Bison in North Missouri

Some of the rarest of all North American Bison have now arrived at their new home in north Missouri.By Kirk Wayman (Maryville, Mo.)

The Dunn Ranch, northwest of Bethany, Missouri contains one thousand acres of original, unplowed prarie land. This week 37 bisons arrived there…all of which have pure bison genetics-one of just eight herds nationwide with no cattle genes.

Dunn Ranch Manager Randy Arndt said the effort will help grazing at the rare prairie land site and further the American Bison population.

"At one point, they’d been reduced to actually I think less than one thousand animals in the United States at one time. And now there are over 4 hundred thousand in private and government herds across the country so they’re no longer threatened. However, we’re introducing bison here at Dunn Ranch in order to restore an ecological process," said Arndt.

Ranch officials hope to get about 30 more bison next year and if breeding efforts are successful, expect nearly 350 bison will be at the north Missouri site in 5 years.