Canton, Kan. --
You can almost always count on a couple hundred or more folks to turn out for the annual buffalo auction at the Maxwell Game Refuge north of Canton in McPherson County.
Many of them don't have any plans whatsoever of bidding on a bison. They come just to see the majestic animals which used to roam our prairies by the millions.
But then there are buyers who come from far away in hopes of leaving with a trailer load of buffalo.
Marc Murrell with Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism says, "There are people looking to buy buffalo to supplement their herds. And then there are people who've heard about the sale and are just curious about this animal. So we get a lot of people who come out just to witness the sale."
Joy Scott of Scott Farms in Appleton City, Missouri bought eight bison for their herd. Scott says she loves buffalo meat. "Oh yea, the best stuff you ever ate."
McPherson resident Wes Burk says he's been coming every year for the past decade. Burk says, "I come every year to buy one buffalo and then we will eat on that for the year."
Burk says the meat is lower in cholesterol than other red meat.
Gary Erickson, also of McPherson, says he and his brother Richard bought a couple of bison. Erickson says, "We'll feed them for several months then butcher them and eat the meat."
Murrell says the buffalo are sold to keep the right balance at the refuge which he says will still have a couple hundred bison along with 50 to 60 Elk.