Tucked between the Bridger and Crazy Mountain chains in a small town northeast of Bozeman is a bison ranch known as, North Bridger Bison run by Matt and Sarah Skoglund. Established in 2018 the Skoglund's built their ranch with a love for nature and appreciation for bison as a keystone species to the Montana plains.
Our ranch also provides habitat for a wide variety of birds and wildlife, including sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, sandhill cranes, coyotes, mule deer, wolves, moose, mountain lions, elk, black bears, waterfowl, songbirds, and many other wild critters. - North Bridger Bison Website
One could only imagine the picturesque landscape of the ranch's unique positioning between the Birdger and Crazy Mountains. Major brands such as Tecovas, Buck Knives, and Boot Barn have all shot photos and videos on the landscape with the bison and mountainous backdrop. The ranch has also been featured in numerous documentaries which have appeared on Netflix and Apple TV according to the ranches website.
In February, 2023 Charlie Rankin of Meet My Neighbor Productions traveled to North Bridger Bison from North Carolina. Charlie planned his trip to film bison during a powerful cold front pushing temperatures to 19 below and windchills as low as -40.
Bison are remarkable survivors, who have lived through prehistoric times including the last ice age, you need to see and experience how remarkable these animals are to understand it, which means we had to film them in their element. We froze! They didn't seem to care! -Charlie Rankin
Charlie was filming a Meet My Neighbor Productions documentary called NATIVE | The Prodigies of an Icon the documentary follows the bison from near extinction to a thriving population in modern day.
The bison story is one of the largest conservation stories in American history, because bison impact so many other plant and animal species. Simply put, there would not be as many bison today if it weren't for people like the Skoglunds." -Charlie Rankin
Charlie spent several days with Matt at North Bridger Bison and hopes to return with the documentary film crew sometime this spring. As the documentary is produced, Meet My Neighbor Productions releases "travel vlogs" or video blogs of the documentary film progress.
NATIVE | The Prodigies of an Icon is a documentary film which has received the support from the National Buffalo Foundation, the National Buffalo Museum, National Bison Association, Canadian Bison Association, Texas Bison Association, Eastern Bison Association, and numerous ranches, producers, and conservation groups. It is the first film to fully document bison in modern day throughout North America while telling the story of indigenous, conservation, and producer impacts on bison restoration.
Bison are an incredible comeback story, and like the animal itself, the story is also 4 legged. It includes the efforts of indigenous groups, conservation groups, commercial producers, and consumers. - Charlie Rankin
As of May 2nd, 2023 the film has covered a significant portion of the natural range of bison. Boasting over 30 filming locations with yet almost an entire year left to film.
Our goal was to show film viewers the bison in every North American ecosystem the bison once roamed and help people understand the importance this animal has on each of those ecosystems. - Charlie Rankin