A crowd of more than 20,000 people gathered at Custer State Park on September 29th to witness the 58th Annual Buffalo Roundup. This event brought together 60 cowboys and cowgirls to herd over 1,500 bison. One of the riders, Colby Brown from New Underwood, South Dakota, had the privilege of participating in his first Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup.
Being an experienced horseman, Brown expressed his excitement and nerves about the event. He wondered how his horse, Blue, would react to being so close to bison. This roundup was not only a thrilling experience for Brown but also a longstanding tradition for riders like Jim Strait. Strait stated that chasing buffalo on horseback is a unique activity that can only be done at this event in Custer State Park.
The Buffalo Roundup holds a special place in the western heritage and culture of Custer State Park. Lydia Austin, the visitor services supervisor at the park, mentioned that it is an experience unlike any other. The roundup also serves as a vital tool for herd management. The bison are brought into a corral system for their annual checkup, where they receive vaccinations, undergo branding, pregnancy checks, and other necessary health procedures. This ensures that the herd remains healthy and helps maintain the balance on the park’s rangelands.
The roundup requires skilled riders who understand both their horses and the behavior of the bison. Strait emphasized that it is crucial to have a good seat, knowledge of the animals, and a horse that is comfortable around buffalo. Before the ride, new riders are given an orientation and their horses are introduced to the bison, although the unpredictable nature of these wild animals is always taken into consideration.
During the roundup, the riders are divided into different teams, including the Red Team, the Blue Team, and the White Team. The core riders, with their extensive experience, lead the charge with others filling in where they feel comfortable. The excitement is palpable as both riders and horses take cues from each other in this exhilarating and unique event.
After the roundup, on November 4th, bison producers from across the country will have the opportunity to purchase bison from Custer State Park. The park has a diverse herd that is grass-fed, making their animals highly sought after.
The Buffalo Roundup is a thrilling spectacle, providing an unforgettable experience for both participants and spectators. With its rich history and important role in herd management, this event continues to captivate audiences and showcase the beauty of the American West.
1. What is the Annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park?
The Annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park is an event where cowboys and cowgirls gather to herd bison. This event has a long tradition and is an essential part of the western heritage at the park.
2. How many people attended this year’s Buffalo Roundup?
Over 20,000 people gathered to watch the 58th Annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park.
3. What is the purpose of the Buffalo Roundup?
The roundup serves as a tool for herd management. During the event, the bison are rounded up into a corral system where they receive vaccinations, undergo branding, and other health checks. This helps maintain the health of the herd and ensures a balance on the park’s rangelands.
4. How do the riders participate in the Buffalo Roundup?
Riders participate in the Buffalo Roundup by herding the bison on horseback. Skilled riders with experience in handling horses and understanding the behavior of bison are chosen for this event.
5. Can anyone participate in the Buffalo Roundup?
Participation in the Buffalo Roundup requires experience and expertise in horse riding. It is recommended for experienced riders who understand their horses and can handle the unpredictable behavior of bison.
6. What happens to the bison after the roundup?
After the roundup, bison producers from across the country have the opportunity to purchase bison from Custer State Park. The park has a diverse herd that is grass-fed, making their animals highly desirable.
7. Is the health of other wildlife in the park checked annually?
No, the park does not perform annual health checks on other wildlife. However, bison are similar to cattle, making it easier to manage their health. Vaccinations and treatments available for cattle can be used for bison as well.
8. What kind of diseases can bison be susceptible to?
Bison can be susceptible to various diseases, including respiratory infections and clostridial infections. Diseases like mycoplasma and bacterial infections can also affect bison herds.
9. Where can I purchase bison from Custer State Park?
Bison producers from across the country can purchase bison from Custer State Park. These bison are highly sought after and are grass-fed, making them a valuable commodity.
10. What makes the Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park unique?
The Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park is unique because it offers the opportunity to chase buffalo on horseback, a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at this event. It showcases the rich western heritage and culture of the park while also serving as an important tool for herd management.