Southern Plains Bison Pointers July 2018

  Breeding Season Awareness   In July and August, we need to focus on breeding season ‘awareness’.  April and May’s calves are conceived in August and September. The gestation period for bison is 270 days to 300 days with an average gestation of 285 days.  The southern plains will also likely continue the breeding season beyond September to late November and, in some cases, the first two weeks of December.  The late breeding results in late calves and that can be a problem when temperatures spike to historic highs like they have throughout the southern Great Plains region this year.  … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers June 2018

  Breeding’em Up   It’s Time to get down to the business of breeding’em up. It’s easy to become complacent about the breeding season when the grass is plenty and feeding chores are few. That being said, extra nutrition during the summer and fall can = higher conception rates and more calves next April/May.  The southern plains can also contain the reality of waning available nutrition from the grasses at the exact time the females need to be ‘on the gain’ to catalyze estrus. Caution: if you’re not calved out yet, be careful with excessive nutrition going to females in … Read more


<< Previous  Next>> / Salt Lake Telegram Salt Lake City Utah Jan 9, 1921 SHOOTING THE BISON The news dispatches carry a story of the arrival this week of a of “sportsmen” from Los Angeles, who, for a consideration of $200 each, may shoot one of the bison in the herd now located on Antelope island. Those who love the virile history of the United States and especially the West must be proud of file present generation. At the same time, there must be a feeling of regret that the last of a noble animal tribe must come to such … Read more

Southern Bison Plains Pointers November 2016

Fast Times Where the Buffalo Roam     Everything is happening all at once and my advice is to: get ready – get set – & SLOW DOWN.  In the southern plains, we tend to work herds later in the year than in the north, mostly because our weather cooperates and the calves tend to be heavier and more able to leave their mother seamlessly.  Our cool season grasses and other forages also tend to kick into gear about now, so working to early may interrupt some late breeding. Personally, I consider a late-bred cow half full, rather than half … Read more

Southern Plains Bison: Dec 2015

Southern Plains Pointers December 2015   This holiday season was nothing short of a roller-coaster for folks and bison in the southern plains. We went from Christmas in the 70’s to spring jet-stream collisions and tornadoes, to drifting snow and ice in a period of a week. This kind of stuff really brings into focus the bison-advantage of resilience and durability.  Our job, as stewards, is to make the performance of natural behaviors possible. Observing your herd’s behavior in times of environmental extremes can aid you in knowing how to manage for it.   Sales, conferences, shows, gatherings and bison-works … Read more

Southern Plains Bison: Oct 2015

Conception Rates, Culling Decisions & The #1 Factor   This is the time of year when we all prepare to work our bison and make decisions about our herd based on what they are doing for us, or represent to the sustainability of our economic model. I tend to look at a bison-work, as a survey of facilitation or husbandry that the bison participate in. We collect data such as; body weight, body score, weaning weight [whether we wean or not], yearling weights, conception rate, dentition, and humane handling efficiency. While data-sets and surveys, like many analogous ‘whatever’s’, only work … Read more