Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Great North American Bison

On Thursday, my friends and I went to Cheyene, Wyoming to enjoy the day.  One of the fun things that we did was to tour Terry Bison Ranch.  This ranch has approximately 27,500 acres.  It is a ranch that offers cattle drives, horseback rides, fishing, and an area called "kid corral" (this is where the kids can ride ponys, practice roping and play horseshoes).

Another activity is riding the train into the pasture to experience the "great North American Bison". We boarded a train and rode out into an open field.  There were approximately 75 buffaloes and their calves waiting for the train.  They knew the passengers would be carrying sacks of large pellets to feed them.  The owners of the ranch want people to be able to get up close and personal to the bison. The bison would approach the train and stick out their long tongue for the pellet.  The tongue is very smooth, but very wet.

During the early 1800's, there was an estimated 30 to 60 million bison roaming North America.  After the slaughters of the bison, there was approximately 1,100 that survived.  Currently, there are about 500,000 bison that roam the great plains.

The bison was important to the American Indian.  The bison's hide was used as a blanket to keep them warm and the hide was also used to make their tepees.  The Indians used the meat for food and the bones for tools.  The buffalo were an inspiration to the Indians on how to live their lives.

The American Bison stand some 5 to 6.5 feet tall and can weigh over 1,000 pounds.  They eat 1/3 less than cattle,  they only need to drink every 3 days, they are very fast, and are disease free.  The giant mound of fur on their heads is called a cape, and they can flip it forward so it acts as a snowplow in deep snow.

If you ever have the opportunity to try a Buffalo Burger, please do.  Buffalo/bison meat is similar to beef, but much less fatty and very tender when cooked correctly.

There is something about the west that has always intrigued me.  The American Bison plays a big part in the early movement of the settlers from the East to the West Coast.  They almost became extinct, but the herds continued to grow and to roam North America.

The American Bison should be a symbol to me. I should not give up even when someone is trying to knock me down. I should continue to stand tall and to continue persevering.  I will be given hope and a new direction to continue my journey, such as the great "Bison".


  1. So many people think these are buffaloes, which aren't to be found in North America. As you've stated, these are American bison, and I'm glad they weren't hunted to extinction.

  2. They ARE majestic animals, even when they are molting!!

  3. We saw some of these when we went to Jackson Hole a while back. I have a few pictures too.