European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Aug 17 1968, Page 12

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European Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - August 17, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseDecade of death "r8 4f4.,�- . Public Library Buffalo Herd stalled Railroad train for nine hours. By John Reese staff write i t is doubtful that any other in natural history can match i less criminal wast ulness theft the american Buffalo a scant 100 years ago it. Mated no one could Ever count i75 million Buffalo � More a Ebison inhabited tin g Rua Plains of North America. The cent estimate of the Interior ment is that Only 20,000 to 2501the shaggy beasts remain in America about half a the us pitiful remnants Are carefully to assure that the species will come extinct. At one time in the1900s fewer than 1,000 were live the Plains indians were Dew upon the great Buffalo herds forgiving. The indians took what needed for food shelter clothing on tools and ornaments from the Falo. The Buffalo was deeply in in the lore of the Indian and As As Only the Indian hunted the bul the Buffalo held ins own and pros Spanish explorers seeing the association Between the redmen Aubison referred to the great beast Indian in the sense of being herdsmen of Buffalo this was True for no attempt was made by i indians to domesticate or control tremendous herds. The indians Folli the herds and took from them they needed Seldom such was not the Case with despoiling whiles. Some justifies can be found in the practice of Hui Buffalo to provide food for the gangs that built the trans Contin railroads. In that occupation William Cody won the name Buffalo Bill. Many an american Soldier lived Cipully off Buffalo pc vision until cattle came available Lor Lurf in the latter if of the 19th Century m the West. The worst spoilers were the fess ional Hunters who shot thou Sawby Buffalo a year taking Only the r and leaving untold tons of meat i in the Prairie k Townsend one of the i in the West told of standing on a r lice in the Platte River Valley where my see for 10 Miles in one direct l Jid Heht Miles in another. This Ere Luw action of Prairie was Black . Public lib. Dry Duke Alexis of Russia Gen. Custer left and grand hunted Buffalo together in Royal style in 1872. Page 12 professional Hunters slaughtered Buffalo by thousands taking Only hides leaving me the stars and stripes saturday ,0 Oil of the Northwest to High Plains reported a Buffalo Herd wring 50 Square mites and two to three million animals. A Kansas Pacific Railroad Tram was nce held up for nine hours while a Herd crossed the tracks in West As it is difficult in this Day of scarce game to imagine such Gigantic herds of wild Only americans slaughtered the Uson word soon reached Europe of the plentiful game in North America an foreign Hunters most of them wealthy ind greedy flocked to the Prairies to one of the most colourful of these Wasin irishman named sir St. George Gore to turned up in St. Louis in 1854 with i Battery of 75 rifles. Gore guided Motif the time by that fabled Mountain Nan Jim Bridger went on a three year Irgy of Slaughter that took him through Igloo Miles of would sit All Day on a Camp Stool Hind a Blind with two men to reload for him. Game was driven to him to e shot Down by the hundreds and thousands. When his terrible trek ended Ore had brought Down 2,500 Buffalo .,600 Elk and Deer 125 Bear and unmounted thousands of smaller animals my earlier the Market Hunters had Legun whittling away at the vast herds.1840 the american fur co. In St. Uis snipped 76,000 hides Down the Missouri. By 1848 the annual take had Isen to 110,000. One of the biggest operators in Buffalo hides was j. Wright Mooar who Vas born in Vermont in 1851. In the fall of 1870, Mooar turned up in Hays. Kan., Cre he outfitted a Small Hunting sex edition Aud began his depredations against the Buffalo. He shipped Many pcs of Buffalo meat to Kansas City and Quincy 111., where it sold for a few cents a Pound. Through a brother in new York City Mooar interested tanners in Buffalo hides As a source of leather. Soon As the demand for hides increased Dodg City kan., became the operating base for a Small army of Buffalo them was Bill Tilghman who later became one of the Best known and respected lawmen of the West. Tilghman claimed to have taken 3,300 Buffalo in one season and another Hunter was reputed to have shot 1,500 in a week on one Day of which he killed 250.a, the herds thinned in Kansas the Hunters moved into North Texas although treaty with the indians forbade it. The local army commander knowing of the Hunters move into the forbidden territory winked at it. No less personages than rep. Jamesa. Garfield and Gen. Philip Sheridan advocated the wiping out of the buffaloes a Means of pacifying the hostile indians. Garfield later to become presi Dent was quoted As having said that the Secretary of the Interior would re Joice when the last Buffalo was killed because of the effect it would have upon the indians. Sheridan echoed this reasoning behind Garfield s and Sheridan s Ama ing statements was apparently two fold if there were no Buffalo to Hunt the indians could be expected to stay on their reservations and if the Indian could not rely on Buffalo meat he would become