“Mr. Ernest Harold Baynes Driving the Only Team of Buffaloes in the World”
“Copyright, 1906, by Ernest Harold Haynes, Meriden, N. H.”
Original vintage lithograph postcard, 1906-07
This photo is on loan from Historic Photos
It was also published in the paper below
The Sun, N.Y. Jan 27 1907
A CHANCE FOR THE BUFFALO
Manitoba Morning Free Press, Jan 2 1907
Buffalo Will Never Disappear
….1907.. Ernest Thompson Seton has been making an estimate of the number of buffalo which once roamed over the plains of the central part of this continent. His estimate is 60,000,000, and this is believed to be fairly accurate, though some estimates put the number at almost double this. An accurate census of the buffalo living at the present time puts the number at 1,697. These are nearly all in captivity, only about 400 roaming in the wilds of the far Northwest. The number in captivity has increased from 256 in 1859 to 1,297 in 1906. Mr. Seton says that the number of bison in captivity is rapidly increasing, and that there is no reason why this should not go on so long as there is a desire to maintain the increase. Considerable success has attended the attempts to interbreed bison with common cattle. The hybrid is called a “catalo,” and the advantage it possesses over, and cattle is that it’s hide, or ”robe,” is worth more than the entire body of the steer. It is also very hardy, and lives out on the plains during winters that would be fatal to domestic cattle.
Trenton Evening Times Jan 21 1907
BISON HERD WILL ROAM NEW YORK
……Nine Square Miles of Territory to be Set Aside in the Adirondacks
New York, Jan 21 – I heard a bison will be roaming over some of the Adirondacks State lands within a year if the efforts of the American Bison Society succeed. They are acting on the idea that the only way to keep the bison alive is to turn animals loose and let them return to their natural state. To this end the society passed a resolution at its annual meeting in the American Museum of Natural History that steps be taken to secure the enactment of a law in the state of New York setting apart nine square miles of the State land in the Adirondacks region and appropriating $15,000 for the purchase and maintenance of a herd of fifteen bison.
……The resolution was offered by Prof. Franklin W. Hooper, director of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. It was unanimously passed. Director William T Hornaday of the Zoological Park, the president of the association, said: “Prof. Hooper’s is the first proposal to engage this State in the preservation of the bison. It is surprising that on one thought of his plan before. The interest in the bison is widespread in this State. The State has taken no part in scientific expenditures such as the museum’s of New York and Brooklyn and the geological park. The State can’t use State lands to harbor the bison and so provide for them at comparatively small cost. The necessary animals could be bought at not over $350 each. The $15,000 would provide for that and for fencing in, tending and winter fodder for the herd for two years.”
……The society is investigating at the same time the feasibility of starting herds on the Western Government lands. A motion was passed to examine the fitness of the Crow and Flathead reservations in Montana for bison preserves. Prof. Morton J. Elrod of the University of Montana was requested to report on this question.
The annual election of officers of the society was held. President Roosevelt and Earl Grey, Governor of Canada, were re-elected as honorary president and vice president. William T Hornaday, the president, and Ernest Harold Baynes of Meriden N. H., the secretary, were re-elected, A. A. Anderson and Prof. F.W. Hooper were elected vice presidents, Madison Grant of New York, Frederic H Kennard of Boston, Dr. T.S. Palmer and Gifford Pinchot of Washington and W. I. Underwood of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, were elected to the executive committee.
…...“The purpose of the society is to save the buffalo,“ said Mr. Hornaday. “The notion that he will not breed in captivity is wrong, that he is married extinction for all that. The young born in captivity are undersized and weakling. There are now only about 2,000 bison left, including those in captivity. Five hundred of the wild ones are in that Peace River country in the Canadian northwest. The wolves there, according to Robert Bell of the Canadian Geological Survey prey upon them, killing not adult males, but practically all the calves.
……“The wolves in the region are abundant, because lack of game keeps hunters out of the country. The bison themselves are preserved. The wolves loiter near a bison herd until their moment comes. I Runs out a way from its mother and a pack of wolves tear its throat before the parent can come to its help. When the herd moves away the wolves come back to the calf.
……The Canadian herds will decrease until something is done to exterminate the wolves. We need to try and perpetuate the bison in our country without depending on the Canadian herds.”
……E.H. Baynes, secretary. Of the society showed specimens of buffalo wool. A woolen manufacturer who tested this wool said that it is superior in certain ways to ordinary wool of the same length, and particularly useful for goods where toughness is required. There is a possibility that bison might be turned to profit by collecting their wool at this season when they cast it.
