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State getting less per bison from Custer State Park auction

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Custer State Park
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Bison grazing in Custer State Park in the Black Hills.

Custer State Park officials say they’re getting less money per bison during an annual auction sale.

This year, the park auctioned off 397 bison averaging $968 each. Last year, the park brought in $1,016 per animal. It’s the second year in a row prices have declined.

Matt Snyder is the superintendent for Custer State Park. He says extreme drought conditions are keeping prices low.

“Sounds like there’s a really slow expansion of anybody basically trying to grow their herds.” Snyder says. “That breeding expansion and, to some degree, the market is still kind of flooded with buffalo and buffalo meat. That’s keeping prices kind of lower right now.”

The park held its auction on the first Saturday in November. The sale brought in $384,000.

The bison offered for sale are culled from the park's herd during the Buffalo Roundup each fall.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.