A Walk on the Wild-side – Custer, SD

Oh, give me a home
Where the buffalo roam…. 

“Home on the Range” was a poem first published in 1873 that eventually became the State song of Kansas. Knowing nothing to that effect before this post, however, your hapless author found herself merrily humming the tune as we were travelling the Wildlife Loop in Custer Park a few days back. It just seemed to fit. The open hills, the wild prarie-land, and herds of buffalo roaming the plains. And just to top it off a few white-tailed deer, a lone Pronghorn, a couple of asses (the wild burro kind, not of the backside genus), prarie-dogs and mule deer. Yes, it’s truly a land where the wildlife roam. 

Custer State Park encompasses ~71,000 acres of pine forest, plains and granite hills in West South Dakota, and it’s a stunning spot. There’s 1,500 buffalo that call it home and it’s quite the sight to see these shaggy 2,000 lb creatures walking the plains. They’re more formally known as North American Bison and were nearly extinct by the 1890’s. The local indians used all parts of the buffalo, and the white man followed suit. Only in the past 10-15 years have their numbers revived, and the buffalo are now a booming industry.  But, there’s nothing quite like seeing the animal in the wild, and for that I’ll happily drive round singing my tune…. 

The majestic buffalo
Wild burro's, descended;from a herd;that once hauled people to Harney Peak
White-tailed deer
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  1. Jerry Ericsson says

    Not a huge deal, but living in Western South Dakota, I would like to say, perhaps a typo but the Black Hills and Custer State Park are in Western South Dakota, we in South Dakota are separated by the Missouri River, we west of the river are of cowboy stock, mostly raised on ranches or towns that support them, while east of the river find the flat lands, and farms, you also find much more rain, and a more civilized folk. At any rate, the wife and I are thinking of going full time, just traded off our nicest travel trailer, an 09 model for an older ’96 model 38 foot motor home. Problem was neither of us were in good enough shape to set up the TT. We are both disabled, but able enough to still enjoy life and especially love camping so we are in hopes we can have many years in campgrounds across the USA. I like writing, and have had a few articles published, and one short story ended up in an anthology of short science fiction. I can write anywhere and we have an income from Social Security as well as some from Workers Comp from a line if duty injury on the Police Force.

    • libertatemamo says

      Ah yes…cheers for that. Total typo on my part (and a grand reflection of my complete lack of sense of direction). I’ve updated the post to correct it.

      Congrats on you upcoming full timing!



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