We ended our stay in Custer State Park by attending the annual Buffalo Round-Up. After talking to lots of park rangers, we decided to view the round-up from the south viewing area. We got up around 4 and got in line for the south viewing area at 5:38. They began parking at 6:20 and we were finally parked by 7. They had a pancake and sausage breakfast that we enjoyed. About 9:30 the cowboys began pushing the buffalo towards the corrals. Our viewing area allowed us to see the buffalo as they came across the top of the hill. There were some wild burros in the valley that had to run to get out of the way of the stampeding buffalo. The elk were watching from the top of a hill. The cowboys say that they drive the buffalo where the buffalo want to go. The buffalo did not go the way the cowboys wanted them to go at first, so the cowboys stopped pushing the buffalo for a few minutes, changed their locations, and began pushing the buffalo again. Once the buffalo were in the corrals, we were able to go down for a buffalo bar-b-que. Sure was good. At 1:00, they began to work about 150 buffalo through the shutes. There they would weigh, vaccinate, and, if it was a cow, check for pregnancy. (sure wouldn’t want that job) They would also separate the young ones born last year and brand them. They sell about 200 or so of the buffalo to various buyers. Great day.!!!!
wild burros running away
When the buffalo got to this area, they were very unhappy. They would move their heads up and down and side-ways trying to escape. The cowboy would reach out and touch the buffalo on the nose or head and they would calm down. He would then read the number off the tag so they would know what buffalo they were dealing with. As soon as his hand left the buffalo, the buffalo began moving it’s head wildly.
free at last