Public auction revived after one-year cancellation
PRATT -- In an effort to preserve a small bit of the past, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) maintains small herds of buffalo in 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. Last year, the auction was cancelled due to an occurrence of a Mycoplasma bovis-induced pneumonia and arthritis among some buffalo in the Maxwell herd. This year, the herd has been deemed healthy, and the auction will resume.

Approximately 35 buffalo will be offered at a public auction on Nov. 14 at the Maxwell Wildlife Area. People from all over Kansas and surrounding states come to buy buffalo at this auction. This year, KDWP will offer 12 two-year-old bulls, five three-year-old bulls, nine yearling bulls, and nine bull calves.

The auction will begin at 11 a.m. The refuge is 6 miles north and 1 and one-quarter 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.
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.