American Bison Society

 

In 1886, when W.T, Hornaday set out to find the specimens needed for the Smithsonian, he later wrote about his travels in acquiring those animals. You can read his words in 1887. (read more)

 

William T. Hornaday checking bison

1901 William T. Hornaday checking bison in New York zoo.

 

American Bison Society 1st Report

 

 

“America,” I heard a voice complain,

“The first-born children of your broad domain,

The nurselings of your prairies vast and broad.

Look to them—they were given you of God,

And what He gives He will not give again.”

—John Hall Wheelock.  (inside cover of first edition)

 

 

 

 

The American Bison Society (ABS) began in 1904 and founded in 1905 by pioneering conservationists and sportsmen including Ernest Harold Baynes, founder; William T. Hornaday, president; Theodore Roosevelt, honorary president. to help save the bison from extinction and raise public awareness about the species. Because of the secure populations of bison in public herds, the American Bison Society votes itself out of existence, the ABS considered their work done, and the organization was disbanded in 1935.

 

HISTORY AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY.

THE national movement now on foot for the permanent preservation of the Buffalo began in June, 1904, when Mr. Ernest Harold Baynes went to live on the border of the Corbin Game Preserve in New Hampshire, which for many years has been the home of one of the largest herds of Buffalo in the world. The sight of these splendid creatures made a deep impression on Mr. Baynes, and excited his interest in the fate of their race, then in great danger of becoming extinct. He sought to create public interest in the matter by a series of articles printed in the Boston “Transcript” that summer, and in August was aroused to greater activity by a letter written by Hon. William E. Chandler and addressed to Hon. James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture. In this letter Mr. Chandler called the attention of the United States Government to the fact that, while the owners of the preserve desired to carry out as far as possible the intention of the founder, the late Austin Corbin, and preserve the Buffaloes, the ever-increasing expense of maintaining so large a herd (then numbering 160 head) was already too great to be borne by a private family. Mr. Chandler intimated that unless the Government was sufficiently interested in the matter to provide for or take other “steps to preserve them permanently,” it might be necessary to dispose of them elsewhere.

Early in the fall, Mr. Baynes visited Prof. Franklin W. Hooper, Director of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, at his home in Walpole, N. H., and with him discussed the possibility of arousing wide public interest in the Buffalo. At Professor Hooper’s suggestion, letters were written to many prominent persons, including President Roosevelt, urging them to interest themselves in the fate of the vanishing Bison. President Roosevelt took immediate and active interest in the subject, as is evidenced by the following letter:

White House, Washington.

Oyster Bay, N. Y., Sept. 16, 1904.

Personal.

My dear Mr. Baynes:—

I am much impressed with your letter, and I agree with every word you say. I remember you well. I have written Secretary Wilson, sending him your letter and requesting him to take the matter up with me, and I shall treat of it in my annual message.

With great regard, Sincerely yours,

Theodore Roosevelt.

Mr. Ernest Harold Baynes,

Cornish Flat, N. H.

 

1901, 25 bison were counted in the native Yellowstone herd.

The Times-Republican Feb 25, 1902, Marshalltown Iowa

Yellowstone park herd does not exceed twenty-five buffalo.

 

1902 Bison restoration begins in Yellowstone National Park with sources from Colonel Goodnight in Texas and the Pablo-Allard ranch in western Montana. There were 700 bison in private herds. The Yellowstone herd was estimated at 23 animals. (Yellowstone-18 cows from the Allard herd and 3 bulls from Goodnight)

 

Pablo herd in Montana sold to Canada

 

 
 MALESFEMALESCALVES IN 1907TOTAL ON JAN 1 1908TOTAL IN 1903
Captive in the United States5066102031116969
Captive in Canada2142629847641
Total in America72087230115921010
Captive in Europe547622130109
Total in Captivity77494832317221119
Wild Bison in the U.S.(est)   25 
Wild Bison in Canada (est)   300 
Total Pure Bison Jan 1 1908   2047 
Number of Owners of Pure Bison in America   45 
Number of Owners of Pure Bison in Europe   19 

 

 
CATTALOES19031907
In the United States243260
In Canada1757
In Europe2128
Total on Jan 1, 1908281345

 

CENSUS OF AMERICAN BISON IN NORTH AMERICA ON MAY 1, 1910

*Figures of census of 1908; not heard from this year (which were 11 owners)

 
 MalesFemalesYoungTotal May 1 1910Total in 1908Total in 1903
Captive in U.S.—–—–10310071116969
Captive in Canada—–—–7562647641
Captive in N. America—–—–17816331592—–
Wild in U.S. (est)—–—–—–2525—–
Wild in Canada (est)—–—–—–450300—–
Wild in N. America—–—–—–475325—–
All Pure Bison in N. America—–—–—–210819171010

 

CENSUS OF AMERICAN BISON IN NORTH AMERICA ON JAN 1, 1913

*Figures of 1912 (One total) ** Figures of 1911 (two owners)

 

 
 Total 1913Total 1912Total 1911Total 1910Total 1908Total 1903
Captive in U.S.16511288133110071116969
Captive in Canada1303114495462647641
Captive in N. America295424322285163315921010
Wild in N. America499475475475325 
All Pure Bison in N. America34532907276021081917 

 

The Bottineau Courant LOC
Bottineau Country, N.D. January 27, 1905

SAVE THE BUFFALO

AN APPEAL- FOR THIS GREATEST OF AMERICAN ANIMALS.

