Video From My Trip To South Dakota’s ‘Buffalo Roundup’
The 56th Annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup is this weekend September 23-25, 2021. Each year they gather the park's bison herd into corrals for sorting, culling, and vaccinations.
I had the opportunity to check an item off of my bucket list when I attended the 54th Annual Buffalo Roundup in 2019 at Custer State Park.
During this yearly event in Western South Dakota thousands of people showed up to watch cowboys, cowgirls, and park staff make around 1300 bison go where they don't really wanna go.
At 5:30 on Friday, Sept. 27 2019 I left the Custer State Park Stockade South Campground where I had spent the night. When I pulled out of the campground headed to the road that led to the Wildlife Loop, there was already a line of car tail lights farther than I could see. And the line wasn't moving.
A nice person let me merge in. What would have normally been a 15-minute drive from the campground to the buffalo viewing area turned into a 2-hour event. With around 20,000 plus people all trying to get to the same place it would be expected that traffic would be slow going.
After I arrived and got parked it would be another 2 hours or so before the first buffalo would appear in the distance on top of the far-off bluff.
The big shaggies would be pushed to the temporary corrals over the hill past where I was with the south crowd lining the fencing set up to protect everyone in case the herd took a wrong turn.
In minutes the mass of bison, horses, trucks, and herders were right in front of us. It was an overwhelming blur of activity. I was in awe to witness the power of these giant prairie beasts. And to imagine what it must have been like to travel across this very land over a hundred years ago when buffalo numbering in the tens of thousands grazed this grass.
Equally as awesome was how the Custer state park staff and crew orchestrated this whole event. They flawlessly accommodated thousands of people from all over the world to witness this unique occurrence.