American Bison (Buffalo)
Brief History of the American Bison
Bison once roamed the plains in numbers so great the early explorers could not count them. They were described as “numberless, the plains were black and appeared as if in motion.”
Bison have been called the most important wild animals in the development of North America. Bison were the center of life of the Plains for both Native Americans and the settlers.
History note: Buffalo or Indian Head Nickels, 1913-1938, were designed by James A. Fraser using three different Native Americans as models. Iron Tail (Sioux), Two Moons (Cheyenne) and John Big Tree (Onandaga). The buffalo was modeled after Black Diamond, a bison in the New York Zoological Gardens.
About Bison: Bison bulls weigh 1,500-2,000 pounds at maturity, 6-8 years old. They stand up to 6 feet high at the hump and measure up to 9 feet long from nose to tail. Females are smaller, weighing 900-1,200 pounds, stand 5 feet high and measure 6 feet from nose to tail.
Though grazing Buffalo appear tame and docile, Bison are wild animals and should be viewed with respect. They may look slow and lethargic, but an agitated Buffalo can outrun a horse. So unless you can outrun the wind, stay on the outside of a pasture full of Buffalo!
Buffalo (Bison) are beautiful & amazing animals. They live 25-40 years & will breed their entire life. They can adapt to any climate on earth. Buffalo are in every state including Alaska and Hawaii. Once an endangered species, the Buffalo are no longer endangered. Buffalo have made a comeback and we are doing our part to preserve some of our great heritage. When Columbus landed in America in 1492, it is estimated that 40-60 million buffalo roamed North America. In the late 1800’s, the Buffalo herds had dwindled to estimates of 100-1,000 animals. Thanks to ranches and small farms like ours, that number has grown to nearly 400,000 today. As long as demand for the healthy red meat continues, they will continue to be raised responsibly and never become endangered again.
Bison: The Native Beef – Bison are native to North American, beef cattle are not.
Today, Bison (Buffalo) is making a comeback as a low-fat alternative red meat, and is again being recognized as a valuable source of nutrition. Bison is higher in protein, yet lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than most other meats. Bonus: It tastes great! It is not “gamey” or wild tasting, but has a pleasingly sweet and rich flavor. Bison meat is also hypoallergenic and can be eaten by people who are allergic to other red meats. Bison must be cooked differently than beef. The key is to retain moisture by lowering cooking time and temperature.
Bison can be used in your favorite beef recipes, but you can reduce the quantity of Bison by 1/3 as it has a higher food value than beef does.