August 25, 2021
You know you are going someplace special when you leave the paved road, and your GPS is still working and heading you in the right direction. Another couple of miles of driving brings you a cattle guard. Pass over the cattle guard and you are in a parking lot and being greeted by the biggest white, soft, fluffy, cuddly dog you’ve ever seen. You have arrived at the Prairie Ridge Buffalo Ranch outside Limon, Colorado.
Entering the building where we were having meetings for the day, you encounter a pool table, foosball table and ping pong table, plus comfy couches, a tv and lots of hanging buffalo. We didn’t use them for our meeting, but what a great idea for a family reunion or include as part of a corporate retreat. Hot coffee and cold water were ready for us and started an experience and hospitality of a three-generation, operating buffalo ranch.
Fast forward through the meetings and let’s get to the good stuff. Touring the ranch from the safety of a secure wagon was the highlight of our day. (Sorry speakers) The beauty of a Colorado Prairie and seeing North American bison in their natural habitat was totally off the charts. Cameras were working overtime and the buffalo gave us a show. There is a pecking order in how they approach the wagon and get a chance at some pellets. During this time Ray and his wife, Debbie, keep us engaged with the history, facts about their ranch and about bison in general. Some of us even caught a quick X-rated moment. As typical ranchers, Ray and Debbie knew which cow had just had a calf and we were able to see quite a few youngsters that day. After an hour tour, hundreds of pictures and just enjoying the vistas and camaraderie we headed back in for lunch.
A pavilion, with tables and chairs, soft music, corn hole and horseshoes, was a great place to enjoy a little break and a great meal. Buffalo burgers on the grill (I like mine a little more done, but that was a hard NO 😊and they were soooo good anyhow) Debbie’s calico beans (to die for), chips, Fixin’s, beverages and cookies helped fuel us up for an afternoon of meetings. Tours are usually held in the evenings and might include a bonfire and s’mores. You don’t need to have a meeting or be in a group. Just bring out the family for an evening of fun. Rates for a tour and meal are extremely reasonable.
Before we resumed the meeting, we hit the gift shop. A lot of stuffed toy buffalos went out the door – some little kids are going to be very happy. Earrings, hats, t-shirts and a buffalo roast also found new homes. We ended our meetings for the day and each of us headed North, South, East and West of our location with great memories and the belief that this was the best meeting ever!
About Prairie Ridge Buffalo Ranch: Started by Ray and Debbie Thieman in 1999 as a small hobby ranch, it has grown into a sustainable buffalo ranch with nearly 800 buffalo of various ages. Since then, they have involved their daughter and son-in-law as well as 12 of their grandchildren and have achieved their goal of having a truly multi-generation ranching operation. They have developed an outstanding breeding program that provides for a consistently improving herd through the selection and purchasing of superior bulls. www.prairieridgebuffalo.com [email protected] 719-775-1502 Tell them you heard about it from Pro 15 and Discover Rural