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Buffalo Roundup just around the corner

Published: Sep. 6, 2020 at 8:35 PM MDT
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CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. (KEVN) - The 55th Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park is coming up on Sept. 24, and it is not affected by the current pandemic.

“There’s been a lot of changes you know within dealing with COVID and everything like that, we are still going to be hosting the arts festival and roundup as normal,” the interpretive programs manager at Custer State Park, Lydia Austin, says.

Buffalo Roundup attracts tourists yearly, but it’s not just an iconic spectacle, it serves a practical purpose for the park.

“We bring them down to our corral system, the cows and the calves everything will come through the system, we’re going to vaccinate the calves, brand the calves, and we pregnancy check, and health check all the females, at that time we sort out what we’re going to keep and what we’re going to sell in the auction in November,” Austin says.

The roundup is for the health of the bison, and for the grassland management.

“Our rangeland can only handle so many animals because the grassland also maintains our bison, the elk, the antelope, and the deer, so there’s a lot of animals that require healthy grassland in the park.”

But, the health check doesn’t start only on the day of the Roundup. A few bison have been hurt recently.

“With the rut, there was a lot of fighting going on, some of our older bulls or younger bulls can get hurt. The horn will go through..something like that. We start monitoring them this time of the year.” Austin says.

Before and after the Roundup, the Park wants to make sure the animals are healthy and safe.

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