Public auction an annual event

PRATT -- In an effort to preserve a small bit of the past, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) maintains several small herds of buffalo across the state. These herds grow, however, and each year the agency has an auction to sell surplus animals that cannot be supported by the available habitat on refuges near Garden City and McPherson.

Approximately 75 buffalo will be offered at a public auction on Nov. 16 at the Maxwell Wildlife Area. The sale has become an annual tradition, and people from all over Kansas and surrounding states come to buy buffalo. This year, KDWP will offer seven adult cows, seven yearling heifers, 14 heifer calves, eight two-year-old bulls, nine yearling bulls, and 30 bull calves.

This year’s auction will begin at 11 a.m. The refuge is 6 miles north and 1 and one-half miles west of Canton.

Those interested in purchasing buffalo must bring cash or a personal check with a notarized authorization letter from the issuing bank. Buffalo more than one year old will be brucellosis and tuberculosis tested and come with a health certificate. Heifer calves will be vaccinated for brucellosis and certified.

Buyers must pick up buffalo the day of the sale or make arrangements with the refuge manager prior to the sale. Stock racks and trailers should be covered or lined because buffalo travel better in darkened areas.

For more information on the auction, contact the Region 4 Office of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, 316-683-8069, or Maxwell Wildlife Area, 620-628-4592.