55th annual Governor’s Buffalo Roundup starts tomorrow

Local News

CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. (KELO) — The 55th annual Buffalo Roundup gets underway tomorrow morning in the Black Hills.

“Last year at the 54th annual Governor’s Buffalo Roundup, there were over 19,000 visitors at the event. This year park officials say they are preparing for about the same amount of people.

“We’re just out getting everything ready. The area’s where we park all the cars have to be mowed. We got all the lined stripes so that way we can get all the cars parked out on the prairie because it’s not a parking lot year-round. It’s the prairie that we mow and get ready for all the vehicles that are coming in,” Hendrix said.

Mark Hendrix, the resource program manager at Custer State Park, says there will be about 60 cowboys and cowgirls rounding up around 1,450 bison.

“So we’ll work together to bring them in and allow people to see some of the tradition of the American West,” Hendrix said.

This year’s round up includes bison bulls, bison cows, and bison calves all in the mix. Kobee Stalder, the visitor services manager, says this year has the largest number of animals at Custer State Park in the last 10 years.

“Yeah it’s an exciting time, our cows on average, they weigh about a thousand pounds. The bulls that are in the group, they average about 2,000 pounds so you can definitely tell them a part in the heard,” Stalder said.

Stalder says the roundup gives park employees a chance to check on the bison.

“Brand our calves that were born this year, do any inoculations that the animals might need, and then also pregnancy test all the cows during that time to see who’s going to have the calf next year and who’s not. It really is a very important part of our herd management,” Stalder said.

The Buffalo Roundup Art Festival started today and will continue through Saturday.
Custer State Park officials say people are encouraged to social distance and there will be hand sanitizer stations near public restrooms. Visitors are welcome to wear masks, but it is not mandatory.

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