one bison was looking at me and wouldn’t break eye contact. I was waiting for him to look away.”
But instead, that bison started moving closer.
“I’m like ‘hell no,’ you know when they are going to attack,” Broxton said. “If this charges me, I’m dead.”
So Deion put the camera into his trunk and drove about 50 feet away, but the bison continued to walk toward him.
“Then I went in reverse, so they were past me and I knew they wouldn’t turn back,” he said.
Broxton later captured the herd on camera:
Here's the video of the bison I shot once I got a safe distance away lol pic.twitter.com/uL3XiR2ISR
— Deion Broxton KTVM (@DeionNBCMT) March 26, 2020
Broxton’s original tweet has more than 320,000 likes and 64,000 retweets. He’s been interviewed by national media outlets all day, so much so he said he probably should have told his boss he needed the day off.
He’s surprised by all the interest because he’s posted bloopers before as many reporters do, but they’ve never been gotten so much attention.
Growing up in Baltimore’s Oliver community, Broxton said he never thought he’d be this close to wildlife.
“I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be in Montana in the first place,” Broxton told WJZ.
“The closest thing to this that’s happened — I was driving to Yellowstone for a story and there were a bunch of elk crossing the street all at once. I had to stay in my car and wait for them to past me,” he added. “I’ve seen bears and stuff, but never this.”
Yellowstone also thanked Broxton for avoiding the bison as a part of their #YellowstonePledge campaign.
— YellowstoneNPS (@YellowstoneNPS) March 25, 2020