The buffalo are back

h give me a home where the buffalo roam ... and the skies are not cloudy all day." That sounds like Fish Springs all right, with lots of clear blue skies and a small herd of buffalo living alongside Fish Springs Road.

This is where Rob Ferber lives and trains cutting horses. The 57-year-old cowboy has been horse training for the past 30 years. Right now, besides horses and cattle, he has 11 buffaloes; two of them are bulls and the rest are heifers. Ferber works them to practice in cutting competition. The buffalo's technical name is Bison and they feed mostly on grass and might live to be 30 or 40 years old. And, according to Ferber, "they are real good tempered."

American buffalo (or bison) are big and brown and have a very large head and neck and their shoulders are humped. The head, neck and hump are covered with long, coarse hair and they have a pair of large horns.

Bulls usually weigh between 1,600 and 2,000 pounds. Some extremely large ones may weigh as much as 3,000 pounds. The female bison is much smaller than the males.

Great herds of buffaloes once roamed North America until the white man slaughtered them. Some were killed for sport and their bodies were left to rot on the plains. The Indians hunted them for centuries, using their flesh as food and their hides for clothing. When the number of buffalo declined, many groups of Indians were without food.

With game laws and other protective measures now, bison are allowed to live and multiply. One of the last vestiges of the Wild West is living right here along the south side of Fish Springs Road. Look for them on your way into town. We're lucky to get a chance to see these big, beautiful, shaggy buffaloes. "Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam..."

-- Bernie's back! We're happy to see that long-time Fish Springs resident Bernie Curtis has moved back home to Fish Springs. Welcome home, Bernie!

-- Linda Monohan can be reached at 782-5802.


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