OAKCREEK BUFFALO RANCH
Oakcreek Buffalo Ranch is a 160-acre farm in the rolling hills of the Ozark Mountains a few miles north of the Missouri/Arkansas line near Bella Vista, Arkansas. Tucked back into Little Missouri Hollow, it is a hidden jewel of pastures, trees, ponds, bluffs, hills and springs.Buffalo are the only livestock at Oakcreek, but the buffalo share their home with a host of wild animals including white-tailed deer, squirrels, ducks, turkey, coyote, rabbits, opossum, skunks, raccoon and an endless kaleidoscope of birds.
Carol and Leon Klein are fortunate enough to make Oakcreek Buffalo Ranch their home. The Klein’s were married in 1967 and moved to Missouri in 1990. They brought with them their woodworking business, Oakcreek Woodworks, where they manufacture wooden craft supplies for the tole and decorative painting industry. They love working at home and working together.
In 1994, Leon and Carol decided to raise buffalo on their farm. It was a decision that transformed their lives. The buffalo are a joy for the Klein’s. Carol especially enjoys being with the herd and when not working can usually be found visiting the buffalo. Each of the 80 buffalo is known by it’s own name, personality and history.
Every day of the year is unique and beautiful on the farm. Spring days bring the special gift of newborn calves, spring flowers and tender grass for the buffalo to feast on. Warm days of summer are filled with the pleasure of watching the young buffalo grow and play. Fall brings the changing of leaves and the crisp cool days that energize the whole buffalo herd to run and play, and to consume huge amounts of the fresh fall growth of cool season grasses. Winter snows are rare and do not last long, but are breath taking in their beauty. The buffalo eat their fill from huge round bales of hay then nibble across the pasture for grass desserts. As days grow longer, the buffalo cows swell with the promise of calving season once more.
Herd size at Oakcreek has reached the maximum number of animals that the property can sustain. In order to retain an exceptional heifer in the herd now requires the removal of an older animal. Difficult decisions must be made, but the results will be a genetic improvement of the herd over the years.
Nothing would please us better than to keep all the animals born here on our farm, and we wish that were possible. The next best thing to that is to provide breeding stock to begin new bison farms or expand existing ones. It is a joy to see these fine babes become the pride of new owners.
Many of the bull calves will be retained at Oakcreek to join the meat herd. Here they will enjoy life to the fullest while they range freely across the beautiful pastures, growing and maturing. These animals are usually harvested before their third birthday to provide meat customers of Oakcreek with the best quality meat available in the world today - PURE GRASS-FED BISON MEAT.
We have learned that in today's world the buffalo depend on us for their existence, but they in return provide life and sustenance to us. It is this interdependence of buffalo and man, which gives the strength for both to live and prosper.
You can see from this picture of GEORGEOUS GEORGE, our original and still number one herd bull, that fine genetics are a foundation of our herd at Oakcreek..
The LEARNING ABOUT BUFFALO page will give you lots more information about raising bison and what bison are like.