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Monday, October 04, 2010

Antelope Island Bison Roundup

The annual bison roundup will be held Oct 29-30 at Antelope Island State Park. The roundup has become a popular event because it gives members of the public a chance to see bison up close. The park provided the information below.

The 'Wild West' returns to Antelope Island State Park! Join us for the 24th Annual Bison Roundup, Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30, 2010. Volunteer wranglers will saddle-up and move the park's herd of 600 free-roaming bison from the southern tip of the Island to the bison corrals on the northern end of the island.

All events are open to the public. Park visitors are welcome to come out and watch as we bring in the herd. See these wild bison up close as they rest comfortably in our bison corrals.

Then, on November 5 and 6, watch as veterinarians and state park personnel weigh, vaccinate and conduct various health tests on each bison to determine the herd's health. In order to keep the herd at a healthy number that the island can sustain, approximately 200 bison will be sold at a public auction on November 13, 2010.

Money generated by the sale of these bison goes into the wildlife management program for operating costs, habitat improvement projects, research and data collection, and infrastructure development of the bison corrals.

General Park Information:
Directions: From I-15 take exit 332. Proceed west on Antelope Drive to the entrance gate (approx. 7 miles).
Park Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Entrance Fee: $9 per vehicle, up to eight people.
Camping Fee at the Ranch: $15 per night (available only during Roundup)

History of the Antelope Island Bison Herd
Twelve bison, 4 bulls (males), 4 cows (females) and 4 calves were taken by boat to the island on February 15, 1893 by William Glassman and John Dooly. These twelve animals provided the foundation for what has grown into one of the largest and oldest publicly owned bison herds in the nation.

Who's who?
All bison have three identification tags; a microchip, a metal tag and a plastic tag. The Microchip is encased in a yellow button and is implanted behind the bison's right ear. A scanner can then be passed over the microchip and the animal's history is displayed on a computer; including vaccinations, blood type and weight. New information can then be added to the bison's permanent record. The metal tag is placed in the bison's ear and identifies that the animal originally came from Utah; this is required in order to transport animals off the Island. The plastic tag, called a Temple Tag (named after the tags manufacturer), simply tells the animal's blood type.

Interesting facts about these bison:
  • Birth weight: 25-40 pounds
  • Average cow (female) weight: 700 to 900 pounds
  • Average bull (male) weight: 1400 to 1600 pounds
  • The largest bison we've weighed was 2,100 pounds
  • Bison can run up to 40 miles per hour!

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