Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Buffalo Roundup 2011

This year was once again another great year for the Custer State Park Annual Buffalo Roundup. We were all up on Governor's Hill, waiting for the the Roundup to begin. Some excitement happened up there before they kicked off the event, a rattlesnake was in our territory. That problem was quickly resolved with a sharp rock and a quick toss over the edge of the hill.

Here's the horseback team preparing to head off the herd in case the decide to stampede in this direction.

Thousands and thousands of spectators and their vehicles for the event.

Here they come - in for the final push!

Overseeing the final push

In through the gate they come!

Whoo-hooo! Just what the crowd (not the cowboys) love to see - a section of the herd breaks off, it can be a bit difficult in this part of the park to get them back into the corral....The crowd is always cheering for the buffalo!

And in the rowdy crew finally goes (through a different gate)...

And the entire group, resting after all of the activity! It's hard work getting rounded up!

The Buffalo Roundup is held each year in September as primarily a park management tool. It's a necessity. They corral the herd and check each bison over. The vaccinate, check the females for pregnancy, and brand the calves from the spring. It also happens to be a great tourism event. As many as 15,000 people have came to the park to watch the event.

It was interesting that now I've been able to watch the Roundup from two different perspectives. Last year I was in a chase vehicle, one of those you saw working the herd in the above pictures. This year, I watching from up on Governor's Hill. I really like both perspectives - and cannot choose one over another.

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