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NEWS: With Buffalo Roundup, Vacation On The Range

2007 herding

by jennlynndesign

Rapid City, S.D.—Rounding up more than 1,000 buffaloes weighing about 2,000 pounds a piece is no easy task, so since 1965, rangers at Custer State Park have turned the grueling labor into an annual event. Today, those park rangers and modern-day cowboys and cowgirls will be saddling up for the big show of the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival. About 1,200 animals will be gathered and driven into corrals in order to protect the South Dakota lands from being overgrazed. The public will then be able to check out the herd before testing and branding begins this afternoon in preparation for the mid-November auction that draws ranchers, conservation groups, and sometimes other states. Over the weekend, visitors took in local art and sampled entries in the buffalo meat chili cook-off. Visitors looking for an Old West experience can start planning for next year’s herding, which will give them a taste of the range without getting their hands dirty. — Hilary Solan