Custer State Park is gearing up to host its annual Buffalo Roundup on Friday, September 25th. The event will begin around 9:30 am and will feature nearly 1,500 bison.

Although the park officially began the roundup back in 1965, it has actually been going on at Custer for a much longer period of time than that. Bison have been in Custer State Park since 1914 and local ranchers have been rounding them up for over one hundred years. It wasn't on a yearly basis though. Back in the 1950s, bison meat was becoming more and more popular within the United States and that's when the roundups became more frequent.

There are several factors that come into play with each year's roundup. The park must auction a certain amount of bison off every fall so the population doesn't become so large that it will overwhelm the grassland within the park's borders. There's only so much grass to go around for the bison, elk, pronghorn sheep, and deer.

Another reason for the roundup is it provides a great opportunity for a health checkup of sorts on the bison herd. They check the females to see if they're pregnant, do an overall health check on each member of the herd, and administer vaccinations on the animals.

This year, the overall attendance is expected to be lower than in previous years due to COVID- 19 guidelines. Visitors are asked to bring their own folding chairs, cameras, and binoculars. For more information on the event visit their website here.

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