Utah State Parks Blog

Changes Announced for the 34th Annual Bison Roundup

Bison Roundup on Antelope Island

­­ANTELOPE ISLAND STATE PARK — The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation is announcing some significant changes to this year’s upcoming Antelope Island Bison Roundup.

Traditionally, each year, cowboys atop their horses assist park personnel in rounding up the 700+ bison across Antelope Island and guiding them into the corrals for their annual checkup. One week later, these bison are sorted and separated one at a time to receive vaccinations, health screenings, and more. Once the bison are checked, they are either released back onto the island or kept in the corral where they are later sold in a public auction.

The Roundup is essential to the health and wellbeing of both Antelope Island’s wildlife, as well as the island itself. As such, it is a practice that must continue. However, due to the changing landscape surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the safety of both participants and visitors, there will be significant changes made to the 2020 Bison Roundup.

Changes to the 2020 Bison Roundup Include:

  • Members of the public will not have the option to register as a rider in the 2020 Bison Roundup. Traditionally, registration to participate as a rider opens in September of each year and closes in early October.
  • In order to avoid crowds, the exact date of this year’s roundup will not be announced beforehand; but is still expected to occur within the month of October. Antelope Island State Park will remain open during the rounding up of the bison. There will also not be any vendors, music, or other festivities on the day of the Roundup.
  • There will be no media caravan or tours the day of the Roundup. 
  • The “Working of the Bison” the following week will not be open for public viewing.

“The Roundup has been a favorite of mine and many others for many years. It allows the public a chance to view a truly extraordinary event that showcases teamwork, patience, skill, and highlights the beauty of these animals and the park,” Antelope Island State Park Manager Jeremy Shaw said. “However, it’s important to remember that this event has a purpose, and that is to ensure the health and safety of the island and these animals for the coming year. So even though there won’t be as much direct involvement this year from the public, it is still something that has to happen.”

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