A herd of bison occupies the 126-acre property known as Bigelow Fields. Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Sindo

The sun was shining bright in the blue sky, a blanket of fresh snow had fallen the day before. The time for that magical light that comes with late afternoon on a winter day was approaching. I wasn’t quite up for a romp in the woods, but instead, a Sunday afternoon drive.

For this particular drive, I had a destination Bigelow Fields.

Bigelow Fields came onto my radar in 2022.

“A bison farm in Maine? What? No way!” I remember thinking several times after hearing about the ranch from a friend and checking out their social media page.

Bison and Maine wasn’t the match made in heaven I would’ve guessed.

The Weaver family are first generation bison ranchers and bought their 126-acre property in 2016. They’re a hardworking bunch and I always love visiting their ranch.

I departed Route 16, just outside of Stratton, and turned onto Kennebago Road. A few miles down the dirt road, the trees open up to reveal stunning fields that offer a tremendous view of the Bigelow Range.

During the winter, the herd of bison are kept in a field that’s a bit farther from the road compared to the summertime, but visitors are always welcome to pull off the road and watch the herd.

The view through a pair of binoculars offered a close-up view of the impressive mammal. I’ve seen bison out West, and even being able to see them here in Maine, they always impress me.

The Hutch at Bigelow Fields offers homemade sourdough loaves, macarons, sourdough cookies and bison meat.  Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Sindo

Their front end looks like it far outweighs their smaller looking rear, and it’s as if, at any moment, I’ll see their head drop to the ground with their rear end up in the air, like a teeter totter. Their tough demeanor and thick, brown fur look make them look like they can withstand any harsh Maine winter weather that comes their way.

One of them is even sprawled out on the snow-covered ground, like a dog stretched out on the beach on a warm summer day. I chuckle to myself and think, this animal is perfect for Maine winters.

I watch the herd for a bit longer, appreciating the animals’ slow movements and lifestyle.

Before I depart, I make a stop at The Hutch. The miniature-sized red barn sits on the road and offers delicious goodies made by Nichole Weaver.

Loaves of sourdough bread, macarons and sourdough cookies and brownies overtake the inside of the thoughtfully rustic decorated Hutch. And of course, there is bison meat for sale.

I grabbed some goodies and hit the road.

I pass a herd of deer just down the road from Bigelow Farms and slow to observe them. The setting sun was spilling through the bare trees, shining a warm, yellow light on the snow and deer. It was beautiful and offered a moment to think of the animals I saw that afternoon.

Their need for food and shelter mirror our human needs, but in a simpler way. They don’t need anything fancy or extravagant and are content with the basics. They’re pleased and feel at home when they’re with their herd.

If you find yourself in the Rangeley or Stratton area this winter, I encourage you to take an afternoon drive and pay a visit to the unique farm. There’s an appreciation to gain from the farmers and animals alike.

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Sarah Sindo, Outdoors contributor

Sarah Sindo was locally grown in Millinocket. Her love and appreciation for the outdoors took off after college when she hiked numerous mountains with her brother, Nick, including her first ascent of Katahdin....