Buffalo Roundup Draws 21,000 Visitors to Custer State Park
Custer State Park is home to one of the largest American bison herds in the world. The annual roundup keeps the population in balance with the available land and resources. Most return right back to their home, the grasslands of Custer State Park and this year, the event saw it's biggest crowd yet of a record 21,000 visitors for the 50th annual roundup.
Friday's roundup featured horseback riders joined by all-terrain vehicles and pickup trucks gathering some 1,300 bison into corrals. The buffalo are branded and given vaccinations, and then the herd is culled, or reduced, to about 900 that will be released back onto the park to roam free for another year. The rest are sold at auction.
The park's Craig Pugsley says the buffalo is kind of the iconic image of the west. He says visitors can feel the ground rumble, and the dust flies in a spiritual way.
James and Maria Sanders say the event gave a small impression of what the original settlers saw on the plains.