Of the 37 bison that were up for auction, 36 were actually sold, and of those that were up for auction, five were yearling heifers (born in 2011), 11 were yearling bulls, two were cows born in 2009 and 19 were bull or heifer calves that were born last year, said Fowler.
The auction, held Saturday at the Elk and Bison Prairie Corral at 9 a.m., is held every year to thin the heard, said Jan Bush, media contact for the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Terry Shoemaker of Murray served as the auctioneer.
“The (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Forest Service manages two herds of American Bison at LBL. Due to annual reproduction, there is a need to remove surplus bison from each herd.” Bush said. “Thinning of the herd is necessary to sustain optimal habitat conditions and animal health.”
Buyers are required to load them up the day of the auction. Bush says Forest Service workers will help buyers load the bison onto their trailers – although they specify that open-top trailers are forbidden – but once the bison are in those trailers, they are the property of the buyer and the Forest Service is no longer responsible for them.
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