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Along the Way: Vore Buffalo Jump

If you’re in northeastern Wyoming and looking for an interesting one-hour stop along Interstate 90, the Vore Buffalo Jump (http://www.vorebuffalojump.org) offers the opportunity to explore a rather ingenious  hunting method used by Native Americans (specifically the Apache, Cheyenne, Crow, Hidatsa, Kiowa, and Shoshone).  The site will pique the interests of anyone with a flair for archaeology, history, Native American cultures, or hunting.

The modern story of the Vore Buffalo Jump all began in the 1970’s. Interstate 90 was under construction, when a sizable sinkhole was discovered at this site. Exploratory drilling took place to investigate the sinkhole, and through this process a multitude of buffalo skeletons were discovered. Shortly after this discovery, it was determined that generations of Native Americans had herded bison to this spot by frightening the animals. As the chase ensued, the bison would be rushed toward the hidden sinkhole and plummet to their deaths. The animals were then butchered at the site, and the skeletal remains were left behind to be discovered some 400 years later.

At the Vore site, you can walk down a path to the bottom of the sinkhole where you will find a temporary structure. Inside this structure, archaeologists work uncovering bones and bone fragments from the Earth.  You can also learn quite a bit about the process used in the Buffalo Jumps and browse a number of artifacts on display.

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Rating: Overall, the Vore Buffalo Jump receives a 4 star rating (out of 5), in the roadside stop category.  I estimate that the average person would enjoy spending 30-60 minutes here.

The Vore Buffalo Jump is located near Beulah, Wyoming along Interstate 90. The site is just east of Sundance, Wyoming (close to the South Dakota border)

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