November 3rd, 2022
Just when we think we know what's going on, the bison surprise us!! This is a great story...
Tuesday, November 1st, I was at work stocking cat food and I got a text from my mom saying, "did you know you have a new bison baby?"
Me: "Uh no. Are you sure?" (In my head, I'm thinking there's no way there's a baby bison out there. She must've seen a deer or something and her imagination is going wild.)
Mom: "Absolutely. Could hardly walk. We were in the sand box and they were coming up the alley."
Me: "Well that's a surprise!" (I'm now thinking if the baby was with the herd and a momma, maybe it's for real ;)
Mom: "I guess so."
Me: "Curious to see who's it is." (Because none of ours should be calving for another 2 months!)
Mom: "Yes, I couldn't say. She saw us and turned around."
At this point I was pretty excited and couldn't wait to get off work and go home and check! It was near the end of my shift so didn't have to wait long.
I walked all around out there in the lower pasture, around the perimeter more precisely. Bison moms don't like company. I couldn't see a baby anywhere and I thought it's just a mistake and there isn't one. Then! I notice a female who's hanging out away from the herd and as I creep closer I see a little brown lump lying on the ground. Is it breathing? It certainly came early - at least one to two months. I kept trying to get a little closer to see some breathing movements, but couldn't tell.
About this point my husband got home and walked down. He had a different vantage point and could see the calf's side moving up and down...up and down. What a relief!
Two days later and the calf is doing well. It's a small one and sleeping a lot, but we're so thankful they made it and brought our numbers up to 17 bison! I also found out later that it was our daughter, McKenna, who was playing in the sandbox and started saying "baby." My mom wasn't sure what she was talking about until she started looking around. Way to go McKenna, it's always fun to be the first one to spot a new calf.
Wife, mom and community member learning to manage a ranch...