South Dakota: First buffalo calf of the season spotted at Custer State Park |

South Dakota: First buffalo calf of the season spotted at Custer State Park

CUSTER STATE PARK – The first buffalo calf of the spring, a heifer, in Custer State Park was spotted on Wednesday, April 6. Ron Tietsort, conservation officer for Custer State Park, saw the buffalo calf in the south end of the park along the Wildlife Loop Road. It is estimated that the calf is one week old.

The park has about 850 bison going into the spring, and 350 calves are expected. The herd size should be around 1,200 at the Annual Buffalo Roundup in September.

“Spring is a perfect time to view wildlife in the park and with the winter moisture, everything is greening up,” said Chad Kremer, buffalo herd manager. “Deer, antelope, turkey and buffalo can be seen throughout the park right now.”

Visitors are advised to leave buffalo calves alone. It can be dangerous to approach young animals, particularly buffalo calves. If a mother buffalo feels she or her calf is threatened, she may charge.

“Occasionally, people will think a buffalo calf has been orphaned and try to rescue it,” said Kremer. “This is rarely true. Buffalo may roam up to one mile from their calves and come back later for them.”

Most buffalo calves are born in May, but about 10 percent to 20 percent arrive in April at Custer State Park.

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South Dakota State Parks invites the public to choose a name for the first buffalo calf of the spring. Visit South Dakota State Park’s Facebook page to cast your vote.

For additional information on Custer State Park, contact the park at 605-255-4515 or visit