Bison bison, aka American Buffalo, can be found in the Red Hills as well as many other places in Kansas. The largest herd in these parts is on Ted Turner's Zbar Ranch in southwestern Barber County. From 1,500 to 3,000 animals are kept on this 43,000 acre ranch depending on time of year and other factors. We should be thankful for all the ranchers who have chosen to keep herds of Bison and willing to share the excitement of having them around with others. These majestic beasts remind us of more wild times, a fascinating past, an intact prairie once pounded by millions of hooves. Hearing Bison grunt their way across the grassland in herbivorous wanderings stimulates a wild spirit, an anachronistic connection with the land. My imagination wanders to days gone by when chasing bison meant trying to survive the vagaries of nature and witnessing skilled Comanches and Kiowas felling these huge beasts with bow and arrow on horseback. Today, I am armed only with a camera and a fabulous morning to devote to these ponderous animals in an enchanted land.
|Bison enjoying a pre-dawn drink on the Zbar.|
The iconic symbol of the prairie.
A lone Bison crosses the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River on the Zbar.