Tens of millions of bison roamed the continent’s grasslands until the late 1800s. In 2005, American Prairie Reserve reintroduced bison to the prairie of north central Montana.
Since then, our herds have grown as we bring in more bison from other herds and calves are born each spring. Thanks to continued fence removal efforts, the Reserve’s three herds, estimated to be more than 800 bison in 2020, move freely within the Sun Prairie unit and portions of the Dry Fork and White Rock units.
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 and portions of the Dry Fork and White Rock units, including Buffalo Camp on occasion. Please maintain a safe distance of 100 yards as bison can run up to 35 miles per hour. When stressed or threatened, bison display behaviors such as raising their tails, head shaking, and foot stomping.