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  • Two mule deer bucks bedded in snow during snow storm.  Photo by NBR volunteer Dave Fitzpatrick.

    Bison Range now on Winter Schedule

    The Bison Range is now on Winter hours with the Winter Drive open through early May.

    Operating Hours

  • Close up of Rocky Mountain Tick.  Photo by Mat Pound, USDA Agricultural Research Service,

    Tick Warning!

    The nice spring weather is bringing the Rocky Mountain Ticks out in great numbers. Check yourself after a day in the outdoors.

    Tick information at Center for Disease Control

  • HiPt snow drift.220x120.IN Rotate

    Red Sleep to Open May 10...

    …but not any earlier. The photo shows why – monster snow drifts. Staff just recently broke through. Photo by Dave Fitzpatrick, Volunteer.

    Opening of Red Sleep

  • US Fee Area Logo, yellow triangle with white circle.

    Visit Your Public Lands - FREE

    To encourage you to visit National Wildlife Refuges around the country, there are a number of days in 2014 where entrance fees are waived.

    Link to the dates and places

Noteworthy News

Current Operating Hours

Replica of old wooden entrance sign to National Bison Range.  Photo by USFWS

The National Bison Range front gate is open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. And the Winter Drive is now open through early May.

Operating Hours

About the Complex

National Bison Range Complex

Complex Graphic

Three other National Wildlife Refuges as well as a Wetland Management District can be discovered along with the National Bison Range throughout the Flathead, Mission and Pleasant Valleys.

National Bison Range is managed as part of the National Bison Range Complex.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

Follow NWRS Online


Wild Happenings

  • A Moment in Time

    A young bison calf, only a few days old, stands in front of its mother, its rusty red baby coat contrasting with the female’s dark brown hide.  Photo taken on April 18, 2014 by Dave Fitzpatrick, Volunteer, NBR/USFWSApril 18, 2014

    Spring is truly here – the bison have started calving! The first was born over the weekend of April 12-13, with a few more added during the week. We’ll see the largest number of births in May. Right now, viewing of bison is very sporadic and rare along the Winter Drive as most of the herd is on the south side of the Refuge. This part of the Range has not been grazed during the spring for quite a number of years and having the bison there allows the north pastures to rest during the all-important spring growing season. We should see the herds back along the scenic drives around June 1 (with Red Sleep opening Saturday, May 10). But watch for the bison along the Refuge boundary from Highway 200 and Highway 93. And it may be possible to see a few along the Winter Drive as some of the big old bull bison go where they want to go. Photo by Dave Fitzpatrick, Volunteer, NBR/USFWS

    Resource Management
  • Recent Sightings

    Birdwatchers looking through binoculars.  Photo by Ronald Laubenstein, USFWS

    There is much going on at the National Bison Range with the changes in weather, changes in season. Check out what visitors and staff are seeing while they travel through the Refuge. And let us know what you’ve spotted on your most recent trip.

    Recent Sightings
  • Is it Bison or Buffalo?

    Bison head view next to true buffalo head view.  Photos by Dave Fitzpatrick, USFWS and John Storr, Wikimedia

    We don’t really have buffalo in North America. The true buffalo are the Cape buffalo of Africa and the water buffalo of Asia. However, the American bison has been called “buffalo” for so long that we use the names interchangeably. Technically, these North American animals are bison and, sure enough, their scientific name is 'Bison bison', while buffalo are in the 'Bubulus' genus. All are related in the cow family but they have some physical differences, including horn shape and type of fur. To find out about more fun facts and trivia, follow the link.

    Bison Quick Facts
Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Tick photo by Mat Pound, USDA Agricultural Research Service,, Cape buffalo photo. ©John Storr, Wikimedia., 2013 Bird Day poster. ©Environment for the Americas
Last Updated: Apr 11, 2014


  • Red Sleep Mtn Drive OPENS May 10, 2014

    Red Sleep and bison.IN calendar.150x118May 10, 2014

    This is the day we plan to open Red Sleep Mountain Drive for the summer season (weather and road conditions permitting, of course).

    Opening of Red Sleep Mountain Drive
  • International Migratory Bird Day

    Artwork for 2014 International Migratory Bird Day Poster featuring steel drum art with trees and bird sculptures.  Artwork courtesy of Environment for the AmericasMay 10, 2014 - May 10, 2014

    We have planned a variety of events for the day. And the BIG event is the opening of Red Sleep Mountain Drive for the summer season.

    International Migratory Bird Day
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