Caprock Canyons: State Bison Herd

This is Passport to Texas

Caprock Canyons State Park is home to the official Texas State bison herd.

07—This bison herd was started by Charles Goodnight back in the 1870s during the slaughter of the American Bison.

Tens of millions of southern plains bison once thundered across the land, including Texas, but in the late 1800’s they were nearly hunted to extinction, says park superintendent Donald Beard.

14—They were slaughtering millions of these animals; and Mrs. Goodnight would listen to the calves bleat in the nighttime, and so they rounded up a few calves and, uh, that was the beginning of the herd. And they’ve been here at Caprock Canyons ever since.

The State Herd numbers just under 80 animals; genetic testing supports the claim they are all that remain of the southern plains subspecies.

In an effort to give visitors a better look at these examples of living history, park staff doubled the acreage in the animals’ enclosure, to include the area around the visitor’s center.

13—So our goal is to expand their territory here in the park and have a unique experience to where when you come in the park, you are in the habitat with the bison.

Eventually, bison will have access to the majority of the park. Learn more about Caprock Canyons SP when you go to texasstateparks.org.

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

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