Ways in Which All Can Help in This Interesting Work — Decisive Action Must Be Taken at Once.

The “passing” of a great and noble animal is a calamity which every intelligent person should seek to avert it is a loss to the world which can never be repaired, since an animal once extinct, has gone forever. At this time we are called upon to prevent a loss of this kind; I refer to the threatened extinction of the American bison. I cannot think of this magnificent creature which for untold thousands of years. Nature has gradually been molding until it is one of the grandest on the earth—I cannot watch its fast approaching end without making another earnest appeal to the people of the United States to take their last chance to save it.

Surely no other animal appeal to the American people from so many points of view as this one does. Harold Baynes Bottineau ND Jan 17 1905 Give Him Five Minutes Thought

An adult buffalo bull is a creature of imposing grandeur. If you are an American, no doubt you take some pride in the fact that one of the grandest animals of all time is a native of this country; I urge you to let your pride in this matter prompt you to do some act, however small, tending to save this animal for future generations of Americans. If you have no time to do more, will you not write me ever so brief a note expressing approval of a definite plan to preserve the buffalo, and I will see that your views are brought to the attention of the government. Your letter will be in good company and will be filed with letters from many of the leading men in the United States, including President Roosevelt himself.

If you are a lover of animals then you must be doubly interested in the fate of the bison—sufficiently interested, I feel sure, to raise a hand to help in a reasonable movement for his preservation. It is a good thing to be in favor of having desirable ends accomplished, but it is not quite enough. The desirable ends are never accomplished until somebody actually does something toward their accomplishment, and where all are interested, all should help, at least a little. If you desire a thing, surely it should not be too much trouble to ask for it.

If you are a naturalist, no argument is necessary; you know only too well that the passing of the bison would be an irreparable loss to the fauna of this country. Your assistance in this movement is most earnestly solicited, for it is to you and your brethren that the country looks for advice in matters of this kind. Perchance you are member of some natural history society; if so can you not bring this matter before the members at some meeting in the near future, and if possible urge them to pass a set of resolutions setting forth the necessity of saving the bison, and expressing their sympathy with the present movement to save him. If you are a writer, do not fail to write some letter or article in favor of the preservation of the buffalo, and if you need illustrations, come to me and for this purpose, I will give you what I can spare. If you lecture, a five-minute talk in favor of the preservation of the bison, and if you need a few lantern slides, perhaps I can put you in the way of getting them without a great amount of trouble to yourself.

If you are interested in educational matters, take the first opportunity to see a fine specimen of a living buffalo, give him five minutes’ thoughtful attention, and then ask yourself if he is worth saving. As you look upon his mighty frame, you will read intelligently long chapters from the early history of our country. Perhaps for the first time, you will get the real flavor of the life of the Indian—a life inseparable from the life of the great creature before you. This was the animal he hunted on his wild little pony; this is the animal which supplied his every want. That grim, burly head was the mask he used in the “Buffalo” dance; that splendid hide served him as a robe, as a blanket, as a covering for his tepee, and for a score of other purposes. That flesh, dried or cooked, served him for food: from those sinews he made strings for his bows and thread to sew his clothing. From the long hair on the forepart of his body he made ropes and halters and lariats; In fact, there was no part of the buffalo for which the Indian did not find some very good use. Shall the teachers of the future and the children they teach, be deprived of this striking object lesson in American history, or will you do your little share toward his permanent preservation?

EARNEST HAROLD BAYNES

 

The Daily Morning Journal LOC
New Haven Connecticut Dec 16, 1905

THE AMERICA BlSON SOCIETY.

The movement for the preservation of the last few hundred Buffalo, which was started nearly two years ago, and which has been growing steadily ever since, will hereafter be conducted by The American Bison Society, a national organization of which President Roosevelt Is the chief officer and leading spirit.

This society was organized last week at the New York Zoological Park, at a meeting attended by many prominent naturalists and sportsmen, chiefly of New York and Boston.

The meeting was called to order at 10:30 a.;m . and Mr- – William T. Hornaday was made chairman pro ten. A nominating committee was appointed and this committee shortly presented the following list of officers: Honorary President. Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States; President, William T. Hornaday, Director of the New York Zoological Park; Vice Presidents, Dr. Charles S. MInot. Harvard University, and A. A. Anderson, President of the Camp-fire Club of America; secretary, Ernest Harold Baynes, Meriden, N. H.; Treasurer, Edmund Seymour, banker, 45 Wall Street. New York; Advisory Board: Pref. Franklin W. Hooper, Director of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences; Madison Grant of New York, Prof. David Starr Jordan, Iceland Stanford University, Col.; Prof. Morton J. Elrod. University of Montana: Prof. L. L. Dyche, University of Kansas; Prof. John J. Gerould, Dartmouth College; William Lyman Underwood, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ernest Thompson Seton, Coscob, Conn. The secretary pro tern was instructed to cast one ballot. All the officers elected had previously expressed their willingness to serve.

