Bison In Texas: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Bison in Texas

There are only a few terrestrial animals in the world that may weigh heavier than the American Bison and none of them will be from the North American continent, that’s for sure. Bison also known as Buffalo are found in some of the states in the country including Texas.

In fact, Texas buildings, walls, and many structures represent Bison in some or the other way. Bison are a state icon, especially for the American West and they often come up in local history, stories, and folk tales. 

Below I’ve explained everything you need to know about the state of Bison in Texas. 

Are There Bison in Texas?

Yes, there are Bison in Texas. These beasts are not found in the wild and can be observed in private ranches and in Caprock Canyons State Park which is in fact not a native of Texas state.

Historically, the state did have a thriving population of Bisons in the range of thousands. But several factors like overhunting, loss of habitat, and diseases pushed them to the brink of extinction. I say brink because, somehow due to various efforts by private organizations, governments, and public initiatives, they are now found in a stable number in parts of the state.

How Many Bison Are in Texas?

Know that, precisely measuring the Bison population like any other animal is difficult. But as per Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, there are about 350 Bison in the Caprock Canyon State Park. 

While this is a substantial number, it’s not nearly enough. This Bison population could be eradicated by a disease and there will be nothing we could do. So, it’s important that the state continues its efforts in stabilizing the Bison population.

This includes support from the state and federal to reintroduce Bison across the state. Another unique fact about the Texas Bison is that they are the only remaining descendant species of the Southern Plain’s bison. 

Who Saved the Bison in Texas?

As common residents of the state, we may think that our actions don’t value much, and that we can’t offer any significant value to our society. But this is very false. Let’s take the case of Texas Bison.

They were just about to be eradicated in the state in the late 1800s when Charles Goodnight came and saved them from their last breath. Charles was a renowned rancher and was motivated and pushed by his wife to host a few of the remaining South Plain bison in his private ranch. 

These Bison grew up and increased in numbers out of which a few were donated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and moved to Caprock Canyon State Park in 1997. Charles represents a shining example of how a resident can do his small part in the sustainability of their nation.

What Is the Bison Capital of Texas?

Bison in Texas

Bison and not just any herd, the Texas bison herd which is the direct descendant of southern plains bison is found mainly in Caprock Canyons State Park. The park is about 15,000 acres in area and offers a great habitat for the Bison. Even visitors are allowed to observe and learn about these iconic animals.

As the park is part of Quitaque City, the city is named the Bison Capital of Texas. This is not just a public name; it was in fact declared by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2015. 

Can You Hunt Bison in Texas?

Yes, you may think that due to dwindling numbers of Bison in the state, their hunting would be prohibited. No. It is legal to hunt Bison in Texas. You can hunt them in private ranches where there is an existence of the Bison population. To do this, you will need a hunter’s license from Texas Game and Wildlife Department and adhere to the guidelines set by the private ranch. 

There may also be some restrictions on the bag limit, hunting season, etc., to ensure the species’ survival. While you can hunt Bison in private ranches, it is illegal to hunt them on public land or government land like that inside Caprock Canyons State Park. 

Also Read About Bison In Oklahoma

Can You Raise Bison in Texas?

Yes, you can raise Bison in Texas. In fact, it was the ownership and raising by private ranchers especially Mr. Charles Goodnight, which led to Bison’s survival. Today these Bison are home to a number of private ranches and there is no turning back now.

Bison is defined as wild and indigenous to the state by the Texas Agriculture Code. To raise Bison, you would need proper fencing, grazing areas, and appropriate veterinary care. 

As they are well suited to Texas climate and landscapes, they will definitely thrive in any private ranch. They may be raised for a variety of reasons like conservation efforts, mean production, educational purposes, etc. 

Having said all the above information, it is still important for you to conduct intensive research on the procedure, regulations, and any approvals required.

How Much Does a Bison Cost in Texas?

As per estimates, an American Bison in Texas costs around $1500 to $5000. They are also quite heavy weighing 900 pounds and therefore require separate logistics to transfer them to the location.

While the cost of Bison depends on numerous factors like gender, size, etc., it is important to know that maintaining and raising these Bison costs almost the same as cattle.

Also Check Our Guide On Bison In America


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

Thank You For Reading!

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