An emblem of the old west

On October 26th and 27th, Utah’s Antelope Island hosts over three hundred volunteers in wrangling and herding six hundred free-roaming bison across the state park. An emblem of the old west, the Annual Bison Roundup is a fun and exciting event for adventurers of all ages to witness.

Roaming bison helped craft the ecology of the Great Plains and, for centuries Native Americans across North America were tied to this keystone species for survival. But, due to U.S. sport slaughter in the nineteenth century, the population dwindled from thirty million to only several hundred by 1890. In 1905 the American Bison Society was founded by pioneering conservationists Theodore Roosevelt and William Hornaday to help with the species’ survival and, today, the replenishing population has boomed to five hundred thousand.

In 1893, twelve bison were transported to Antelope Island by publisher William Glassman. Those few bison were the basis of what is now one of the nation’s largest bison herds. In addition to viewing a part of American history via the Annual Roundup, the public can see the bison up close on November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd as veterinarians and wildlife biologists corral them for tagging and inoculations.


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