American Bison

American Bison (Bison bison) are one of North America’s greatest mammals. These large beasts once roamed across the Midwest and western United States but do to habitat loss and over-hunting, have declined greatly and are listed as “near threatened”.

American Bison at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Iowa

Numbering anywhere from 30 to 60 million or more, American Bison declined almost to extinction. Less than 100 animals were left in the wild in the late 1800s. They almost didn’t make it.

Bison have long been a favorite because of their docile yet strong demeanor and their deep connection to pioneering, exploration, and prairies.

It has long been a dream to one day raise bison on our property. The goal is to restore row crop land into prairie, having the bison live in as natural a setting as possible. These bison could then be used for food and products as well as educational purposes. Plus, bison are plain cool.

Bison Union Company, located in Sheridan, Wyoming has adopted this lovable mammal for their brand. Their company is a great example of what we call “modern frontier”, a nod to the greatness of the country and the ideals of the future. They also sell great coffee!

The Buffalo Wool Company raises bison to make socks and other gear from bison fibers. An amazing company in Texas.

In 1889, William Temple Hornaday published The Extermination of the American Bison, aimed at promoting the conservation of this majestic animal. Hornaday also sought bison specimens for the Smithsonian Institute at a time when extinction was thought to be inevitable. This collection is on display at the Museum of the Northern Great Plains in Fort Benton, Montana.

American Prairie Reserve Logo

American Prairie Reserve is a non-profit organization in Montana working towards creating the largest, contiguous prairie in the United States. The goal is to protect 3,000,000 connected acres through private and public lands. So far they have protected nearly 400,000 acres since 2004.

Places to see bison

Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming, Montana, Idaho
National Bison Range – National Wildlife Refuge in Montana
Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Iowa
Nachusa Grasslands – Illinois