Thanks to Mud Creek Bison Ranch 

We’re not talking about mastodons (though their remains have been found in the Finger Lakes region), but about bison which can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand 6 feet tall. It is difficult to believe something could get so huge eating grass. Of course, the prehistoric ancestors that crossed the ancient land bridge from Asia some 400,000 years ago stood as tall as 9 feet. 

Did you know these massive creatures are the national mammal of the United States? 

Mud Creek Bison Bob Magee 2O9A6786-Edit
Mud Creek Bison Ranch in Winter courtesy Bob Magee

Chances are, while you may have seen them in movies or on television shows, you have probably never witnessed a live bison in person unless you have visited one of the National Parks out west. If you have, you know just how impressive (and unusual) the sight is. 

If you haven’t experienced the wonder for yourself, you might be excited to learn that you don’t have to travel that far to see these remarkable beasts up close. Located about 15 miles west of Corning in the small town of Savona, you’ll find Mud Creek Bison Ranch where you can enjoy a self-guided tour from the safety and comfort of your car. Turn your car radio to the designated station and listen to an audio narration about the history of these important animals and about the ranch itself. 

Mud Creek Bison Near Pond
Mud Creek Bison Near Pond courtesy Luke Petrinec

An iconic symbol of the American west, by the late 1800s there were only a few hundred bison left in the entire United States after millions of them roamed North America during prehistoric times. Extensive conservation efforts have helped bring bison back from the brink of extinction. There are a number of safe havens today, parks and preserves that ensure the survival of these awe-inspiring animals, as well as smaller ranches and farms across the country raising bison for conservation and consumption. 

Ranches like Mud Creek.

With a herd of over 200 animals, including rare white bison (Lightning, the white herd bull, as well as a few white calves), the tours are a great way to have fun and experience something you have probably never seen before, all while social distancing. 

And if you’re into culinary treats, you can stock your freezer with grass-fed meats while supporting a local small business. With steaks, ground bison, snack sticks, and jerky, as well as local cheeses from Golden Age Cheese company and other local handcrafted products, the new and rather large gift shop is a great place to explore. 

Bison 1
Bison in Winter at Mud Creek Bison Ranch courtesy Bob Magee

You’ll also get a glimpse of the expansive 12,000 square foot outbuilding attached to the gift shop which the owners hope will one day be an event space for live music, weddings, corn hole tournaments and so much more. 

Did you know despite their incredible size, bison can run up to 35 miles per hour? According to this article, they’re also ”extremely agile. Bison can spin around quickly, jump high fences and are strong swimmers.”

Find out more about the tours, bison products, and awesome event space by visiting or on Facebook @mudcreekbison.