Where the Bison Roam

Home to the ETX herd.
Published: Dec. 28, 2023 at 1:11 PM EST
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Thousands of years ago, before fenced off property and modern civilization, millions of bison trekked freely across North America. These two-thousand-pound animals played a key part in the local environment, as well as being a staple for food and other resources for the natives that called this land home. These historic creatures are a sight to see. Lucky for you, the 310 Bison Ranch in Jacksonville offers FREE tours to anyone who would like to meet a herd up close and personal!

“When I saw my first buffalo… I just thought that was the coolest things I have ever seen.”

Steve Unger, owner of the 310 Bison Ranch, describes his first interaction with these majestic beasts. From the age of ten years old, Steve knew that he wanted to raise and care for bison. He would hold onto this dream until he retired in 2015 and moved to East Texas from California to start his own bison ranch. Steve’s one-hundred-acre property now rests just west of downtown Jacksonville, home to nearly fifty bison.


“One of the most common questions I get is “what’s the difference between buffalo and a bison?””

According to Steve, there is a difference between bison and buffalo. However, he, and most bison ranchers, tend to use the terms interchangeably. Bison are native to United States, Canada, and Mexico. They have roamed these regions for tens of thousands of years. Buffalo on the other hand, are native to Africa and Asia, such as the water or cape buffalo. Despite the geographical differences, bison and buffalo share a lot of the same characteristics, providing much for the ecosystem and mankind.

Bison are magnificent creatures. These big fluffy omnivores love to stroll across wide open ranges feeding on a steady diet of hay, along with their herd. If an area of land has available food, water, and safety, a bison herd will be totally content. Steve explained that bison are very social creatures, thriving on companionship. The herd operates in a hierarchical system, with the alpha bull being at the top. However, Steve shared that the females of the herd seem to run the show at times. Meet some of 310 Bison’s herd here!


The 310 Bison Ranch operates in a couple of different ways. The first is that it acts as a “cow/calf operation.” Meaning Steve does not slaughter and harvest meat from the bison. Rather, he sells some of the herd to other ranchers who would like to get into raising them. This whole process takes work; day-in, day-out labor that provides all the necessities to keep the herd healthy and happy. By doing so, Steve has built a deep bond with the bison here, especially with one of the bulls, Jack!

“There’s so much you can take away from our shows. It’s quite an incredible experience.”

The other purpose of the ranch is tourism, which has grown quite popular. Steve shared how this was very unexpected in the beginning, as he didn’t plan on people being so interested in visiting bison. But he absolutely loves sharing his passion with anyone willing to come out for a tour. Vistors are welcome to take a ride with Steve out into his pastures to meet bison face-to-face. There you can feed the herd tasty pellets and scratch their bushy fur heads, a perfect adventure for the family. It’s important to remember that bison are wild animals, so be sure to follow all of Steve’s rules when you go.

The 310 Bison Ranch invites you to come meet the herd! Reach out to Steve at (949) 683-1923 or message him on the ranch’s Facebook page to set up a time for a tour. Experience the majesty of these wonderful animals with your friends and family!

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