Migration History

American Bison, commonly known as buffalo, once roamed the majority of the North American continent from Canada to northern Mexico, throughout the Mississippi Valley to the Gulf Coast, and between the Rockies to the Appalachian Mountains.  Herds numbered between 30 to 60 million, as documented by the initial European explorers.

The historic range of bison extended from northern Canada to northern Mexico:
Choctaw Indians hunted Bison in the area of Southern Mississippi and Southeastern Louisiana until the early 1800’s.  By the 1820’s, they had to travel to Southern Arkansas for their annual buffalo hunts.  For the annual hunt by 1850, the tribes had to travel to Oklahoma due to the shortage of bison in the area.

As a direct result of settlers moving West and the over-hunting of bison for skins and horns, by the 1880’s there were fewer than 1,100 bison left in existence in all of North America.