The Sun, N.Y. Jan 27 1907
A CHANCE FOR THE BUFFALO
BISON SOCIETY’S EFFORTS TO PREVENT ITS EXTERMINATION
Only About 2000 of the Animals Now Alive – Conditions Which the Society
Thinks Call for Government Action – Breaking Young Buffalo to Harness
It is estimated that some 2,000 buffaloes are now alive, counting the Canadian herd, estimated to contain 500. Yet it is supposed that at the close of the civil war there were still millions of them on the plains. It is to protect enough of them to prevent the absolute extermination of the species that the American Bison Society was organized.
The virtual extermination of the species came with almost startling suddenness. Hundreds of men set out to hunt the buffaloes as usual in this season of 1884, to hunt them as they had done in this season of 1883. They could not find any. The buffalo was gone. The parties drove back to the towns empty-handed, wondering what had become of the race of the buffaloes.
So sudden was the extermination, the and caught the killers themselves unprepared. The Smithsonian Institution was caught without an adequate set of specimens. An expedition under William T. Hornaday had to be sent out in haste to secure the specimens.
A herd of four hundred animals remained in Yellowstone Park. Poachers have reduced it to eighteen animals. There is one wild herd left in Canada, and the poachers are not allowed to get at it. These animals, perhaps five hundred, range over Peace River country, southwest of the Great Slave Lake. They thrive and propagate, but cannot raise their young.
The wolf pack’s beset them. No number of wolves dare to try to pull down the bull bison or even the cows, but they ambush the calves. A frisky calf is pretty sure to stray off a few rods from his mother sooner or later. That is when the watchful pack gets at him.
His throat is torn open in an instant. In the next the parent has charged up to protect him. Too late and the killers have started back for their cover.
At a safe distance they sit on their haunches, lick the blood and hair off their jaws and watch. By and by the bisons move away, to pasture further. The wolves find the Where he has fallen. If the wolves could be exterminated these last wild bison thrive in spite of short pasture and deep snows. But the wolves are doing well. The Canadian bison herd seem not likely to last longer than the present generation.
The other animals are in captivity. Shows and menageries keep a great part of these. These are besides several herds belonging to Western ranchmen. They total several hundred head.
In the East there is the Corbin herd, in Blue Mountain Park near Meriden, N .H. This herd of about 130 head has been carefully pure blooded. It is said to be free from the taint, and among captive bison, the crossed with domestic cattle.
The Western herds have been sometimes allowed, sometimes made, to cross with domestic cattle. The younger animals in these herds are, therefore, in most cases likely to be of in pure race. The proportion of pure blooded buffalo and these herds constantly decreasing.
Such are the conditions making for the final annihilation of the species to-day, according to Ernest Harold Baynes, who is fighting for the bison.
Only eighteen true wild buffalo remain in this country to-day-those in the Yellowstone Park. Of captive animals there are still a number left, mostly those taken before the end of the great killing and their offspring. But these are all exposed to one danger or another.
The ranch buffaloes breed hybrids. It has become hard to get a pure blooded animal from the ranches. The confined animals In menageries and private shows, if pure, do not breed well. They breed, but deteriorate. Small bones, short legs, loose tendons and large bellies marked the second and third generations.
The parked buffaloes are the best off. Private herds are permitted to range at large over private reserves. Several such private herds still exist – wealthy people’s fancies.
Well parked, as the Corbin herd in New Hampshire, and the Whitney herd on October Mountain, the animals really thrive: they breed regularly and grow hardy, well formed young. The future of the parked private herds is precarious, though, because they are private. Their existence depends on the fancy of individuals.
The owner may tire of his pets, or his heirs may not be inclined to maintain them on valuable lands. Their future is uncertain. These are the conditions that have made it seem necessary to Mr. Baynes and his associates to ensure preservation by surer means. They believe that the State or the national Government should provide this means.
One of the earliest supporters of the movement was President Roosevelt. He lent to the organization of the buffalo preservers, like the American Bison Society, his name as honorary president. W. T. Hornaday of the New York Zoological Park, President David Starr Jordan of Leland Stanford University, Dr. T. S. Palmer of the Biological Survey, Gifford Pinchot and Prof. F.W. Hooper of the Brooklyn Institute are interested in the movement.
Mr. Baynes has been busy propagating popular interest in the scheme. He believes that besides the usual method of lectures, pictures and writings he has found an original way. He has enlisted the help of the buffaloes themselves.
