Surplus Bison to Be Auctioned Off by Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Peter Adams/Getty Images)

On November 2, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will auction off surplus bison from Maxwell Wildlife Refuge and the Sandsage Bison Range. The auction is open to the public and takes cash and personal checks with correct notarization.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks explained the reason for the auction on its website. According to the press release, the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge is used to manage native prairie and grasslands. The herds of bison and elk are closely maintained. “However,” the site states, “because the Refuge can support only a certain number of animals, surplus bison are occasionally sold at a public auction.”

The department is auctioning off 80 bison on Nov. 2. At auction are 15 cows, two 2-year-old heifers, 7 yearling heifers, 13 heifer calves, 12 2-year-old bulls, 15 yearling bulls, and 16 bull calves.

The Maxwell Wildlife Refuge is located 6 miles south of Canton, Kansas. The primary use for the refuge is wildlife viewing for visitors. It is the only place where bison and elk herds live in native grasslands. The Sandsage Bison Range–currently closed to visitors–stays one of the only areas of sandsage prairie not converted into cropland, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. The range allows hunting under certain restrictions. Hunters have opportunities to bag bobwhite, scaled quail, dove, deer, pheasant, and rabbit. There is also plentiful fishing, as well as guided tours through the prairie.

Columbus Zoo Mourns Death of 19-Year-Old Bison

On Sept. 26, the Columbus Zoo in Ohio posted on social media that they were mourning the death of beloved bison Clover. She was 19 years old, and considered elderly by bison standards. Bison usually live about 15 to 20 years, so she far exceeded the median age for American bison. But, Clover was experiencing chronic renal failure, so the zoo decided to humanely euthanize her.

Clover was born at the Darby Dan Farm in Galloway, Ohio in March 2003. She moved to the Columbus Zoo in 2004, and lived the rest of her life there. The zoo posted an announcement on Instagram, sharing news of Clover’s passing with her fans.

“While at the Zoo,” they wrote, “many staff throughout our Animal Care department had the privilege and joy of working with this spunky girl, who they say always kept them on their toes. Clover enjoyed laying in her sand pile and scratching against her street sweeper brush. Clover loved apples, grain, browse, and her best friend, Hermie.”

The post continued, “Please keep our North America team and everyone who loved Clover in your thoughts. We welcome you to share your favorite photos or memories of Clover with us.”