Friday, July 18, 2008

Custer State Park

Custer State Park is in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was one of my favorite things on our whole trip because it was an adventure.

The first thing we saw was a pack of burros. They are not actually native to the area, but the descendants of some working burros from a long time ago. One came up to me as I got out to take pics and let me love on him. They actually looked better than Marvin and Pixie-perfect feet, soft coats, etc
Later we happened on these cuties checking out a car on the side of the road.

But this is the real reason we are here--because Custer State Park has the world's largest free roaming herd of bison in the world--about 1500. This is a mama cow that was part of the herd

This is a bull who was buy himself moseying along the road shortly after we got in the park. He was massive--and it is not like I am not familiar with buffalo-just not full grown bulls, I guess. He was incredible to watch, to see those muscles rippling as he walked.
Look at the size of his head! Bison get to be about 2ooo pounds, and he had to be every bit of it. He came right to the side of the truck. Later on, we saw another single bull moseying on his own, but he was actually in the road, holding up traffic.

We kept looking wanting to see a big herd together and we found one. This was a brand new baby---I had to take the pics shooting down from the back of the truck, as there were so many of them and the rangers warned us when we entered the park that they could be aggressive if they felt like it. We never saw any signs of it, but I sure knew my clumsy ass did not need to be running for the truck with a mad mama after me.

The large herd we saw probably had 100 or so with them, mostly cows but there was more than one bull in there with them. July is rutting season evidently, so maybe those solo bulls were choosing a pack of cows to run with.

Much more happened in Custer, with photos to come


Anonymous said...

I've never seen a baby buffalo. He looks like a calf, a cow calf. Molson really looks like Sly. Very handsome.
How did you ever get on Big Jon?
Love you,

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