Bison in the US

Our family has a long-standing affection for and curiosity about Bison, dating back to Bob’s days as a third-generation Colorado dairy farmer. If you’re here, then chances are you’re as interested in them as we are!

Bison in the US

The American Plains Bison (or ‘buffalo’ as the French settlers referred to them) is an iconic symbol of the American West and an enduring symbol of strength, resiliency and beauty. Following European settlement and expansion, their numbers were reduced from 30 million to only a few hundred in a remarkably short amount of time.

Once prevalent in herds numbering tens or even hundreds of thousands and covering most of the US; the American Plains Bison, at its peak, numbered anywhere from 20-50 million animals. Following European settlement however, the Bison saw their numbers dramatically reduced in a relatively short amount of time. Massive consumer demand for hides, both in the US as well as Europe, spawned commercial operations which slaughtered tens of thousands of Bison per day. Coupled with recreational hunting by settlers, expansion of railroads and overhunting by both Settlers and certain Native American tribes, the American Plains Bison population was decimated; leaving only a few hundred animals in existence by the late 1800’s.

Luckily, a combination of individual efforts and good fortune saved the Bison from extinction. Certain ranchers, recognizing the need to preserve the remaining animals, started establishing new herds, while a population of 23 wild Bison in Yellowstone National Park which survived the mass slaughter began naturally rebuilding, remaining the only continuously wild bison herd in the US.

Private ranchers continue to rebuild the Bison presence in America, and Eagle’s Wing Ranch is proud to be part of this effort.

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