Wild and

History of Thunder Heart Bison and Shape Ranch

The Bison is Back!

The purely natural Bison that once roamed this land and provided such a perfect source of protein for the peoples of North America have returned. The Bison's strength and health, coupled with a superior immune system (the only known animal to have never developed a case of cancer) is the result of two factors: a nutrient rich diet of grass and a life on our ranch that is as stress free as possible. And when a Bison is healthy those properties of health are passed on to whatever consumes it.For thousands of years the Coahuitecan people have lived as indigenous hunter-gatherers in extended family groups or tribes from just north of present day San Antonio south to the Rio Grande and the Northern Mexico state of Coahuila. They were a Bison culture whose lifeways, religion, and culture revolved around their relationship with the sacred animal that sustained them.

By the mid 18th century, the Spanish incursions onto these lands had all but eliminated both the vast herds and the native peoples which they sustained. In 1806, the ranch was granted by the King of Spain to Juan Fransisco Lombrano, a loyal subject of the crown who stocked the ranch with cattle, sheep, and goats. In 1933 my grandfather, H. A. Fitzsimons, bought the ranch. Here he raised registered Hereford cattle along with steers that he grew out on the strong native grasses.

The foundation herds that were developed by my Grandfather and Father inspired me to expand on the idea of reintroducing the original and indigenous livestock to South Texas. For me the obvious choice was the Bison, an animal that has both the capability and endurance to not only survive, but even thrive in a climate that can be as harsh as it is beautiful. By choosing animals from such legendary sources as the Mary Ann and Charles Goodnight herd, we are insuring both strong and diversified genetics. These Bison reflect the desirable traits that have made them the ultimate in both stamina and strength. They make the most of what nature gives them.

At the core of our husbandry practices is the concept of "family groupings." This allows each member of the herd to be raised as nature intended and not experience the stress of weaning. Because Bison are a matriarchal society this is an important concept. It allows the natural groupings among family members to take place and evolve, which in turn gives them a core sense of security. The result is a relatively stress free existence and a life that is lived in balance with the herd.