Watch CBSN Live
South Dakota’s Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup is one of the nation’s largest, with about 15,000 spectators coming from all over the world to watch real cowboys herd over 1,000 bison during this nearly 50-year-old tradition.
Chip Reid reported on the roundup for the “CBS Evening News.”
Credit: South Dakota Touism
81-year-old cowboy Bob Lantis has been herding the North American Buffalo in the event for 45 years with no plans to slow down in the future.
Credit: Jake Barlow/CBS News
CBS News correspondent Chip Reid and Bob Lantis discuss what it is to be a cowboy
About 60 volunteer cowboys and cowgirls are recruited to help herd.
During the run, the volunteer ranchers sprint with the bison to lead them to an enclosed area.
For Bob, the best part of the whole roundup is the adrenaline rush felt when you’re running as hard as you can.
Once captured, the animals are evaluated and vaccinated. Some are sold at auction.
The North American Buffalo is the official mammal of the United States. Once nearly extinct in the 19th century the buffalo made a strong resurgence thanks to national parks and reserves.
Though bison are the largest mammal in North America, they maintain great speed and agility.
Two buffalo lock horns.
Not all buffalo have a fighting spirit.
Bison tend to be more active in the morning and late afternoon, while during the warm hours of the day they rest and wallow in dirt.
The annual buffalo roundup gained more notoriety after it was set as the backdrop to the 1990s classic “Dances with Wolves.”
Bison can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds
Buffalo live on plains, prairies and river valleys. As a grazer they eat mostly grasses, weeds, and leafy plants.
According to the National Park Service, Teddy Roosevelt helped save the bison from extinction after co-founding the American Bison Society with William Hornaday.