Bison Quest Adventure Vacation Blog

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Why Bison Quest? January 11, 2013

Come face to face with nature and wildlife in an eco friendly vacation. Live among bison and study wildlife alongside our biologists-then use what you learn to save our wild world.

 

Snow stories – the lion doesn’t sleep tonight. December 18, 2012

Filed under: ecology,Musings,wildlife — bisonquest @ 9:23 am
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Ghosts.  And like ghosts, our lions are rarely seen.  But there is a reason that “our” does have their fawns in the yard every spring, and keep them there throughout the summer.  Although we don’t often see our lions we, like our deer, know that they are here.  Because our ghosts leave tracks.  Snow stories.  Gotta love it!

Ghost tracks

Round with no claw marks, the size of Craig’s palm – unmistakeable lion tracks.

 

Because everything dies. December 10, 2012

Filed under: bison,ecology,Musings,wildlife — bisonquest @ 5:46 pm
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It’s the time of year when we field harvest some of our buffalo and I invariably get the question, “I know you love them, so how can you live with them and still kill them?” Those are honest questions and here’s my best answer.

“Because everything dies. Every thing.”

As a biologist, as well as for me philosophically, it’s not the fact that things die that we should focus on – after all, every one of us will do that – it’s the quality of life and the quality of death that matters. Because we do love our buffalo. And we do care about them. And we do eat them. Those are not mutually exclusive ideas. In fact, they are the basis of life around us. We all eat living things.

buff and tipi

To us, that means that our bison are treated with gentleness and respect and honor. They are never penned and fattened, but are allowed to roam wherever they want on the almost one square mile they call home. It means that calves are never separated from their mothers, that there is no pain of castration, dehorning, branding, squeeze chutes, or electric prods – often a part of “traditional” livestock raising. It means that we can live on a ranch that is home to other wildlife including predators, where we can encourage native vegetation rather than introduced plants, and basically run the ranch in an environmentally friendly manner, all while living with that most amazing of creatures – the buffalo.

Yes, there is a cost to that, in both time and money. It means that we have to spend hours trying to coax a buff onto a trailer instead of forcing it, that there is never a semi-truck crowded full of our bison and trucked long distances to a central feedlot and slaughterhouse with it’s horrors, and it means marketing the meat ourselves, wholesale, one animal at a time, instead of in large commercial quantities.  But it also means that when death does come to our buffs, it is done instantaneously, painlessly, and without bringing fear. And most of all, it means that each bison is treated as an individual with emotions and feelings that deserve respect. I wish we all had it so good.

 

We’re wasting electricity – turn on the dishwasher! April 8, 2010

Deer and solar panels

Deer and solar panels

It’s a sunny, breezy day here on the ranch, and Craig just came running into the house yelling, “Turn on the dishwasher – wash some clothes – turn on the lights!  We’re wasting electricity.”  Is this an odd sentence to you?  If it is, then it’s obvious that you don’t have solar panels or a wind generator hooked up to your house.  We have both and on sunny, windy days we make TOO much electricity and, if we don’t use it, it has to just be dissipated.  We aren’t hooked up to “the grid” so we can’t “sell” the power back to the power company – we have to just let it go. We’re looking into getting an electric vehicle of some sort so we can use this extra electricity.  Days like today, we just look at each other and say, “why doesn’t everyone do this?”  I guess it just makes too much sense in a country where everyone is used to relying on big corporations to take care of them.

 

 
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