He secured access to the Corbin herd and borrowed two likely young bull calves. After a year of training, these were driven in team with rains and bit at shows and exhibitions in New England last autumn.
The bison Wants to fight about an hour after he is born. Training Mr. Baynes bison team was no easy matter. Nobody but a naturalist and student of animals, perhaps, could have done it.
Mr. Baynes was a sprinter of some form in college days. That also helped. Some of the first lessons consisted in sessions in which the team to be chased him about the lot. The calves had been taken only a few months old, so that no harm came of it.
By-and-by the pair were induced to abide bridle and harness. After a longer while they were taught to obey the rain. The hardest lesson was to teach them not to run away every time they felt frisky.
For long time the naturalist hanging on in a light wagon behind a team of madly careering bison was a familiar figure on country roads about Meriden and pleasant weather. There were spills now and then, too; but gradually the calves were broken of their habit of running away. They had done it chiefly for deviltry, their master supposes, and not from nervousness such as makes horses run away. Once taught that the trick was in bad form, they became as steady as soldiers, in refused to break step for the reddest devilcarts.
Mr. Baynes became aware of the merit of his bison team as a means of interesting people by the interest that he found that he was taking in them himself. They were amusing company, and awed combination of playfulness, pugnacity and strength. He had begun on them when they were only a few months old, and not near half-grown. That was the safest age for experimenting with them. They are not yet three years old. Their manners combined the playfulness of the puppy and the strength of the ox. They liked to roll and tumble about, and were quite unaware of their weight and strength.
They had and an adventurous liking for long trips over new roads. An attractive looking road was a temptation for them to take the bit into their teeth. Light footed, they like to pull the naturalist over the steeper mountain roads.
On one such trip they pulled the driver and another, with the weight of baggage, over one of the neighboring ranges and back, a distance of some thirty miles, New Hampshire measure, and a day. The trip gave them appetites and a longing for home.
When they struck the familiar home trail they disregarded the rule about running away. The expedition reached home in dashing style, with the riders hanging to the wagon for dear life.
To the animals credit they behaved perfectly at the Boston Sportsmen Show, where they were a great success in their mission of arousing interest.
Mr. Baynes points to what the American Bison Society and its friends have already accomplished and believes that much will be done. The Government has accepted a herd of twelve buffalo and will put them on an area of fifteen square miles set apart on the Wichita a reservation. There they will be taken this year after calving time. They are expected to return to their wild habits and to thrive, with little care. Without mischance they will increase rapidly, the scientists believe. This is the type of colonization which the society aims for.
Its intention is to secure the planting of similar herds on various Government and State lands. The animals in these colonies are to be virtually at liberty within a large fenced area and to be left to find their own food as far as possible. By this means it is hoped to insure that perpetuation of living examples of the once mighty animal.
The Atlanta Constitution, May 26 1907
(extract from article)
……Other attractions is added to Surrender Park besides the sumptuous stables. He has introduced there the American buffalo, the American wapiti and other species of elk from other countries. The wapiti, as all naturalist know, is noted for its big antlers. Mr. Winans has a notion that by cross-breeding with other varieties of big-horned deer he may improve even on the wapiti’s splendid spread, and his experiments thus far had made him very sanguine of success. He has also tried crossing the buffalo with domestic cattle, but has not yet succeeded in evolving the ”catalo,” as “Buffalo” Jones, of American fame, calls the hybrid animal which he has produced.
The American Bison Society sent 15 bison to the Wichita Reserve Bison Refuge on Oct. 11, 1907.
Chicago Daily Tribune Dec 4 1907
FREAK “CATTALO” AT SHOW.
Curiosity Striped Like a Zebra Comes from Indiana –
Cross Between Buffalo and Common Cow.
……One of the few “freak” exhibits at the livestock show was the cattalo exhibited by W.S. Vannatta of Fowler, Ind. The cattalo is a cross between a buffalo, a Hereford, and a Jersey, and the one on exhibition at the stockyards is the only one in this section.
The animal is striped like a zebra and has been attracting much attention of stockmen, few if any of the visitors ever having seen this strange hybrid. The crossing of buffaloes with cows was first tried in Salt Lake a few years ago on the buffalo farm at Antelope Island, where the largest herd of buffalo in the country now is. There are said to be four cattalos at Antelope Island at present. The Fowler (Ind.) Animal is the only other cattalo in this part of the country.