Flatwater Free Press 

Up close and personal: Nebraska couple telling, showing, bison story to visitors


October 19, 2023

Phil and Whitney Mayhew | For the Flatwater Free Press

Eye to eye • A bison and Carl Simmons eye each other on the Simmons' ranch near Valentine. The Simmons family bought its first bison 26 years ago. They now own 50 and have built a bison tourism business around their herd.

Their low, rumbling bellow first cuts through the silence of the Sandhills.

Next comes the crunch of pointed hooves, trudging their way through tall prairie grasses.

Then, the oohs of the out-of-towners watching – people up close and personal with the majestic thousand-pound mammals for the first time.

This is Golden Prairie Bison, a ranch nestled in the Sandhills where Carl and Vicki Simmons raise a herd of 50 bison. Theirs is one of the dozens of bison ranches in Nebraska, one piece of an ongoing effort to rebuild North America's once-decimated bison population.

The Simmons' herd is small co...

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