- Associated Press - Monday, December 7, 2015

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) - A weekend bison sale at a south central North Dakota ranch drew buyers from as far as Idaho, Missouri and Texas.

About 800 bison were auctioned Saturday at the Bev and Ernie Fischer ranch near Cannon Ball, as part of the couple’s efforts to downsize their herd. It was one of the biggest bison sales in the country this year, auctioneer Gregg Ryken told KXMB-TV (http://bit.ly/1XVBD1v ).

More than one-fourth of the nation’s bison are raised by ranchers in the Dakotas. Adam Hoffman of Sisseton, South Dakota, traveled 250 miles to buy nearly 140 animals Saturday.

“We ended up buying the majority of the bred cows here today,” he said.

The sale came during a time of extraordinary demand for bison, with the animals bringing the highest prices in a decade. That made the sale bittersweet for the Fischers.

“She’s a little more emotionally involved to (the animals) than I am,” Ernie Fischer said of his wife. “I’m usually behind them getting chased, and she’s usually on the fence laughing.”

The North Dakota Buffalo Association holds its annual auction Jan. 9 in Napoleon. The association will sell up to 300 animals.

North Dakota ranks seventh in the nation in bison production. South Dakota is first.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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