Bison are synonymous with the great west, but not many people realize that Arizona is home to these magnificent animals. To increase awareness about this great animal, the Arizona Game and Fish Department will host two bison viewing workshops near Flagstaff on National Bison Day, Saturday, Nov. 2.
The workshops will take place at the Arizona Game and Fish Commission-owned Raymond Wildlife Area (RWA) 30 miles east of Flagstaff. Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and are limited to 20 people each. Both include a presentation, field trip and a lunch of bison burgers or brats.
The deadline to register is Nov. 1 and the sessions cost $40 each. Fees collected support the Department’s Watchable Wildlife Program, which aims to increase awareness of wildlife through positive and personal viewing experiences.
Some viewing scopes will be available, but it is recommended that participants bring binoculars, water, snacks, and dress appropriately for the weather and field trip.
Raymond Wildlife Area is approximately 30 miles east of Flagstaff on I-40. To reach Raymond Wildlife Area, take I-40 east from Flagstaff and take exit 225. Turn right after exiting the freeway. Go 10 miles south on Buffalo Range Road to the visitor’s center. Visitors should be aware the last 10 miles is along a relatively unmaintained dirt road but is accessible for passenger vehicles.
Raymond Wildlife Area was purchased by the department in 1942 from Flagstaff physician R.O. Raymond to serve as winter range for the Anderson Mesa pronghorn antelope herd. Due to drought conditions in 1945, the area became home for bison that were moved from the House Rock Valley herd.