Buffalo Roundup

We were fortunate to witness one of the last great events of the west – the annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park. Up before dawn to travel to a hillside where we parked in lawn chairs and huddled under blankets, we waited in the chilly morning for the sound of the herd along with hundreds of other spectators.  We waited for a few hours, and some of the crowd began to get restless until some brave soul started singing “Home, Home on the Range”, and it didn’t take long until the whole hillside of spectators joined in and smiles were shared and the cold morning melted into warm greetings and sharing of snacks.

First we heard the distant rumble and saw clouds of dust in the distance. Then the thunder  of 1,400 buffalo crescendoed as they rumbled across the meadow below us while being herded by cowboys and cowgirls on horses and in pickup trucks. One lone buffalo made a break for it and escaped up a hill to avoid being herded onto a corral.  The crowds cheered him on to freedom, but alas, the cowboys prevailed and the lone buffalo joined the others to be corralled where they would be given a health check and vaccinated, and either sold off or returned to the prairie.

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