Thursday, June 17, 2021

Plains Bison - Caprock Canyons SP

By the late 1880s the number of surviving bison in the U.S. was less than 600. These were mostly on private ranches. There were five foundation herds which saved the bison, one of which was the herd established by Charles Goodnight in Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle in the late 1870s. The herd got as large as 250 in 1933. Bison from this herd were introduced to Yellowstone NP in 1902 and large zoos and ranches throughout the U.S. About 80 of them now live in Caprock Canyons State Park near Quitaque, Texas. They were introduced there in 1997. The DNA of these Texas bison is unique and they have no cattle DNA. 

When we visited Caprock we saw lots of bison, I suspect we saw about all of the 80. They are concentrated in the open areas and did not venture into the small canyons, at least as far as we could see. The area is not as large as other areas we've visited with bison, such as Antelope Island, Yellowstone, Custer State Park, and Theodore Roosevelt NP, but it is wonderful to have the geographical diversity and diversity of the terrain. 


  1. It was an up-close-and-personal experience. They seem happy to cohabitate with humans.

  2. I don't know what it is but every time I see a Buffalo I always have to say "tatanka"