CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Some eastern Charlotte County residents are building a business with buffalo! Farmers are herding bison on thousands of acres at Three Suns Ranch off state road 31.
Take a drive down state road 31 in Charlotte County and you'll see more than cattle and horses.
"We found more and more tourists and commuters stopping along state road 31 and asking what are these?" says Rodger Dowdell with Three Suns Ranch.
Grazing on more than 5,000 acres are 1,900 buffalo.
Back in June, Rodger Dowdell with Three Suns Ranch says they set up shop intending to just go into the meat production business.
"Enough of them asked us, can we take a tour so we thought okay we'll start a tourism business," he adds.
Dowdell says buffalo live as long as 20 years, and grow up to 21-hundred pounds. And these animals can move.
"They can jump fences they can run 30 to 40 miles an hour for half an hour," Dowdell says.
One buffalo yields about 5-hundred pounds of meat. Dowdell says, because they're grass fed, the meat is lean and healthier than beef or even salmon. And from the hyde to the hoof, they'll use every part of the animal.
They're selling mittens for the colder climate and gloves knitted out of bison hair... the front bone in the foreleg typically goes to pet stores for bones for dogs," he adds.
Dowdell says they hope to start offering tours in March. Meat production will start between and April and May.