An Authentic Western Experience: Antelope Island’s Bison Roundup

by mgubler

Howdy y’all! It’s that time of year again…the Bison Roundup! This authentic Western experience can be had at Antelope Island State Park as hundreds of horseback riders round up nearly 700 bison from around the island.

The Roundup ensures the continued health of one of the nation’s largest and oldest public bison herds. Once the bison are gathered, they receive health screenings and vaccinations. This is truly a spectacle for any to witness! The 2021 Bison Roundup will be held on October 30, 2021.

Did you know?

The scientific name for the American plains bison is “bison bison bison.”

Visitors can assist as riders who round up and push the bison into small herds and then drive them into holding corrals. Those who would prefer to enjoy from a distance can watch the event from viewing areas around the island. Riders will begin at the Fielding Garr Ranch at 9:00 am and move the herd north.

There will be food and purchase (cash only), educational information, and activities near the corrals. The final push of the bison into the corrals is a crowd favorite and can be witnessed from White Rock Bay. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

What Happens After the Roundup?

The bison are left to rest in the corrals for a few days. This resting period reduces the animals’ stress levels and allows them to relax, making them more cooperative during the second phase called, Working of the Bison (November 2 – 4th). This is where the bison get their vaccines, health check, and some are selected to go to auction. Visitors are welcome to come to this event as well between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Free public tours will be available all three days.

Cool Fact Alert

The bison crossing the mountainous ridge to the corrals on the western side in a move known as “heartbreak.”