This was In the late 1970's/early 80's when the breed was gaining momentum. "Fullblood" would mean cattle containing exactly 3/8th (37.5%) Bison-5/8 domestic cattle crosses. Purebred Status was declared as 34-to 37.4 percent Bison Content and 17 percent Bison content animals could registered as Beefalo. Yet there was something about that 3/8th Bison content that seemed magical. The Brahman influence cattle breeds, like the King Ranch's Santa Gertrudis contained 3/8th Brahman and 5/8th Shorthorn, which certainly played a part as 3/8th Bison being the goal to shoot for, even when there were outstanding cattle bred at the lower percentage Bison levels.
A lot of breeders threw caution to the wind to attain "Fullblood" Status and many discarded some truly beautiful cattle at lower Bison percentages. 3/8th Bison content animals were perceived as better. It was quite popular then to use bulls that were more than 3/8th that contained 27/64th Bison, 15/32nd and 7/16th Bison to get their own Beefalo upgraded to 3/8th Bison content. The end result was seeing a lot of these bulls crop up in today's pedigrees. Bulls like Geronimo, Badlands Bill, Wild Card, Bigfoot, Rai Rai Smokey, and Mr. Georgio.
You also have regional shifts in a bloodline's popularity, and the trend to breeding Black, Polled Cattle, (To appeal to the Contract buyer, and Feedlot owners, if you don't cater to the custom meat trade.) Add in the mix of Breeders not registering cattle with newer bloodlines and you can see this is a far more complex problem for the breeder of registered Beefalo. Currently we are seeing more and more unregistered Beefalo by folks that just don't want to go to the trouble of registering them.
Consider inbreeding? Is it all that bad? Usually Cattlemen keep a bull for three generations with no problems and many breeders of outstanding lines of cattle have
used inbreeding to attain what they wanted within a breed. The Bates English Shorthorns come to mind (Very heavily inbred). Yet if you let cattle inbreed indiscriminately you are headed for trouble in deteriorating any breed of cattle especially if it is to reach a goal that one really doesn't have to, like "Fullblood" Status, or Black Polled Beefalo.
So. What to do? Should you try to start over, interbreeding bison and cattle Like Jim Burnett or Bud Basolo? (That is a long term proposition.) It's probably easier to seek out different Beefalo from different areas of the country or use Artificial Insemination to attain a solid outcross. Admittedly, buying new cattle from say, the East and shipping them long distances into the West is one expensive proposition. Artificial insemination can be much less expensive, if you can find a registered bull with a different bloodline you like. The other method is to breed into Beefalo different cattle breeds and reduce the percentage of Bison actually needed. Currently there is a popular trend breeding to Aubrac, Peidmontese, Gelbvieh, or Romagnola into Beefalo, while maintaining the bison content around 25-28 percent.
Once again I am reminded of the old saying: "There are a few Good Folks raising Beefalo, but few are raising Good Beefalo." Does Registered mean better? Not necessarily. It takes strong dedication to raise good cattle. Especially Beefalo.