CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. (KTIV) - More than 10,000 people come to the Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park every year and for each and everyone of them the experience is a little different.
Some are fascinated with the sites and sounds you'll find in the Black Hills event. Others are there for the adventure.
The sound of thousands of bison hooves... hitting the prairie... is something a select few get to hear this close. The thrill of being part of the chase is what brought them here. Journalists from this country and around the world are capturing the story of Custer State Park's Buffalo Roundup. An assignment like no other.
Dave Baumeister, Owner, Yankton Observer says, "It's just like being in the old west, chasing the buffalo. It's something I've never experienced." Baumeister says, "The whips, the whooping and the calls. They were having a good time out there. "
But members of the press aren't the only ones to walk away with a memorable experience. T. Denny Sanford, First Premier/Premiere Bankcard Chairman & Philanthropist says, "We were right on their hooves. And when they're running in a big pack it's like trying to herd cats. You can't do it. You cannot do it. And it's just so much fun. "
Those who weren't down in the middle of this dusty trail drive... viewed this herd on the run from high on a hill. Dianna Miller, Sioux Falls, SD says, "The riders cracking the bullwhips, you hear the noise it sounds like thunder. If they're really moving you can feel the ground shake." Rep. Tim Rave, (R) House Speaker says," Just an awesome sight to see them all gather, come through the point. And the ground is shaking and the dust is flying, absolutely spectacular." Mitch Krebs, POET says, "That thundering herd part and the crowd goes crazy and they're hoping for someone to breakaway or the buffalo to get away and start heading the other way, that's the coolest part when they all start cheering, it just gives you chills its so much fun to watch. "
Many siouxlanders were among the thousands in the crowd... including an Everly, Iowa couple that made the trek. VerDon Schmidt, Everly, Iowa says, "Watching them come over the ridge was fun, just a few at a time and all of a sudden here comes the big herd." Donna Schmidt, Everly, Iowa says, "The trees are turning, the fall colors and then you have the buffalo coming down the hill and it was just a thrill. "
For 45 years, State Park officials have held a yearly round up. And with crowds like this... it's a tradition they plan to continue.