Bison In America: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Bison In America
Bison In America: Everything You Need To Know About Them

While the geography of America has changed so much in current times, the devotion to this magnificent mammal has stayed a constant in the continent. Yes, it is the American Bison.

Below In this article, I’ve explained everything you need to know about the Bisons In America, where they can be seen, and if you can hunt one on the continent. 

Are There Bison In the USA?

Yes, there are bison in the United States Of America. For millennia, nearly 30 million bison in the U.S., were necessary to the ecosystem of the Great Plains and the spiritual and cultural lives of Native Americans. But not very long after European settlers reached, hunters overexploited the population of bison for hides, meat, and other products. 

By the late 1880s, US’s bison population was reduced from an estimated 30 million to a fewer hundred animals. In 1905, the Wildlife Conservation Society started the American Bison Society with environmentalists. By 1907, the society was breeding and moving them to the West as protected herds. Thanks to conservationists, bison herds are increasing nationwide.

How Many Bison Are Left In America?

Today, there are around 20,500 Great Plains bison in protection herds and an extra 420,000 in retail herds. While they are no longer endangered with expiration, these species face other challenges. The defeat of genetic variety, combined with the failure of natural choice forces, risks the ecological rehabilitation of bison as wildlife. 

Where Are Bison Found In The Us?

Bison can be found in every state in the U.S., but here are a few best places to see them in the wild:

  • Yellowstone National Park

The park is perhaps the most known place in the US for spotting bison as it is home to the biggest free-range population of bison. Close to 5,000 bison roam freely within the park and it is the only place where bison have lived constantly even before their near-extinction and restoration. 

  • American Prairie Reserve

Since 2004, a nonprofit wildlife reserve has been slowly buying tracts of grasslands to reconnect 3 million acres of land and foster them back to undeveloped plains. Here you can spot freely roaming bison herds and if visited in the fall, you can see a bigger gathering of bison.

  • Antelope Island State Park

The island park is home to 700 bison that you can easily spot. Also, an annual bison roundup takes place in October, where riders gather the herd for visitors to see them. The predecessors have freely wandered here since 1893, thus it is one of the oldest herds.

  • Grand Canyon National Park

The park covers around 1,900 square miles and bison residing here are mostly consolidated in the Kaibab PlateauIn. If visiting the park take your binoculars and glance for the herd towards the North Rim.

These are just a few places to spot them in the wild, you can also see bison at locations all over the USA: National Bison Range in Moiese, Montana; Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota; Catalina Island near Los Angeles, California;  and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.

How Big Do American Bison Get?

Bison In America
Bison In America: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Bison can stand up to 5 to 6.5 feet tall, at shoulder level. A male bison can weigh up to a ton and a female bison can weigh up to 900 pounds. Along with their tough size, they have many unique traits and one noticeable characteristic is the hump on their back. 

Another one is their deep fur, which can grow long, especially on the head and face. Bison’s head is huge with a very strong skull. Both female and male bison have curved, short, black horns, which can extend up to 2 feet long. Despite their huge size, they are very quick and can run at the speed of 40 miles an hour. 

Do Bison Live In South America?

No, there are no bison found in South America as the species is confined only to North America.

Can You Hunt Bison In America?

Bison hunting is lawful in a few states in the United States, including areas where wild herds need culling for protection and private farms. A few states that allow free-range bison hunting are Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska. The permits and tags needed for these hunts are nearly impossible to reach by. Luckily, hunting bison is legal on private ranches in a few states like Utah.

In Utah, the West Canyon Ranch provides the best-guaranteed hunts available in the U.S. With a spread of 4,000 acres of hunting environments to explore, you are sure to discover an excellent bull. Not only a 100% shooting opportunity is guaranteed, but you can also experience an extremely memorable opportunity to get close to nature. 

The wild bison hunting season generally is from October to November in most states and February to March in Alaska. Guided hunting on private ranches happens all year round.

What Do American Bison Do In The Winter?

As winter arrives and snow blankets the Great Plains, bison grow a thick, woolly fur that helps them protect themselves from freezing temperatures. With thick coats, they can survive any storm that can kill livestock. Under cold stress, they develop the adaption to minimize nutritious requirements and slow their metabolism to save energy. 

Thus, bison do not eat more food, and often as they have to compensate for the low nutritional forage they consume. They also develop internal body warmth through digestion. Bison also can use their head, shoulder, and neck muscles as snow plows to feed in snow as deep as 4 feet. 

Pregnant bison lose a significant portion of body mass in winter and will use fat reserves in the gestation periods to satisfy growing nutritional demands. 

Do People Eat Bison Meat?

A few people in the U.S. farm bison as livestock, and people do eat bison meat similarly to beef. Bison is known to have less cholesterol levels when compared to beef. They have only Saturated fat of 0.9 grams and Calories of 142 per 100 g. The American Heart Association recommends that bison meat can be a more nutritious alternative to beef.

Bison In America


And that was everything you need to know about the Bison In America. I hope this article was informative and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

Our Source For This Guide

Scroll to Top