Reintroduction of Bison to Iowa: Bison Diary, Entry #1

Arrival: October 23, 2008

The bison arrived at Broken Kettle Grasslands around 5:30 Monday night. We got 28 bison — 7 calves, 5 bulls and 16 cows. Everyone arrived in great condition and we were really pleased with the release. They bolted out of the trailer and went straight down the outer aisle, made a left turn into the back corral.

The transport truck had several compartments and we had them divided into groups. First out were the cows, then the bulls and then the calves. They all took the same route and gathered in the back corner — mostly to get far away from people and the trailer. The calves were pretty nimble and fast and made a racket as they pounded their way to the front of the trailer — like they were have a race. They almost seemed playful.

After all the bison were out of the trailer, the herd calmed down and began to eat the native hay. They walk over, grab a mouthful and walk away. We had an incredible rainbow for their first morning in Iowa. It seemed quite fitting. They now are home in Iowa and all is good.

It is suppose to rain in the next few days so the corral will be getting muddy. I’m anxious to get them out on their native prairie — in the trap pasture. Yesterday, we checked them around lunch time and they seemed comfortable, laying down in the corrals. Still the corral was tidy. The location of the corral is such that we can check them from a distance throughout the day and not disturb them.

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