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  • Writer's pictureJJ Bison

History of Bison

The American Bison is the largest native animal in North America. Although sometimes confused with their distantly related cousin buffalo, Bison is the correct term for the plains animal we are all familiar with. When Europeans first began immigrating to North America, over 30 million Bison roamed the land from modern-day Pennsylvania to Idaho. Sadly, by the late 1800s, the Bison herds were reduced to mere hundreds due to overhunting.

There are many debated causes of this overhunting which range from wide-scale commercial hunting for Bison hides to clearing space for the non-native cattle herds to graze without competition. Domesticated cattle are much more docile than the American Bison that can jump 6 feet vertically and run at 35 miles per hour. Farmers at the time would rather slaughter Bison and use their bones for fertilizer than try to raise them. Another reason for the mass hunting which is discussed by historians is the attempt to harm the Native American tribes who relied almost exclusively on the Bison for food, tools, and clothing. All of these factors combined to drive down Bison numbers close to extinction.

In 1905, Willliam T. Hornaday of the New York Zoological Park founded the American Bison Society with support from Theodore Roosevelt. The society lobbied congress to found and stock several Bison sanctuaries in order to protect these magnificent animals. Many other individual conservationists protected small herds of Bison which would eventually grow and save the Bison species from extinction.

Today the American Bison population continues to increase and is estimated to be over 500,000 animals. Large herds once again roam in America’s National Parks and many more are raised by private farms like JJ Bison. We will continue to do our part to create a future for these wonderful animals and we appreciate your support which allows our Bison herd to thrive.

Contact us today online, email us at, or call us at (443) 252 - 2099 to order your bison today!


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