Preparation under way for the 57th annual buffalo roundup

Hundreds of buffalo will run through Custer State Park as part of the annual Buffalo Round Up
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 8:46 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Hundreds of buffalo will run through Custer State Park as the 57th annual Buffalo Roundup draws thousands of visitors from across the world.

“Thursday afternoon, we do what we call an orientation ride, and all the riders will get together and go out, and we’ll actually go over the terrain we’re going to ride. Friday morning for the roundup, and just let everybody see what we are going to be riding through. It gets people an opportunity to introduce their horses to the buffalo.” said district park supervisor Jim Straight.

Previous buffalo roundup.
Previous buffalo roundup.(KOTA/KEVN)

There will be 1,400 buffalo along with 69 riders for the buffalo roundup; not to mention the spectators.

“All of the folks coming to the park. The park is going to see a big influx of people. The buffalo are ready they’re in the Southeast corner of the park already but now we’re starting to get the big top tents up for the food, we’re starting to get them ready for the arts festival everything like that” said visitors service coordinator Lydia Austin

It has been a successful year for the herd with no deaths or major injuries. However, Straight says their behavior can change every year. Last year the buffalo did things that they’d never seen before. Understanding a buffalo’s temperament can be difficult.

“We’re in charge of the animals and managing the herd, so right now we have folks going through the crowds and making sure that everything is in working condition. There’s going to be no hiccups there, and then we’re keeping an eye on the herd making sure we know where they’re going to be for roundup day.” said park program manager Jason Gooder.

The buffalo round-up will begin Friday at 9:30 a.m., with parking lots open at 6:15 a.m. That’s also when breakfast will be available at both viewing areas. Lunch can be obtained at the corrals once the buffalo are herded up. There is a cost for the meals.