A BISON HUNT LIKE THE DAYS OF BUFFALO BILL!
San Francisco Chronicle Nov 18 1923
Canadian Hunters Will Slay Two Thousand Big Bulls at Their Round-Up in December
WORLD OF SPORTSMEN MAKE EAGER PLEA TO BE ALLOWED SHOT AT POWERFUL ANIMALS
……Because an Indian had a quarrel with his father-in-law, the dominion of Canada became the owner of the greatest herd of buffalo in the world, and American citizens will have an opportunity of ordering Buffalo steaks in the best restaurants and hotels this winter.
……The herd living under conditions almost identical with those which prevailed in the early days on the plains, have multiplied so rapidly, especially the bulls, that the dominion has been forced to dispose of some 2000 or 2500 of them. The Wainwright Buffalo Park at Wainwright, Alberta, contains 160 square miles, all fenced in and here resides 1500 Buffalo. These figures well convey an idea of the vast number that made black the territory between the Mississippi and the Rocky mountains less than 100 years ago.
……Within the memory of man now living buffalo were slaughtered for hides alone. Many are that picturesque figures of the early days on the plains that have had for backgrounds vast herds of the shaggy coated creatures. Buffalo Bill won his name because of his skill in shooting them, and members of European ruling houses have been entertained by buffalo hunts. But man and the elements played and havoc with the herds. The white man was not the only offender, for the Indian looked upon the buffalo as a sort of inexhaustible perambulating larder, and killed, with no thought of the day when his chief source of food would be gone. The fates play strange tricks in the destinies of men and nations, and though it may seem paradoxical, the red man, who played as inglorious a role as the white man in the virtual extinction of the buffalo, was unwittingly the original cause of its preservation.
ONLY 1000 LEFT THIRTY YEARS AGO
……For more than a half a century red man and white carried on such wanton warfare against the Buffalo that Dr. W. T. Hornaday, the distinguished American zoologist, is authority for the statement that in 1889 the total number of buffalo running wild and I’m protected in the United States and Canada was less than 1000. This contrast vividly with the writings of David Thomson, who, in 1901, said “the prairies are actually covered with buffalo,” and again in 1914, when he tells us, “the ground was covered with buffalo at every point of the compass, so far as the eye could see.”
Their are very numbers invited destruction, commencing with the slaughter by the Indians for food and for the display of their powers as hunters- the successful Buffalo Hunter ranked high as the consistent slayer.
……The fate of the majestic animals was sealed with the building of the first Canadian Transcontinental Railway in 1865. The construction of this line divided the herd into two bodies. The one spread north into Alberta, the other South into Saskatchewan and Alberta, there to be slaughtered by the plains Crees. Persecuted by the Crees, the southern herd fled further south over the boundary into the United States, where similar fate befell them at the hands of the white man. Settlers, wolves, Indians and winter storms took dreadful toll of the northern herd and by 1889 it to had disappeared. That, very briefly, is the sad story of the buffalo.
But fate, which had dealt so cruelly with these great animals had decided to preserve them to prosperity. Into the settling in 1873 there came Walking Coyote, a Pend d’ Oreille Indian, who was wintering with a squaw and son-in-law among the Piegans Indians on Milk river, where the town of Buffalo, Mont. Now stands.
INDIANS QUARREL OVER HORSE TRADE
……Over a horse deal, Walking Coyote and his son-in-law quarreled and parted. The sun fled north to Saskatchewan and their pined for the company of his tribe. One day, taking part in a buffalo hunt, he separated two calves-a bull and a cow-from their mothers, and with them in tow, as hostage of peace, he returned, a red prodigal son, bringing his “fatted calf” with him to the fold. Old Walking Coyote accepted them and the son-in-law, and the first link in the regeneration of the buffalo herds had been forged. Walking Coyote took the calves to St. Ignatius Mission on the Flathead Reservation, and there they thrived.
……The increase was slow, but in 1884 Walking Coyote had a herd of thirteen animals. These becoming too great a tax on his resources and _______, he sold them to A. C. Allard, who, with Michael Pablo, owned a ranch nearby. Pablo was shrewd Mexican halfbreed, and with greater wisdom than most men possess, he had foreseen the day when the buffalo would be worth much money.
