Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Payne's Prairie Bison

This is one of the bison that inhabit Payne's Prairie.  Efforts are underway to capture approximately half of the current herd and castrate many of the remaining males in order to control the population.  I've run across some of these extremely large animals on the La Chua trail without incident.  That's because I wait patiently for them to decide to go elsewhere instead of trying to encourage them or trying to sneak by them.  The La Chua trail looks very wide until you see one of these standing in the middle of it.  This bison was taking a sand bath while several others stood and watched.  I have mixed emotions about thinning the herd.  On the vast majority of days I've hiked this trail I have never even caught a glimpse of the bison but on other days they are very much present.  I'm not aware of any injuries or accidents occuring from the herd but I suppose it's inevitable if the herd continues to grow unchecked.  I understand the bison that are removed are being relocated and that there is a written agreement that they won't be sold for slaughter.  I hope that's true.

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