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  • Writer's pictureBrian Childress

Bison Range - Montana

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

The Bison Range (BR), formerly the National Bison Range, is a nature reserve on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana established as a wildlife conservationarea for the American bison. The size of the bison herd at the BR is between 350 and 500. Established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1908, the BR consists of approximately 18,800 acres within the Montana valley and foothill grasslands. The management is in the process of being transferred from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

The BR has a visitor center, and two scenic roads that allow vehicular access to prime viewing areas.

Other large wildlife found on the Range include elk, white-tail and mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, black bear, coyote and ground squirrels who share the area with 350 to 500 bison. Over 200 species of birds also call this home including eagles, hawks, meadowlarks, bluebirds, ducks, and geese. Because of its open grasslands, the Bison Range is a place for the public to enjoy some excellent wildlife observation and photography.

Other nearby areas administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service include Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge and Pablo National Wildlife Refuge. These areas contain irrigation reservoirs located on Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal lands. There are excellent opportunities to view waterfowl, bald

eagles, herons, cormorants, and a wide variety of song birds.

The best place to start your visit is at the Visitor Center. Here you will find informative displays and handouts, restrooms, videos, a bookstore, and staff to answer your questions. Pay entrance fees here.

Fees are charged during the summer (mid-May to late October). The Range is part of the U.S. Fee System and accepts Golden Passes and Federal Waterfowl Stamps. Pay fees at the Visitor Center. Camping is not allowed and the Range is closed at night.


This is a must-see trip if you travel to Missoula Montana and/or Glacier National Park. You can drive through this Reserve and give yourself at least two hours. The views and wildlife are spectacular. One main tip; stay in or very close to your vehicle because the wildlife roam free and they have black and as we experience, brown bears.

Contact Information:

58355 Bison Range Rd Moiese, MT 59824

The range is approximately one hour north of Missoula, Montana off of U.S. Highway 93 directing visitors to the entrance at Moiese, Montana, and the range headquarters.

Phone: (406) 644-2211

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