08232020  busi bison 10

Buffalo in the pasture at the Lieb Farm in rural Monticello on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.

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Jake Lieb knows exactly where Lieb Farms’ missing bison are.

It’s just that the bison are holed up in a wooded area in the midst of thick, overgrown honeysuckle brush where people can’t get to them, Lieb said Friday.

“They’re just across the road, in overgrown brush,” he said.

On the loose as of Friday afternoon were three or four of the dozens of bison from Lieb Farms in rural Monticello, which was featured in an Aug. 29 article in The News-Gazette.

The animals got away Wednesday, courtesy of a broken gate latch.

About five additional bison also got out, Lieb said, but they were recovered. The remaining three or four “split off from the group,” he said.

The bison that are still out and about may be two mothers (each weighing in at about 1,100 pounds) and two calves, weighing a few hundred pounds each, according to Lieb.

Recovery efforts have included an all-day search and using drones to try to locate them and trail cameras to see if they’re moving at night, he said.

“Every time we get close to them, they just take off,” he said.

As the bison continue to dodge their captors, Lieb said plan B is to wait them out. They’ve got plenty of grass to eat and water to drink from a creek nearby, he said.

“We’re just basically going to wait them out at this point,” he said. “They are in an area where they aren’t in any danger.”

If you spot the runaways, keep your distance, Lieb advised. Don’t approach them, and if you’re driving, don’t honk at them either, he asked.

“Basically, what we want people to know more than anything is that if they do spot them, call the sheriff and the sheriff will get ahold of us,” he said.

— Debra Pressey