Tens of millions of bison roamed the continent’s grasslands until the late 1800s. In 2005, American Prairie Reserve reintroduced bison to the area.
Since then, our herd has grown as we bring in more animals from other herds and calves are born each spring. Thanks to continued fence removal efforts, the Reserve’s herd, estimated to grow to more than 700 animals in 2016, moves freely within the 31,000-acre Sun Prairie unit.
Where can I see the bison?
Bison can move long distances each day, so visitors might be surprised to see the animals appear in places where there had been none hours before. Depending on the time of year, the herd can be very spread apart across the landscape (summer) or congregated in large groups (early fall). The annual rut, when bull bison come together to compete for mates, happens in August. Calves typically appear in late April, with new additions arriving throughout the spring and early summer.
The Reserve’s bison herd moves freely throughout the Sun Prairie unit, including through the campground on occasion. Please maintain a safe distance of 300 feet as bison can run up to 40 miles per hour. When stressed or threatened, bison display behaviors such as raising their tails, head shaking, and foot stomping.