The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge will have its 42nd annual public auction of native bison, or buffalo, at noon Thursday.
The auction will be at the refuge corrals, immediately north of Refuge Headquarters, 12 miles north of Cache. Dub Venable of Anadarko will be auctioneer.
As of Friday, there were 125 animals and 11 bison skulls in the sale catalog. Nine mature bulls, seven mature cows and approximately 109 yearlings will be on the auction block, according to Supervisory Biologist Walter Munsterman.
Last year the refuge culled its adult population heavily to reduce the animal units. Biologists use a formula to determine how many head of bison and longhorns can be grazed on a particular pasture, and as Munsterman pointed out, "You can feed a lot more calves than you can adults on 100 acres."
Only bison skulls will be sold at the sale this week. Munsterman said he plans to hold over the Texas longhorn skulls until the longhorn sale on Dec. 6, when there will be more interest in them. The number of longhorns sold this year will be approximately the same as the number of bison.
"Normally it'd be bigger, but we sold quite a few animals this spring," he said.
Health certificates (brucellosis, tuberculosis and general health) will be provided by a veterinarian following Thursday's bison sale. All sale animals will have been tested negative for brucellosis and tuberculosis. Due to the numerous variances in state requirements concerning the importation of bison, all buyers should be aware of their state's regulations and check with their state veterinarian prior to purchasing bison.