SOUTH HAVEN, Kan. (KSNW) – Main Street Kansas takes us to South Haven, where we are following a story we started back in 1997, of a Kansas couple who became buffalo ranchers almost by accident. Even though they are retired now, their buffalo are still part of the family.
KSN photojournalist Dylan Dietz brings us back to South Haven for more of their story.
Dwain “Bud” Yearout and his wife Peggy live just two and a half miles south of South Haven, Kansas.
“This is a good community,” said Peggy Yearout.
The Yearouts are retired buffalo farmers.
“The first 30 buffalo we had all had names and they were all started with a B,” explained Dwain “Bud” Yearout.
“It was Buster, Buffy, Bubbles, Buddy and Bonnie,” explained Peggy in a 1997 interview. “They all started with B’s and we kept that tradition until we got up to about 20 animals and then we ran out of B names.”
One animal has a special place in their hearts.
“Clara is a jewel,” said Peggy.
The couple bought Clara from an airplane pilot who owned a ranch east of Dexter, Kansas.
“Kurt called Bud and asked ‘Would you take Clara?'” explained Peggy. “Clara was about a year old by then and we said, ‘Sure we will.’ And he said, ‘There’s just one catch to it. You can never butcher her…can’t ever sell her. She’s your baby.'”
The couple went to visit Clara and they instantly fell in love with her.
“She just run right up to me and put her nose on my leg,” said Bud.
“We’ve had Clara ever since and she’s tame,” added Peggy. “She’s the leader of the buffalo. They kind of do what she…and she’s not bossy. She’s just very gentle.”
Now Clara is 13 years old with a new baby of her own. Bud said buffaloes can live to be in their forties.