top of page
  • Writer's pictureJJ Bison

The Story of The How Bison Were Saved

As you may have read in our history of bison post, bison were overhunted in the past which was a leading factor in bison nearly going extinct in the United States.

Why Were Bison On the Edge of Extinction?

Bison once roamed across the United States, but in the 1800s, they were nearing extinction. Bison roamed as far north as Canada, and as far south as Mexico. As American settlers moved into areas where bison roamed, herds started to disappear. This is in part because of the excellent meat and resources for Native Americans, settlement in the West, the increasing railroads and locomotives, and of course, hunters. Bison skins, fur, and leather were quickly gaining traction in markets, and commercial hunting became highly organized. With hundreds of hunters operating as teams, one hunter could easily kill over 100 bison in 1 day. Unfortunately, despite the now vanishing bison, President Ulysses Grant did not sign a bill by Buffalo Bill Cody to protect the bison.

Saving the Bison

In 1899, William Thomas Hornaday, a taxidermist, traveled out West to collect samples for the Smithsonian. When he arrived in the West, he was shocked to find a severe lack of bison and began his plan to save the magnificent beasts. This was only the start of his and many other bison-saving efforts.

Although there are conflicting messages regarding Buffalo Bill’s love of bison, he is another large advocate for bison survival as he petitioned President Grant to save the bison from extinction.

In 1890, Austin Corbin founded a 26,000-acre preserve for bison, deer, elk, and much more. While the preserve ultimately failed, he did have good intentions in mind.

Finally, in the early 1900s, President Roosevelt saw what was happening and decided to take action. His action came after he came to North Dakota to actually hunt bison, but after being inspired by the past and learning more, he gathered animals to promote breeding and to reintroduce bison into the United States. Not only did he reintroduce the bison, but he also started parks to give bison a home.

The Growth of Bison Ranching

As bison began to fade, President Roosevelt was a firm believer that bison were here to stay. The National Bison Association, and several related chapters, such as the Eastern Bison Association, promote the growth of bison across the United States. Bison ranchers, such as JJ Bison, are committed to the ethical and sustainable growth of bison. This includes not raising bison with any growth hormones or antibiotics as started by the FDA. We, as well as other bison ranchers, continue to believe that with our help, bison can continue to thrive in the United States. We want to continue to help the earth by continuing to aid in the growth of bison, and provide a heart-healthy alternative to beef.

Contact JJ Bison on the web, email us at, or call us at (443) 252 - 2099 to order your bison today!


bottom of page