Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Custer continued

Sept. 16-30, 2013 Wheels West RV Park, Custer, SD

Buffalo Roundup continued & explained:
Sue from Beluga's Excellent Adventure was wondering the purpose of the Buffalo Roundup and was concerned it was just for slaughter. I can't believe I did not mention this in my post about my Roundup experience.
(This has been added to post of 9/30/13, Buffalo Roundup)
While at the wonderful Custer Visitor's Center, I asked Fred, the host what the Roundup was for? I asked if it was just a thing to do to bring tourists in. Oh no, not all all. Letting the tourists view was an afterthought. This year was the 48th year for the Roundup. The purpose is to help maintain healthy herds of Buffalo. Custer State Park grasslands can only handle so many Buffalo. If the herd grows too large, there is not enough grasses for the Buffalo to eat and survive the winter. About 1300 head are rounded up annually.
They are first all checked for health. Old and sickly ones are separated for auction for meat, hides, etc. This is actually more humane than letting them stay with the herd. These old and sickly would most likely not survive the winter and suffer a slow death. The Buffalo that can be used for meat are auctioned, then slaughtered and butchered by the State FREE of charge! Of course you need a huge commercial freezer to keep the meat. The State keeps the hide and head. Some of these parts are sold to the local American Indians and others are prepared for sale to the public to raise funds for the State Park.
The healthy ones are branded and blood is taken. The blood is checked for disease, and lineage. Yes, the State cares about not having too much inbreeding which can cause weakness in the herd. So the blood lines they want to separate are auctioned off to private breeders who are looking for specific blood lines (just like reputable dog breeders).
By the time the sorting is complete, the Park should have under 1000 head to release back into the Park. By Spring when Mama's have given birth, the herd is back up to approximately 1300 again and so the cycle begins again.
The day after the Roundup, we took a ride to the corrals, where the sorting has taken place. We pulled over to the side of the road and Devin popped up, "Hmmm, what's that odd odor?" The photo below is our truck parked (it was a windy day), and Devin's first whiff of Buffalo.
Devin gets a whiff of Buffalo
 Corralled Buffalo. See the fencing in the back right for segregation?
Look at that backbone! I thought the poor thing was starving, but I think that is just the way Buffalo are built.

You've got to check out the great video Jenni from Dare You 2 Move put together. I searched YouTube for video of the Roundup, but Jenni's is the best one by far. I suppose it's not as exciting if you weren't there, but this video captures the excitement of first seeing the Buffalo come into sight, the funny parts of a roque Buffalo breaking off on it's own...oh, no you don't, come back here. Hee Haw!

On a side note, I saw this at the museum. It's called a Buffalo Jump. This method was used in history as an easier way of killing the Buffalo for food and clothing.

Hard to see, but Buffalo are falling off cliff on right.

The Buffalo Roundup is made into a whole weekend affair. Friday is the Roundup, Saturday and Sunday was an Art Fair, slow-cooker contest, and chili cook off.
We stopped by the Art Fair on Saturday. It's with mixed feelings we attend these events.  We have found so many unique handcrafted items that I would love to have. But living in an RV does not allow the room nor weight. I keep telling myself, we're saving money. And money we certainly saved at this Art show! At least $500.00

$200.00 saved by not purchasing these 5 foot wide metal signs. I can just see this hanging at the front of our property.
$265.00 saved by not purchasing hand made tri-legged stool. The base made out of hand carved wood and the saddle (seat) is made from cow or buffalo hide.  Very sturdy and very comfortable.
Another $100.00 saved by not buying the beautiful natural wood shelves. They were made out of tree branches. Also there were beautiful high gloss tables made out of tree trunks and branches.

I did purchase a $5.00 bag of kettle corn, a skein of buffalo/alpaca blend yarn for $30.00 from Chinook Winds Bison Yarn & Fiber, and Scott purchased a buffalo hide wallet for $40.00 from Buffalo Billfold.

While strolling through all the vendor tents, we were stopped many times asking about our beautiful dogs. Many people think our English Setter, Lyla is a "doodle" because she has curly hair and they can't place what kind of dog she is. Bad Debbie, for not grooming enough. At one point, a nice lady threw popcorn for Devin & Lyla to catch. So even our dogs had a good day!
I was quite thirsty by the end of the day. I chose a fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade. Damn, was that good! It was just fresh squeezed lemonade with thawed (previously frozen) packaged strawberries added. I'll have to try that!
Made another apple recipe.
Apple Pie Bars from WebMD

Another easy recipe. At first I thought I made it wrong because the batter was so thick. But then re-read the name of the recipe. These are bars, not a cake. They are like an apple cinnamon "brownie", without the chocolate. Delicious.

I've run out of time...again. Time for bed. I guess I'm just doing too much and have too much to write about. Amazing that I can wake up about 7:00am and relax the whole morning before getting dressed to go sightseeing or running errands, etc. What a great life I have after retirement. Time to be lazy aka relax and still plenty of time for other stuff, like, relax.


  1. Joel really wanted one of those stool, too. We talked to the maker a bit - nice guy. I saw that yarn and wondered if you'd fall in love with it.

  2. Thank you for the pictures and description of the Buffalo Roundup. We were in Custer around the Fourth of July and saw the pens but did not know the true purpose. We agreed with your rating of Mount Rushmore...throngs of people and very commercial. Our favorite was Custer State Park where we spent several days exploring and believe it or not Sturgis Bike Rally. Thanks for the time you take to post your blog, it is one of my favorites. Glad your foot is on the mend.


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