Buffalo, River Crossings & Grasslands


In the fall of 2003 we moved our buffalo onto the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands for the first time, after 125 years of their absence. Even though we have repeated this every year since, it never gets old or loses its emotion. 

Buffalo crossing the Cheyenne River

Moving them onto the grasslands is the easy part, it's the bringing them back, that's the not so easy part. Finding a herd of buffalo on 24,000 acres is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.

buffalo crossing the cheyenne river

This can take weeks, with weather not always in our favor. Colton starts the process by going out to get a general assessment of their locations and then he and Dan begin the process of bringing them back, as they find them. 

dan and colton scouting buffalo herd

Jilian, Gervase or I are on the home side of the river, in a truck to guide them home. I usually try to take some photos and video, which if I'm in a moving vehicle or it's blowing 60 miles an hour can be iffy.

buffalo crossing the cheyenne river

This also makes capturing the natural sounds a challenge. I enjoy this annual experience so much, that I thought you might too... so I'm sharing a video that I stitched together of last fall's release and this spring's gathering. I hope that it transports you to the prairie where our buffalo roam! 

wet buffalo emerging from the cheyenne river

The song in the video, Buffalo Roam was written and performed by our good friend and customer Pat Wyss. Thank you Pat! 

An Entertaining P.S.: Once the buffalo move onto a new pasture, they always put their heads down and start grazing. The Starlings and Buffalo Birds are also back and they follow the herd. They can occasionally be a bit pesky. In the sequence of images below, an almost 2-year-old bull, becomes very annoyed. He literally ended up on his hind legs trying to chase them away with his front hooves, a shot I was unable to capture.  

buffalo grazing on the prairie
buffalo grazing on the prairie
buffalo grazing on the prairie with birds
buffalo grazing on the prairie with birds
buffalo grazing on the prairie with birds



  • Posted on by Greg Adams

    Scenes like this and your sustainability practices …. nothing better. Appreciate you all so much.

  • Posted on by Noah

    Not enough can be said about how this should be the model for regenerative ranching in the Western US. Watching this is nearly as exciting as the wildebeest migration in Africa. When we go back to what worked before monoculture, we can really do right by the land.

  • Posted on by Chris and Kim

    More beautiful photos and fantastic video! Thank you Jill. Thanks to all in the WIB family for doing what you do. We’re proud to be amongst your supporting customers! Cheers from SC!

  • Posted on by David Wass

    Read about the 1st time Dan and Gervase brought the buffalo across the river just last night. Opened up my phone this morning and there was this years video! Thank you!!

  • Posted on by michel vincent

    fantastique ,,,, ces animaux ont du bon sens,,,,,,,,,, ,,wonderfull

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