depend ent upon the White Man for food. This in turn was apparently expected to make the Redman More tractable. The decade which saw All but the end of the Buffalo was from 1870 to 1880 in the latter part of that 10-Yearspan it. Griffin on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River became the Buffal Hunter s base and when the Railroad reached it. Worth it became the Mai shipping Point for hides. In the Winter of 1877-78 there were More than 1,500buffalo Market Hunters in Texas. The following Winter 100,000 hides were shipped out of Texas. This just about wiper out the Southern Buffalo , Mooar who had killed More than 20,000 Buffalo turned to cattle raising. He became a member of a rapidly growing fraternity of cattle men whose voice was becoming Ever louder calling for the extermination of the Buffalo not Only to provide More Graze for cattle but also As a Means of subduing the indians who raided thei herds. The indians usually not possessing adequate weapons had several methods of Hunting the Buffalo. Before the Plain indians had acquired horses brought to the new world by the spaniards Dis mounted Indian Hunters would stealthily ring a Small Herd of Buffalo which have a keen sense of smell but poor Eye sight. Then on signal the Hunters Vou Drush Forward with lances or bows and take As Many animals As possible before they stampeded out of Range. Another method was to find a Stee Bluff and Stampede the Herd Over the Brink so some would break legs an become easier prey to the indians primitive weapons. Once mounted the indians would ride along beside and in the midst of a running Herd stabbing with lances or shooting Point Blank with White Man had a far More deadly efficiency. The old professional Hunter would creep into position dismounted until they were 100 to 200 Yards Down wind of the Herd and commence shoot in often because the Dull sighted Buffalo did not associate the puff of powder smoke and the report with the death of their Fellows a Hunter could take a dozen or More before the Herd galloped out of Range. The most effective and popular weapon of the White Buffalo Hunter was the single shot Cartridge Breech loader Sharps Rifle. The Early Sharps Whir appeared at the end of the civil War were mostly .45-Caiiber, shooting a Mas Sive Lead Linen paper patched Bullet nearly three times the size of modern Hunting bullets. A Load of 120 grains of Black powder propelled the heavy bul lets with considerable it Curacy and with sure killing Power Well out beyond200 Yards. Later .50-caliber bores largely replaced .45-caliber.col. Frank Mayer one of the Oest known Hunters had a Sharps which weighed 16 pounds. He fired this gun from a rest formed by two crossed Buffalo Sticks to steady his aim. He shot from the kneeling position holding the Sticks in his left hand crossed be Neath the 26-Inch Black powder had an annoying Way of fouling the bore after a few rounds but the Hunters carried a can teen of water to pour through the open bore to clean out powder residue and to Cool the . George Armstrong Luster who did a great Deal of Buffalo Hunting As sport used a Remington rolling Block .50-caliber Rifle. Custer wrote a letter to Remington praising the accuracy of this weapon claiming to have killed41 Antelope at an average Range of 250 15-shot Henry repeater the later Winchester repeaters and even the old single shot trapdoor Springfield saw service in the decimation of the Buffalo. Of when this terrible trek ended Gore had brought Down 2,500 Buffalo 1,600 Elk and Deer. And thousands of smaller animals. 99 Library . Public mount Indian galloped alongside stampeding Buffalo finished them off with Lance thrusts arrows. The stars and stripes the Hunting pressure mounted in the 1870s, there were no More big herds of Buffalo to be found. The herds of 50,000 or More which had been common few years before disappeared they now averaged around 400. It was no unusual to encounter magnificent bulls weighing More than 1,800 pounds an standing Over six feet at the shoulders. Most Hunters avoided heart shots which while sure to be fatal often caused the animal to run when would usually Stampede the rest of the Herd. Instead neck shots or lung shots which put the animal Down promptly were the Slaughter began the other animals in the Herd would smell the blood and Mill and bawl rolling their huge eyes but not stampeding. This gave the Hunter an Opportunity to pour in shot after shot leaving the animal grouped closely together for the skin ners who followed. Hides brought from�1 to $2 apiece. Buzzards would gather Wheeling above the Herd waiting for the skinners to finish. Around the flanks of the Herd the wolves lurked and beyond the wolves the cowardly coyotes waiting for the wolves to leave. And last in sects rats and mice and other Small annuals gathered to feast off the Leav ing shut that is ail in the past gone with the War whoop and Siz be of Flint headed arrows. New the few remaining descendants of the mighty herds Are nearly All on government or state reservations. A few Are shot each Yea to control overgrazing and to Weed out the sick and spine chilling rumble of stamped ing Buffalo once As common and Awe some As Thunder across the Broad Plains will never be heard again. Page 13

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