The American Bison is a bovine mammal that is the largest animal in North America, and one of the largest wild cattle’s in the world. The Wood Bison is the largest subspecies of the North America Bison. The bison inhabited the Great Plains of the United States and Canada in massive herds, ranging from the Great Slave Lake in Canada's far north to Mexico in the south, and from eastern Oregon almost to the Atlantic Ocean. The Bison is also known as the American Buffalo.

Bison have a shaggy, dark brown winter coat, and a lighter weight, lighter brown summer coat. Bison can get up to 6 ft (2 meters) tall, 10 ft (3 meters) long and weigh 900 to 2,200 lbs (450 to 1000 kilograms). The heads and forequarters are massive, and both sexes have short, curved horns, which they use in fighting for status within the herd and for defense. Bison has few enemies. Grizzly bears and wolf packs may attempt to attack a calf but only in the dead of winter, when the herd cannot expend the energy to protect stragglers.

Dominant bulls maintain a small harem of females for mating. Individual bulls tend females until they are ready to mate, following them around and chasing away rival males. Bison mate in late summer and early fall. A single reddish-brown calf is born the following spring, which nurses for a year. Bison are mature at three years of age, and have a life expectancy of 18 to 22 years in the wild and 35 to 40 years in captivity.

They appear slow because of their lethargic movements, but have the ability to run up to 45 miles per hour (73 km/h). Bison also have the unexpected ability to jump straight up in the air, and they can leap over a standard barbed-wire fence.

Bison were hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century and were reduced to a few hundred head by the mid-1880s, from which all the present day's managed herds are descended. Bison skins were used for industrial machine belts, clothing such as robes, and rugs. There was a huge export trade to Europe of bison hides. As the great herds began to disappear, proposals to protect the bison was discussed. Buffalo Bill Cody, among others, spoke in favor of protecting the bison because he saw that the pressure on the species was too great.

As few as 750 bison existed in 1890. The Famous Buffalo Herd of James "Scotty" Philip in South Dakota was the beginning of the reintroduction of Bison to North America. A variety of privately owned herds have also been established, starting from this population. The current American Bison population has been growing rapidly and is estimated at 350,000. Bison are now raised for meat and hides. Over 250,000 of the 350,000 remaining bison are being raised for human consumption.

We raise approximately 80 Bison at Schreiner Farms. We maintain two separate breeding groups, so that we do not have an inbreeding problem with our animals.

The Bison are magnificent animals, and we never tire of watching them graze and frolic. The American Bison was illustrated on the reverse side of the U.S. "buffalo nickel" from 1913 to 1938.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Schreiner Farms

P.O. Box 449  Dallesport, WA 98617

(509) 448-4580