Historic Bison at Caprock Canyons State Park

Bison

Members of the Texas State Bison Herd at Caprock Canyons State Park

This is Passport to Texas

History walks on four legs at Caprock Canyons State Park. It’s where descendants of southern plains bison, from a herd started by rancher Charles Goodnight, roam free.

It’s the official bison herd of the State of Texas. It’s a herd started by Charles Goodnight back in 1878; these animals are direct descendants of those that he captured in the wild right here in this area.

Donald Beard is park superintendent.

These are the last true remaining example of the southern plains bison. Animals that were captured by him [Goodnight] in these canyons. Kept in these canyons and never had any influence from any other animals [bison] outside of this area. So, their genetics are basically the same as they were back in the 1870s.

No fences separate visitors to Caprock Canyons State Park from the approximately 150-plus bison on site.

Awe, it’s amazing. You have to wait for them to cross the road. They can wander through your campsite. Go down to the lake while you’re fishing and take a drink. They’re just like any other wild animal in the park. You can experience them as they were – not behind a fence in an exhibition.

September 23 the 7th Texas State Bison Music Fest takes place in Quitaque. Find the music lineup and ticket information at bisonfest.com. Money raised funds bison research and conservation.

That’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

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