MFL Bison Ranch Ltd runs three separate herds. The herd sires in each herd are related bulls from a specific genetic line from a specific ranch or park origin. The dams in each herd are selected for genetics that are diverse from the sires, either from one of the other MFL herds or bought from other sources.
Click on each herd name to view a few photos of the herds.
Edited 15 Jul 23
The Home Herd
Our Home Herd, which lives on our home section, has sires from three bloodlines. This herd was amalgamated from two herds that were combined to allow more effective management of grazing on our home section. As more cross-fencing allows, we may once again split this herd into two to more effectively manage the bloodlines at MFL.
First are the Theodore Roosevelt/M-line bulls. These bulls genetics are derived from Theodore Roosevelt National Park animals released in the 1970s, and a private herd in Maddock, North Dakota. This Maddock herd was initially obtained by the Heim Ranch, and subsequently purchased by KenMar and became KenMar's 'M-line' genetics.
Next are the 'Crow' line bulls. These bulls are descended from animals that came out of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The original animals in this bloodline went to the Crow Reservation on the Montana/Wyoming border. Some of them were procured by KenMar Ranch in the late 1990s and called 'New Theodore Roosevelt' animals. We obtained breeding from this herd and have developed them into MFL's 'Crow' line.
Finally, we have the Yellowstone 'Lamar' bulls. We have two bulls in this herd sired by 0033 'Lamar', one of two bulls purchased from Turner Enterprises in 2018. We lost 'Lamar' in 2022 to water hemlock poisoning, but had retained two of his sons so his genetics remain with MFL.
This is about all the girls!
Their genetics vary but until recently the North Herd had sires from the Hanson Ranch in the Peace River region of Alberta. So many cows in our herds come from that background and the Hanson Ranch are well known for high quality plains bison. A number of years ago MFL ran herd sires from Heim 'Great Northern' background, a line developed by Chad Heim's Dad on the Heim Ranch in the early 1990s.
We also have cows with backgrounds from the Durham Ranch, Black Buckle Ranch, Elk Island National Park, Grasslands National Park, Sturgeon Lake and a number of other mixed backgrounds, in addition the more recent addition of some Yellowstone heifers we've retained from our Yellowstone bulls.
With our DNA testing, although we didn't specifically test for origin, we discovered indications that showed genetics from Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska, Maxwell Wildlife Refuge in Kansas and there are probably others.
The East Herd
Our East Herd, which roam the hills on a piece of range land a couple miles east of our home section, is sired by mixed line of Yellowstone and Grassland Park background bulls.
The Yellowstone 'Hayden' bulls are developed from the 0018 'Hayden' bull obtained from Turner Enterprises in 2018, the bull that is still the dominant herd sire in this herd. One of his sons won 2nd place in the 2-yr-old bull category in the Bison Producers of Alberta 'Wildrose' Show and Sale in March 2023.
The Grasslands bull in this herd was purchased as a long yearling in the autumn of 2019. He's a particularly nice example of an EIP/Grasslands bull so we've kept him around and he's sired some nice heifers since we got him.