Bison Day on the Land
December 10, 2017
Raymond Wildlife Area
The final Day on the Land for 2017 was to the Raymond Wildlife Area (RWA), managed by the AZ Game and Fish Department (AGFD), to learn about buffalo, and to see the new herd in northern Arizona!
About 30 people attended, five of which were brand new Diablo Trust participants! The rest of the audience included book club members, representatives from the Flying M Ranch, and other interested folks who have long been involved with Diablo Trust. Our hosts were Rob Nelson, Shelly Shepherd, and Hymer, all of the AGFD.
It was a chilly morning, so we started inside, with a short video explaining the history of Raymond Wildlife Area. You can find it online by searching Raymond Wildlife Area in the “Arizona GameAndFish” channel on YouTube:
After the video Shelly and Hymer gave a slide-show presentation, focusing more on the current state of RWA, and the cultural and biological history of buffalo in North America. This presentation also invited many more questions from the audience, ranging from the specific history of RWA, to broader questions about the animal, like what the difference is between bison and buffalo. (Answer: there isn’t any! It’s two names for the same animal.)
We then moved outside, and drove down the road a bit to see the herd.
Hymer had fed the animals that morning, so while they were standing relatively still and in an open area, we had to look through spotting scopes and binoculars to see them clearly.
More questions arose outside; these were fielded primarily by Rob Nelson, Habitat Evaluation and Lands Program Manager for AGFD.
There is a lot to do out on Raymond Wildlife Area, and we encourage everyone to take some time and visit the public land that borders both the Flying M and Bar T Bar ranches!