Monday, January 28, 2013

Buffalo For Sale

Eye to Eye

Finally got the opportunity to get up close and in the face of a Buffalo. Even close enough to smell it's musty breath. Why, I could have even reached through the pipe fence and gave him a pat on his woolly head! But that wouldn't have been a good idea. Messing with these guys would have been like playing with a short fused stick of dynamite that was lit. You might draw back a stub! Best keep your hands outside the pen and to yourself!


Between The Lines

Released from the solid tan gate behind them, they would bust into the sale area and make a beeline run to the other end. Thinking they had found a way out to freedom, all they found were a couple of picture takers  with shutters clicking away from the safe side of the fence. Perched on one knee, the photographers had found a good place to capture the action from the buffalo blasting down the alley!


Ron-John-Mark                                                     
Good Hands to Make Camp With!

It seems it always turns cold on the day of the Buffalo Auction that is annually held at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Last years October 25th, 2012 proved to do the same. We accused Ron&Cheryl of bringing the cold weather down with them from Kansas! The crew above with their wives and a friend were there to take in the event. I was camped out in the Refuge by myself.

Around a hundred and fifty buffalo went through the sale. The first two were four year old males in their prime and brought Four thousand bucks apiece! Tidy sum I'd say! The others of various genders,ages, and size did not bring as much but I heard the gavel fall at a thousand to fourteen hundred quite often. The Fish&Wildlife folks seemed happy that the surplus animals sold so well! We were all happy that we finally got to attend this event and share the experience that was planned!

Will have more action shots of the Buffalo in my next posts! 

16 comments:

  1. parker, PUH-LEEZE stay away from anything large and bovine!!! :)

    i hope they went to good ranches. yeah, buffalo breeding programs to buffalo burgers, but...

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    1. LOL Kind of hard to do in this refuge. The buffalo and longhorns will even feed thru the campground. Free ranging on the refuge!

      Feel like the high priced 4yr olds and most of the young ones will be used for breeders. The older ones? Lots of meat buyers were there!

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  2. This must have been an eye opening experience for both the buffaloes and the humans. I haven't tried too many buffalo burgers yet; guess I'll have to remedy that. I wonder how these prices compare with other prize bulls?

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    1. Kate the Prize Bulls (Show Bulls and Herd Sires) from the cattle market would certainly bring higher prices than the wild buffalo from the refuge. The Beef Industry is huge. So many ways to market Beef Sires (Prize Bulls). Possible to buy interests in a Prize Bull; artificial insemination takes the place of either the Cow or Bull having to be introduced in person! Some of the prize bulls remain productive and useful for a long time! If you catch my drift?

      If the opportunity is availible try a cut of loin; my preference is cooked Medium Rare to Medium!

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    1. LOL Don't know if I ever thought of them being beautiful but I have heard them called as such by visitors to the refuge. I just admire their strengths and ability to still survive despite being almost exterminated! Come to think of it? They are Beautiful! Thanks for the reminder!

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  4. Most interesting! I'm thinking that there being a surplus of Buffalos is good news for that herd and the park.

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  5. Always a ggod sign to have surplus animals. Have been told that a minimum of 480 and a maximum of around 600 is optimal. Not for sure which end of those numbers we are on. We have been experiencing drought conditions for the last few years so the refuge could be keeping the numbers on the low end. Good question you brought up. I will try to find out what the carrying capacity is judged to be and the numbers of the buffalo they are trying to maintain on my next visit. Someone from our group had asked about the balance of calves, cows and bulls to be sold and told "whatever shows up"! The buffalos have to be baited and gathered as if it was their idea to show up for the sale!

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  6. What a great post. I am laughing at Tex's first line though! LOL

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    1. I got a chuckle out of her comment also!

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  7. Now I know why I have to paid $35 a plate for a piece of 16oz Bison meat in Jackson Hole.

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    1. Great story. And I love the buffaloes. They are awesome looking creatures. It's so American to me. Where they sold for meat? I thought they were protected for some reason. I guess I'm naive when it comes to Buffalo meat. Looking forward to your next post!

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    2. Hope it was tender and cooked just right! I've heard Jackson Hole is pretty pricey!

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    3. Sandy, the Buffalo are protected on the refuge with only surplus animals sold. Private ownership is fairly common, with alot of the ranches raising buffalo for the public to consume. It tastes great!

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    4. Oh I see! Thanks for that bit of information. I did not know that! They are beautiful creatures. I don't think there are buffaloes anywhere else than America right?=)

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    5. The true Buffalo are located in Africa and Asia. Although called buffalo, what we have in North America are actually bison-bison; the scientific name for American Buffalo. They ranged the Plains from Canada to Northern Mexico. Truly magnificent they are!

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