Sunday, October 11

The Frawley Ranch

Thanks to fellow blogger/ex-Black Hills resident Dick D., I was given the opportunity to visit the Nat'l Historical Frawley Ranch, north of Deadwood. Hank Frawley, the owner, let me tag along as he drove out to the buffalo pasture to feed his small herd some cattle cakes (like doggie milk bones) and to turn the propane heating system on at the watering trough. It was a frigid morning Sat., low 20's in the most...

The historical Centennial School House is near the Frawley Ranch house, est. in 1880, soon after the ranch, which was est. in 1877. Hank is third generation owner. His great grandfather built a brick barn and wood barn that are still in top condition and being used today...this was the only bldg. I took photos of due to the freezing weather.

As we came through the gate, the small herd stampeded towards us...yowza! They knew that He Who Delivers the Snack Cakes had arrived... (this is not the entire herd, there's more)...

Hank told me that Buster, his alpha bull, thinks he's a pet...whenever we stopped so that I could take photos, Buster was right at the window looking for more cake hand-outs...Hank's side window was a slobbery mess in no time!

Hand over the cakes and maybe I'll let you pass...

Ever get the feeling you're being watched?! I'm pretty sure the buffalos kept their eyes on us cause they knew that the old blue pickup truck was the source of their tasty cakes...

Mamma and calf keeping an eye on the visitors... I had a friendly female come to my window a couple times; I touched her wet nose! I was thrilled to get to touch a buffalo, even if that's what I touched...

I see YOU have some cakes too?!


  1. How cool is that! Buster looks like he could push over the pick-up if the treats don't get handed out. The Frawley Ranch is always a treat to drive by, what fun to have a visit, up close and personal, as they say.

  2. Jann, great pictures and article. Buster is a real looker. I bet this is the first time you met a buffalo by name! I took the liberty to do an article on dhsclassmates site with your links and picture of Hank & Buster. Was it fun and did you meet Hank's wife Molly?

  3. Girl that is just the coolest thing always have such amazing posts to share...
    your world out there is different than ours is here..both wonderful but so different..I love our wonderful world,and thank you for sharing a part of your amazing world with us..

  4. What a beautiful post. It is great to be able to get into the inside of protected areas. You get amazing photos and stories. Great job.

    THAT BIG BUFFALO HEAD IN THE WINDOW WAS A LITTLE SHOCKING...but I relaxed my tension filled body with the next photo and funny caption!!! Andora is right...You live in a different world than ours!

  6. They are awesome creatures. We have quite a few buffalo farms in this area. I like to imagine when the entire prairie was covered with huge herds of them.

  7. Hi Dick and Jann

    You were not kidding when you said "up close"!! When I first saw Buster's face sticking into the truck,, I really wasn't sure if he was ....real...... until I read on and realized that Hank really does have an "up close and personal" relationship with his herd. What a wonderful opportunity of a lifetime for Jann to be able to get so close to them and to even touch them!!

    It would be interesting to hear some of the experiences Hank has had with his buffalo herd. I wonder what that feels like to have a herd of buffalo running towards you! As I remember seeing buffalo from a distance years ago.......they are "pretty big guys"!!

    Thanks to Hank and to Jann for braving the cold SD weather to take these great photographs and to Jann for sharing all of her beautiful work, and also to you Dick for helping to make it happen.