Family fun at a western Nebraska bison ranch

Pure Nebraska
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 12:11 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - If you are traveling through the state’s panhandle, you might enjoy a visit to the pasture for a look at a bison herd.

We caught up with the owner of a unique tourism attraction, which is called the Rocky Hollow Buffalo Company. It’s located between Harrisburg and Kimball. “There are 175 animals out here right now, and we are hitting calving season,” owner Rick Forepaugh said. “We will then have another 80 calves running around. Calving is between April, May and June. There are five mature bulls on the property.”

Forepaugh says bison are unique animals. “They are iconic,” Forepaugh said. “When you think of the west, you naturally think of bison. They are also easier to raise than cattle. My cattle friends have to feed a lot of hay in the winter time. These guys, because they are still wild, they lose about 10 percent of their body weight every year by design. So, I actually have to feed less hay than a cattle producer. Also, the cattle producers are usually out in all kinds of weather during calving season. Me, I’m sitting in the house next to the fire with a cup of coffee. These guys pretty much do it all on their own.”

People are welcome to come and see the animals. “We are available at Rocky Hollow Buffalo Company on Facebook,” Forepaugh said. “We are also on Instagram. The Nebraska Tourism board, the local tourism office here, they all know about us. Just go on-line or send me a text, and we can set up a time to come out and visit. A tour lasts about an hour and a half. It costs about $25 a piece, and we talk about the bison. We talk about this herd specifically, but then we talk mostly about bison in general. It’s an educational and fun activity, really. The home schoolers come out, kindergarteners come out, first graders come out.”

Some people can even stay on the property as well. “Not in a hotel,” Forepaugh said. “But we do invite RV’s to come out. We are a part of an organization called “Harvest Host”. So we will host RV’s all summer, and all year long. Through this, people can stay overnight on the ranch and see the bison.”

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