Ian and Margaret's RV Adventures travel blog

One of the famous "begging burros". Not native to the park, but...

More begging burros -- this woman was almost overwhelmed when she began...

Sleepy-eyed old guy, just standing in the road.

Mother and baby.

How cute is this?

Bison (or buffalo -- either is correct) mother and child.

Just resting a bit after a wandering graze.

A new calf with its mother -- its color indicates it's very...

Thinking about getting up . . . but not quite yet.

Follow the leader.

Female bighorn sheep along the road. Ladies' lunch?

Another group a short distance away.

While the ladies lunch, the males wander in the rocks.

And pose for the photographers lined up along the road.

This guy heads cross-country looking for a nosh.

Isn't she beautiful?

The last time we were here, in 2007, we were disappointed that we saw almost no animals in Custer State Park. We had been promised animals, we wanted animals. Bad animal karma, we thought. So this time we felt, staying near the park, maybe our animal karma would change and we would finally see animals. And we did! Almost every time we drove around the park, whether on the official “Wildlife Loop” or not, we saw bison, pronghorn antelope and usually a bighorn sheep or two. And, of course, there were the famous “begging burros”. We took many, many pictures. Knowing, however, that there might be a limited tolerance for endless pictures of bison, adorable as they are, I have diligently worked to pare the collection down to a representative few. I’m sure I could come up with more if the demand were overwhelming, however.

There are around 1500 bison in the park. Every year the park cowboys round up all the bison, check and vaccinate them and cull the herd to the number determined to be optimal, given forecast grazing conditions. The new calves are branded (with an "S" indicating they belong to the State, and the year of their birth) and all are again released into the park. The ones that are considered to be "excess" are auctioned off.

We saw a few deer, but, frankly, we’re so used to seeing deer that it didn’t warrant raising the camera. Likewise prairie dogs – people still stop along the road to look at the cute little guys and take photographs, but we’re over prairie dogs. Besides they remind us too much of the gophers that nearly destroyed our garden lo those years ago in Santa Fe.

We’re not birders, ourselves, but travelling with the Wishnies (who are) has meant that we see birds we would never have noticed before. But, not being birders, we don’t have the super-long camera lenses needed to photograph them well, so you won’t see any of those here either.

So, enjoy our gallery. The next, and final, installment of our Custer Adventures will cover people, places and a cave.

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