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Bison once roamed from Canada to Mexico, grazing on the Great Plains and mountainous areas of North America. It is estimated that there were 60 million bison in the 1700′s. It is said that the “plains were black and appeared as if in motion” with the great herds of bison. In the 1600′s fur traders began killing bison and shipping their hides to Europe. By the early 1800′s, the fur trade caused approximately 200,000 bison to be killed annually on the plains. Most of the slaughter occurred between 1830 and 1860. By the early 1880′s there were only a few free-ranging bison. By 1893, estimates were approximately 300 bison left of the herds that once numbered more than 160 million. A 1929 inventory of bison counted 3,385 animals, and currently that number is approximately 450,000 animals in public and private herds in the United States.
The American buffalo is not a true buffalo. Its closest relative is the European Bison or Wisent and the Canadian Woods Bison, not the buffalo of Asia or Africa, such as the Cape Buffalo or Water Buffalo. Scientifically, the American Buffalo is named Bison and belongs to Bovidae family of mammals, as do domestic cattle. Because our history has so ingrained us with the name “Buffalo," we still use it, although “Bison” is the true term to use.
The best description of a bison’s temperament is 'unpredictable.' They often appear peaceful, unconcerned, or lazy, but can attack without warning. They can out run, out turn, out jump and traverse rougher terrain than all but the fleetest horse. They can move at speeds of up to thirty-five miles per hour and cover long distances at a lumbering gallop. Their most obvious weapon is their horns. But their head, with its massive skull, can be used as a battering ram, effectively using the momentum produced by two thousand pounds moving at thirty miles per hour. Their legs can also be used to kill or maim with devastating effect.
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We accept American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa credit cards. All pricing is listed in U.S. dollars and all payments must be prepaid in U.S. funds.
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