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Tidewater Day Tripping Bison Stomping Grounds - S. B. Farms, Inc. by Bonna L. Nelson

Snorting, foot stomping, head sha k ing, 1,950 -pound “Capta in Hook,� one of S. B. Farms’ largest breeding bulls, clearly did not want visitors near the female bison he was courting. Wearing a jaunty cowboy hat and aviator sunglasses, Bill Edwards, farm owner, along with his wife, Shirley, cautioned us to stay several feet back from the fence. Tail wagging, Captain Hook was agitated and could charge without warning, even jump over a five-foot fence from a standing position. Thoug h g iga nt ic , t he la r ge st a n i ma l i n Nor t h A mer ic a, a nd seemingly awkward and slow, bison can run very fast, three times

faster than humans. Bill reminded us that bison are w ild animals, not domesticated like cattle, and are dangerous and unpredictable. Their speed and wildness, coupled with our visit during mating season, when they are agitated (from July to September), prompted Bill to ask us to step away from the enclosure as I tried to take a few photographs. Majestic, shaggy, dark brown, almost black, large head, ears and beard; short, curved, sharp horns; lighter brown body: bison females (c ow s) aver a ge 1,0 0 0 to 1, 20 0 pounds and males ( bulls) average 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, when mature. Calves are reddish brown.

We learned that bison are not friendly pets, especially during mating season. 41

October 2013 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times October 2013

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