OWNED NUCLEUS OF GREAT CANADIAN HERD
……It was at his suggestion that Allard completed the bargain and became the owner of the nucleus of the great herd of 3500 buffalo to be found in Wainwright Buffalo Park, Alberta, Canada today.
……The animals were let loose on the ranch and they realm the herd as in the primitive days of their existence. In 1903 they were augmented by the purchase of the remnants of the herd owned by Buffalo Jones of Omaha. This purchase totaled forty four animals of which twenty-six were thoroughbreds and eighteen hybrids. The latter were segregated and not allowed to meet goal with the purebred herds, and both herds showed an encouraging annual increase.
……Allard died (1896) and most of the herd past into the possession of Pablo. In 1907, this shrewd man foresaw another change. The invasion of settlers, of sheep ranches, the springing up of villages and towns, warned him that not for much longer could the ranches be maintained unfenced and un-protested.
PABLO DECIDES TO SELL BISON
……He decided to sell his buffalo. He looked about for a buyer. He tried that government of the United States, but his price did not meet with approval. He tried Canada, and Canada contracted for 1000 animals at $250 per head. Altogether, Pablo was able to deliver 114.
……The rounding up of these animals is a story in itself. Pablo had never given his herd particular attention and they roamed wild in the Hills. It was known, therefore, that the task of rounding them up would be difficult, but how difficult few really understood.
……In the early summer of 1907 Pablo collected a posse of the fastest horses and the best riders in Montana. The dangers were many, for a buffalo can out run a swift horse, and when cornered he will turn and fight to the death. Time after time a hand was on the verge of being impounded, on the threshold of the corral, when a wild revolt of the leaders would plunge the whole herd into a panic, permitting their escape to the four corners of the range.
TRAPPING HERD DANGEROUS SPORT
……During the first year 411 were captured and shipped. One shipment of 111 was made in the spring and the remainder in the fall. These animals were, for the most part, driven into the corral’s by means of a specially constructed guiding fence, which was twenty-six miles long. The following autumn another attempt was made to secure more Buffalo. After six weeks arduous riding, the herders succeeded in rounding up about 200 of the animals, and held them in readiness for driving to the loading corrals. In the night the whole herd escaped by climbing and almost perpendicular cliff and breaking away to the mountains.
……The following summer the riders were more successful and another shipment was made. By constructing cages were in animals were transported to the railway, the buffalo were finally dispatched to their home in Canada. Eight of the animals in the shipment destroyed themselves in their frantic efforts to escape.
TOO MANY BULL FOR SIZE OF HERD
……The Park at Wainwright becoming annually increasingly popular as a stopover point for tourist, contains 140 square miles of fenced-in prairie lands. It is estimated about 125 miles east of Edmonton, the capital city of the Province of Alberta. Here the Buffalo have found an agreeable environment and have propagated rapidly. At approximately half the herd of 3500 are bulls, and it seems to be the rule of the herd to allow one bull to have two mates, there is a surplus of bulls. The rapidity with which the herd has grown has created a problem in forage, and to solve it the Canadian government has decided to kill off 2000 bulls. The slaughter will take place in December, and will be under government supervision.
BIG HOTEL COMPETES FOR SHARE OF DELICACY
……In the marketing of the meat, which is said to be even finer than the best beef, the government will have the controlling hand. Already orders have been placed by hotels and restaurants in San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago and other large American cities. Altogether 1,000,000 pounds of fresh Buffalo meat will be placed on the market.
……The hides, to, will be sold. Before that advent of the automobile they were in great demand for robes, and added trial sale at the Montréal for market two years ago these hide sold for $320 each. If the price offered is not satisfactory, they will be disposed of to woolen manufacturers, for the wool of the buffalo can be woven into yarn of extraordinary strength’
SOUVENIR HUNTERS BID FOR HEADS
……The demand by souvenir hunters for the heads of the animals is already very large. A substantial source of income will be thus created, for the last year the lowest price offered for Buffalo heads was $300. This was for a small head. A medium-sized had brought $610, and a large head $1035. The money realized will be devoted to the upkeep and expansion of the park and it is confidently expected that within a few years the great buffalo herd of Canada will be steady paying borders.