2023 – year of the Bison
Did you know...
Alberta bison - deemed to be the cornerstone of the diversified livestock industry in Alberta - represents almost half of the Canadian bison herd on farms.
How Much Do Bison Weigh?A mature bison bull will weigh approximately 2000 lbs while a mature cow will weigh approximately 1100 lbs.
Based on the 2021 Census of Agriculture, there were 472 Alberta farms reporting bison (buffalo), and accounted for 48 per cent of the Canadian total (989 farms).
The total number of bison (buffalo) on Alberta farms were 65,405 head, accounting for 44 per cent of the national total (149,539 head).
Western Canada is home to 92 per cent of farms reporting bison in Canada, and 97 per cent of the national herd (149,539 head).
Alberta leads the nation in farmed bison inventories (65,405 head), followed by Saskatchewan (52,860 head), British Columbia (14,888 head), and Manitoba (11,725 head).
This year we are shining a spotlight on one of Alberta’s keystone species, Bison, which has been a historically important part, not just of the eco-system in Alberta, but also a keystone ingredient for people that have lived on this land.
The buffalo was an incredibly important part of Indigenous people of the plains. The buffalo hunt was a part of a huge community event, and every part off the buffalo was it was not just a food source, every part of the animal was used. Bones were turned into utensils and tools, sinew provided thread and the hide as clothing and for shelter and the meat for food.
Bison & Bison Experiences
D Bar V Farms
In or near: Rolling Hills, Alberta
D Bar V Farms: Presents and Indigenous Prairie Cattle Experience
D Bar V Farms presents Saturday Aug 19 Tours 2:00 pm & 4pm
This Indigenous prairie experience involves an up-close feeding encounter with the Salers breed of cattle, known for their similarities to the roaming buffalo of days gone by. Then your host, First Nation author, farmer, and rancher, Victor Lethbridge will accompany you to the prairie hills of the Bow River to see and experience Indigenous artifacts such as tipi rings and a grinding stone.
Indigenous Prairie Cattle Experience
- Tour is Free: There are two timeslots starting at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. (each tour is approx. 90 minutes)
- Guests will drive themselves lead by your host, First Nation author, farmer, and rancher, Victor Lethbridge. He will accompany you to the prairie hills of the Bow River.
- This 90-minute Indigenous prairie experience involves an up-close feeding encounter with the Salers breed of cattle, known for their similarities to the roaming buffalo of days gone by.
- The tour starts in the hamlet of Rolling Hills, at the restaurant of Pivot Spirits, which is across the street from the cattle corrals. Take highway 875 south of the TransCanada and right at the T to Pivot Restaurant). Following a brief visit with the coral cattle is a 12-minute drive as participants, in their own vehicles, follow Victor to the river pasture. There they will view the tipi rings and grinding stone and share in the tranquility of what our Indigenous people experienced for centuries.
- D Bar V Farms raises award-winning pure-bred Salers cattle and provides workshops enhancing Indigenous awareness and leadership development, especially for youth. Where buffalo/bison once roamed, is now grazed by D Bar V Farms’ herd of Salers cattle, a breed having similar attributes to that of the buffalo with their dark hard hoofs, thick hair, calving ease, and climate hardiness.
- Tour Details:
- Start with cow/calf pair feeding at corral location at the farm.
- Drive to the Tatanka Hills at the Bow River prairie pasture.
- View Indigenous artefacts at the Tatanka Hills with a scenic view of the Bow River.
- View a purebred herd of Salers cattle as they graze where buffalo once roamed.
- Individual: If desired, purchase a $20 each for an award-winning story book by your host author Victor Lethbridge.
- We’ll supply a bottled water at the river.
- Bring: camera, extra drinks, appropriate weather wear.
- Plan stay for a bite at the restaurant at Pivot Spirits. Try their amazing gourmet pizza.
Frontier Bison Farm & Gull Lake Honey Company
In or near: Lacombe
Let us know when you are coming! Book your FREE Admission HERE
Visit Two farms in one!
- The Gull Lake Honey Company is a family-run honey farm committed to keeping strong and healthy bee colonies. We produce a variety of honey and beeswax products, as well as provide an opportunity for agri-tourism and honey bee education.
- Frontier Bison Farm is multi-generational Bison ranching operation that manages 4 separate herds. One of their breeding herds is rotationally grazed on the half section that the Gull Lake Honey Company is located.
Hay Lakes Bison Ranch
In or near: Lac La Biche
- Children welcome but MUST be accompanied by an adult.
- Closed-toe footwear needed.
In or near: Smoky Lake
- Metis Culture
- Pristine Natural Setting
- Vision Hopes and Dreams Wildlife Park at Métis Crossing
- Heritage Gardens
- Boutique Lodge
- Sky Watching Domes
- Petting Zoo
- 688 acres to explore
Wild Ventures Game Farm
In or near: Wildwood, Yellowhead County
2023 – year of the Bison
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