November 1, 2012

Surplus animals from display herd to be auctioned

PRATT—Have you ever wanted your very own pet buffalo? Actually they don’t make good pets because they’re cantankerous and really difficult to house train. However, if you’ve ever thought about owning or eating a buffalo, more correctly called bison, here’s your chance. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) will auction off surplus buffalo at the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 beginning at 11 a.m.

The annual auction usually draws a wide range of spectators and buyers from all over the country. Attendees get a chance to see one of the icons of the Great Plains up close and personal. Interest in bison ranching has grown over the years, and the meat is lean and flavorful. Prices paid per animal range from several hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on market demand, condition, sex and age of the animal.

Ninety-eight buffalo from the KDWPT display herd at Maxwell will be sold. Surplus bison from this and other display herds are sold each fall as available habitat can support only a finite number of animals. The 2012 auction ticket will include 25 adult cows, 8 yearling heifers, 19 heifer calves, 12 yearling bulls, 12 2-year-old bulls and 22 bull calves. Bison over 1-year-old will be brucellosis and tuberculosis tested and accompanied by a health certificate. Heifer calves will be vaccinated for brucellosis and certificates issued.

The sale will take place rain or shine. The corrals are located 6 miles north and 1¼ miles west of Canton. The Friends of Maxwell will have food and drink concessions available.

Cash and personal checks (if accompanied by a notarized authorization letter from the issuing bank) will be accepted. KDWPT reserves the right to reject any or all bids. Buyers must pick up the bison the day of the sale or make arrangements with the refuge manager prior to the sale. Animals become the buyer’s responsibility upon settlement on sale day. Load-out assistance is available until dusk the day of the sale. Stock racks and trailers should be covered or lined because bison transport best in dark conditions.

For more information about the sale, contact Maxwell Wildlife Refuge manager Cliff Peterson at (620) 628-4592, or KDWPT’s Region 4 Office in Wichita at (316) 683-8069.