Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday several of our students organized an outing to a 'buffalo' ranch about 30 minutes outside of town. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about buffalo including theories about how they got to America-ice melts. It was intriguing and educational for sure. I did learn that what we have here in the states are technically called bison, but people including all sorts of associations call them buffalo. Then we got to jump on a trailer for a hay ride to the land where the buffalo roam (didn't see any deer or antelope). I was convinced that these furry creatures would be about the height of an elephant. Not sure why, I just thought they were going to be massive. Apparently, that really depends on their age and if they are a cow (female) or a bull (male). The bulls are big, I mean significantly bigger, up to 2000 pounds big, not as big as an elephant. As we came into the field the bison came toward the tractor/trailer. It was amazing to see these strange looking animals coming toward us all lined up. It made me feel like an early settler in covered wagon seeing these giant creatures coming toward me-it was a bit scary. Did you know that there are more deaths by bison than bears at Yellowstone? The bison came to the trailer and were wanting some snacks. We fed them grass pellets. For some we just dropped them on the ground, but the more aggressive and the big bull wanted them straight on the tongue. He would stick his tongue out, curl it and take a pellet. Bison rely mostly on their sense of smell because their eyes are on the sides of their head. It was a fun outing on a beautiful day. The man that owns the ranch gives tours for free and seems to really enjoy his job. He also sells buffalo meat in different cuts and sizes. Here are just some of the pictures from Saturday's adventure.