Dave and Sue Whittlesey

History of High Wire Ranch

Dave Whittlesey founded High Wire Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1981 when he purchased his initial herd of bison at the National Western Stock Show Bison Auction in Denver.  Since the bison needed a taller fence than the neighbors cattle, he called it High Wire Ranch.

Sue joined the operation in 1985.  They raised two children on the ranch, Seth and Kelly.  In 1999 they sold the Steamboat Springs ranch and moved the entire operation to Redlands Mesa, ten miles northwest of Hotchkiss, Colorado.

Dave and Sue have been active board members of the American Buffalo Association.  Currently they are focusing on volunteering for local causes.  Dave serves on the board of directors of Delta Conservation District, North Fork Water Conservancy District, Delta County Farm and Livestock Bureau, and Memorial Hall.   Sue serves on the following boards:  North Fork Ambulance Auxiliary, Delta County Public Library Trust and Endowment, Hotchkiss Community Chamber of Commerce, Rogers Mesa Modern Woman's Club, and Hotchkiss Friends of the Library.

They both are very active volunteers in the Hotchkiss Lions Club also.

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Are your Bison fed any corn or other grains?  No, never.  We just feed pasture grasses and harvested hay from our pastures.
  2. Do you use the "rinse and chill" process on your carcasses like they do with the bison sold at Whole Foods, Kroger and other large chain stores?  No.  We use the traditional method of processing.
  3. Is your meat dry aged?  Yes.
  4. Do you flash freeze your meat?  No.
  5. Do you add preservatives or MSG to your meats?  No.
  6. Do you sell fresh (never frozen) meat the Ranch?  No.  However, The Colorado Meat Company sells our bison meat fresh.  They are in Avon, Colorado.
  7. Do you sell meat at the Ranch?  Yes, by appointment only.
  8. Do you accept credit cards?  Yes, we accept Visa and MasterCard.
  9. How do I get your meat?  ​It is available at the Ranch by appointment only and see other locations at "Where To Find Our Meat" at the bottom of  this  page.
  10. Where is your meat processed?  Our bison are processed at a small USDA facility 40 miles away from the Ranch in Montrose, Colorado.
  11. Do you give tours of the ranch?  Yes and there is no charge.  We give tours by appointment only, so please phone (970) 835-7600 in advance to schedule a time.
  12. Do you ship your elk velvet antler capsules?   Yes.
  13. How do I order Antler Capsules?    Click here to order online


Bison Recipes


Slow Cooking Cuts

(Such as Short Ribs, Osso Bucco, Brisket or Chuck Roasts)  

Cook in either a slow cooker on low or a cast iron covered pot in oven at 250 degrees for a minimum of 4 hours.  Before cooking add an inch of liquid to the container, such as Red Wine, water, or broth. Season with garlic, chopped onions and your other favorite seasonings.  Vegetables may be added at the last hour.  Steaks that are 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches increase cooking time by 2 minutes per side. 


Baste steak with olive oil and one clove of crushed garlic. Place steak on either a hot frying pan or a hot grill.  Grill quickly.  One-inch steaks cook 3 minutes first side, 2 minutes second.

Pot Roast

Heat oil in a heavy oven proof pan and sear roast on all sides.  Add cubed vegetables. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes per pound of meat. Cook to an internal temperature of 130 degrees.

Where to find our Meat

Colorado Meat Company

Colorado Meat Company

The Colorado Meat Company is the only place where you can purchase fresh, never frozen High Wire Ranch Bison meat.  They are located in Avon across from City Market and are open daily.

Vicki's Fresh Food Movement

Vicki's Fresh Food Movement

Vicki's Fresh Food Movement offers our bison in the Telluride area with online ordering.  She offers home delivery as well restaurant sales year round.

Farm Runners

Farm Runners

Farm Runners offers delivery to restaurants in Crested Butte and the Roaring Fork Valley with online ordering. They have a retail store in Hotchkiss located next to City Market that is open Wednesday through Monday.

Rogers Mesa Store

Rogers Mesa Store

Rogers Mesa Store is located 3 miles west of Hotchkiss on Highway 92. They offer a nice selection of frozen bison meat for sale and will cook you up a bison burger for lunch.

The Lobby Grille

Lobby Grille

Montrose's best dining option, The Lobby Grille is located in Montrose Memorial Hospital.  The menu features local foods  and offers online ordering for pick up.

PJ's Neighborhood Pub

PJ's Neighborhood Pub

PJ's Neighborhood Pub, the Hotchkiss fine dining option, is open every evening for dinner. They currently feature High Wire Ranch bison sloppy joe sliders.