Guided Bison Tours on Catalina Island

Catalina IslandBison are one of Catalina Island’s peculiarities. Bison were brought to the island in the early 20th century. Many believe that filmmakers brought the bison down in order to shoot footage and then released them into the wild. If you think that bison population in an island setting sounds dangerous to the ecology of the land, then you’re on to something. This is why authorities control the population of bison.

Where can you see bison on the island? The general population of bison is between 200-400. When the population grows beyond that, extra bison are culled. One of the tours, the Buffalo Safari Tour, (although the bison are not technically buffalo) takes tourists eastward from the Two Harbors town to the rugged interiors of the island, near the canyons and coastline. Some of these tours also stop by other sections of the town in order to catch a glimpse at birds. Tours are very affordable for the great wildlife adventure you will have.

An exciting wildlife adventure on Catalina Island

Catalina IslandHowever, do not conclude that bison tours are the only way to see bison in the wild. What occasionally happens is that old bulls are challenged by young bulls in the wild, leading to a confrontation. One of the parties leaves the herd and roams independently, usually around the hills. Gates are set up to keep wild animals away from town (a bison stealing your meal would be distracting to say the least) but every once in a while tourists are surprised to see buffalo roaming the beaches or even a golf course. You can imagine how delighted kids are to see an escaped (but harmless) bison being chased by officials.

The best place to see bison are not necessarily on bison tours but on wilderness tours of the interior of the island. These are called mini-safaris, because of the rugged terrain and the wildlife roaming around the area. Come see these beautiful animals where they belong—in the wild!