Today is the first annual National Bison Day! We invite you to renew your acquaintance with the two bison herds in Denver’s Mountain Parks by visiting today or over the coming weekend. Visit the Denver Parks & Rec facebook page to learn more about our bison and pick up some fun facts too! (Learn more about National Bison Day and the campaign to make bison our national mammal.)
Denver’s best-known herd is at Genesee Park, 20 miles west of Denver on I-70 to the overlook at Exit 254. Above, the herd bull, Tiny, is enjoying breakfast at Genesee with a few of his girls.
This week, the Genesee herd is spending time near the barn on the south side of I-70, so we recommend going to Exit 253 (Chief Hosa) for better viewing. Turn left (south) to cross the highway, then left again to travel east until you reach the pasture fence. (Eastbound travellers should just turn right at the Chief Hosa exit, then make a quick left.) Follow the road south along the fence and you should see the bison in the middle pasture, where they are currently being fed.
Each herd has two bulls. At Genesee Park, Tiny is the Boss, and Edson is our up-and-coming 3-year-old. At left, Tiny shows his best side.
Genesee has a total of 33 adults, and 23 calves born last spring. New bulls are acquired from other ranches by trade, to ensure new bloodlines. You can recognize this year’s calves by their short, straight horns, although they sometimes look almost as big as their mothers. See if you can spot the bulls.
When Edson arrived in the spring of 2011, he had to find his place in the herd. Below, he’s in a dust-up with one of the cows, just a bison way of getting acquainted and learning the ropes in his new home. He’s on the left in this photo; by now, he’s all settled in with his new herd. A better view of Edson follows. (Photos by Ed Larmore, March 2011; click to enlarge.)
To reach Daniels Park, take I-25 south to Castle Pines Parkway (Exit 188) or via Santa Fe Drive (Hwy 85). Daniels Park Road is about 2 miles (3 km) west of Exit 188 or 2.5 miles (4 km) east of Sedalia.
Daniels Park’s bulls are named Junior and Moof, and there are 25 adults and 18 calves there. We’ll get some photos of the Daniels herd up shortly.