Frequently Asked Questions

Some things people usually ask us

Do you really raise bison?

Yes! Our family has been raising American Plains Bison for over 30 years. In recent years, we purchased a part of the historic Goodnight Ranch. Cecil, Ron’s Dad, is responsible for bringing the bison back to Goodnight after almost 100 years. We also work with almost 200 ranches across the country to source our products.

How do you get the fiber off a bison?

Very Carefully! Our fiber is harvested in three different ways:

  1. The Buffalo Wool Co. started originally by using naturally shed fiber. Bison grow out a downy winter coat, and slough it off in the spring; we would pick it up off the fences and brush, and process it from there. We still use some harvested shed fiber from ranches across the US.
  2. We shear hides at the packing plants from animals that are ranch raised for meat. Waste not, want not.
  3. Some of our fiber comes from live shearing. Some really large ranches have hydraulic squeeze chutes that gather the fiber when spring round-ups happen … that is something to see if you ever get the chance!


Why Buffalo?

We are fans of bison, and if you have 10 minutes (or an hour), we would love to tell you why bison are awesome and necessary to this country. These majestic animals once roamed coast to coast, from Alaska to Mexico City. After years of overhunting, the Bison only made a comeback due to the commercial ranching industry. Many ranchers have dedicated land and resources to the Bison - helping numbers from around 100-1000 grow to over 700,000 today. We are big supporters of bison ranchers all across this country; we learned from using it ourselves how luxurious, warm, and durable Bison fiber truly is. The Buffalo Wool Co. started as an extra income source with a desire to add more value to the Bison industry.

Why are you called “The Buffalo Wool Co.” if you only raise bison?

The American plains bison (Bison Bison or Bos Bison to be scientific) are native to the U.S. and Canada. This the animal we work with; the only true buffalo are the water buffaloes found in Africa, India, and Australia. These buffalo don’t have usable fiber. It was supposedly the French who gave Bison the nickname Boufs (after cattle). At some point, Americans changed that to “Bufflers,” and eventually buffalo. So, here in the US, buffalo = bison.

How were you “Established 1821” and then “Re-established in 2011?”

The Buffalo Wool Co. is a historic name for a company originally founded in 1821 by the Hudson Bay Co, in Red River Manitoba. That company only lasted about 5 years before bankruptcy. Since the name wasn’t being used, and we like it an awful lot, we adopted it in 2011.