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Oleson's Food Stores Buffalo Page

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From Farm To Table

Oleson’s Food Stores owns one of the largest buffalo herds east of the Mississippi, running 250–350 head of buffalo at any given time. Buffalo can often be seen grazing at Oleson’s Buffalo Farm just south of Traverse City along U.S. 31. Because we raise our own buffalo, we can guide their diets and predict the health benefits of the meat.

Oleson's Buffalo (Bison) meat is all natural, with no added hormones or antibiotics. It is high in protein and iron, and low in fat and cholesterol. Many people allergic to beef are able to eat and enjoy buffalo meat. We have plenty of buffalo in our stores, so be sure to pick some up on your next visit.

Not sure how to prepare buffalo meat?

  • Click here for some of our favorite recipes!
  • Click here for important preparation instructions. Buffalo cooks faster than beef steaks or burger; learn how to cook perfect Bison every time!
  • Click here for perfect cooking tips for almost any cut of Buffalo!
Buffalo nutrition facts from Oleson's Food Stores

We now have a large variety of Buffalo at each of our stores. Feel free to stop by or call to place an order for your favorite cuts of Buffalo! Click here for pricing.


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Buffalo (Bison) Facts

How The American Indian Used Buffalo

  • The American Buffalo (Bison) is the largest mammal in North America.
  • The best description of a buffalo’s temperament is unpredictable.
  • A female buffalo stands about 5 feet tall and weighs between 800-1100 pounds. A male stands about 6 feet tall and weighs between 1000-2200 pounds. Their tail is about 2-3 feet in length.
  • Both sexes have horns.
  • The bison population at one time was estimated to be over 60 million. Some sources say this figure should be as high as 150 million. The destruction of the animal, leading almost to extinction, began in 1830 when government policy advocated their extermination to subdue the “hostile” tribes through starvation. By 1900, about 800 remained. But thanks to western ranchers, conservationists and careful breeding, there are now more than 200,000 American Bison in the United States.
  • Many of today’s highways follow roadways trampled out by migrating buffalo herds.
  • Bison are sexually mature in two to three years. Mating season begins in July and can run through September. Gestation is 270-285 days. (About 9-9 1/2 months).
  • The female buffalo may produce 20 to 25 calves in her lifetime. Twins are very rare.
  • Newborn buffalo weigh between 50-70 pounds at birth. They are able to keep up with the herd after just a few days.
  • Calves are nursed until the next spring and weaned just before the next batch of calves are ready to be born. Female yearlings generally weigh around 350 lbs. and male yearlings weigh around 425 lbs.
  • Buffalo eat between 30 to 60 pounds of dry vegetation a day.
  • Buffalo are good swimmers as well as runners, capable of reaching speeds up to 38 miles an hour.
  • Buffalo meat has only 26% of the fat found in beef. It is low in cholesterol and high in iron.
  • Meat to eat
  • Horns for cups and spoons
  • Buffalo chips for fuel & baby powder
  • Small bones for knifes, tools & toys
  • Brains for tanning hides
  • Gall for yellow paint
  • Tendons and sinewy muscles for sewing thread and bow strings
  • Tails for shooing flies
  • Eyes for liquid paint thickener
  • Hooves boiled to make glue
  • Hides for robes, teepees, boots, mittens, winter caps, moccasins
  • A tanned hide averages 25 square feet; it must be split to make mittens and gloves. It takes about 2 square feet to make a pair of mittens.