Then followed a discussion on the advisability of seeking the cooperation of the Canadian government, which not only possesses a large and thriving herd of buffaloes in the National Park at Banff but has under its protection the only wild herd of any importance now in existence.

It was the opinion of all present that the Canadians would be deeply interested in the movement. and a motion by Prof. Hooper, that the Governor General and Premier of Canada, ”respectively, be asked to accept honorary offices m the newly-formed society, was carried unanimously.

On being requested By the society to appoint an executive committee of seven, the president named Madison Grant secretary of the Boone and Crockett Club; Frederick H Kennard, Boston Society Of Natural History; William Lyman Underwood, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ernest Harold Baynes. Three other members are still to be appointed. At the suggestion of G. O. Shields, the executive committee was instructed to draft a permanent form of organization.

It was decided that there should be three forms of membership, for one of which the annual dues should be a dollar, for another, five dollars, and the third form to be obtained on the payment of one hundred dollars or more at one time. The names of the several forms of membership were left to the executive committee. This committee was also instructed to appoint delegates to confer with President Roosevelt.

The American Bison Society desires to begin at once a vigorous campaign in the interest of the noble animal which even now is on the verge of extinction, and which must surely pass unless the American people will ‘raise their hands to save him. The society was organized in the strong belief that the people desired to have the buffalo preserved and that they would give their support to a body of men able and willing to work indefatigably for its preservation.

The five or six million buffalo which, less than thirty-five years ago caused the western plains to tremble beneath their hoofs, and which constituted one of the wonders of the world, have vanished, and there remain, to represent them, some six or seven hundred head, exclusive of those in the zoological gardens, which do not count when we come to the question of the preservation of the species. Most of these are blooded buffaloes. “The government alone can resist the temptation to sell the heads and hides of these wonderful creatures; the government atone can keep them with the least possible risk of loss by disease, and with the greatest opportunity to increase to the point where there will be no longer any immediate danger of their extinction. It was through the shortsightedness and Indifference of the United States government thirty-odd years ago that the American people lost the grandest and most valuable animal native to their soil and it surely is the right of the people to demand such reparation, late and insufficient though it may be, as may be had through the preservation by the government of the last remnant of what but lately was the most numerous large mammal of recent times

Personally, I believe that the strong sentiment in favor of our greatest American animal is sufficient to save him. If those who feel It will only speak. I believe there are tens of thousands of people who can appreciate the buffalo as a great character in American history, in whose living presence only can we really understand the Indian and the life he led In the early days; I believe that these same people and many more, will admit the debt we owe the buffalo for the great part he played in “the winning of the West.” Of Americans born, there must be many, many thousands whose relatives or friends would have suffered hunger, if not starvation, but for the presence of the vast herds of buffalo beyond the Mississippi, and no doubt there are many who from personal experience can testify to the great value of the animal to those obliged to traverse the wilderness in times gone by. I do not believe these people will allow the bison to pass without making an effort in his behalf.

But there are good economic reasons why this animal should be saved and allowed to increase in numbers. Shorn of ‘all sentiment, and as he stands on his hoofs, he is the most valuable native animal in the country; kill him, and there is no domestic animal in America whose carcass will bring as much in dollars and cents. The meat is as good as domestic beef, and some parts of it rather better, while the hide alone will sell for money enough to purchase three or four good cows. A fine head Is worth much more, and although the value of heads would probably decrease as buffaloes became more numerous, there would always be a good market for the skins, as for many purposes we have nothing quite so good. I know a man who is wearing a Buffalo ulster which has been in use for twenty winters, and it is not by any means, worn out. As a winter carriage robe it is generally conceded that a Buffalo skin has never, had an equal, and for this use alone, the article would probably command a high price indefinitely. Then the Buffalo has wool almost as thick as that of the sheep. Naturally, there is much more of it, and while it is coarser than sheep’s wool, it can be woven into very warm and useful garments. There was a factory devoted to this industry in operation in Winnipeg, and I am informed that the enterprise was very successful until the extermination of the buffalo put an end to the supply of raw material. It would be a fairly simple matter to shear the animals in the spring as sheep are sheared, but this might not be necessary, as the buffalo sheds its wool annually, In patches resembling felt, and this might be gathered from the ground.

As a beast of burden, the bison is almost unknown, yet I suspect that if properly broken when young, he would prove superior to the domestic ox for speed, strength, and endurance. My own experience with the team of buffalo calves which I borrowed and broke to the yoke and to harness last summer, tends to confirm this suspicion; at any rate, I do not believe any pair of domestic calves of the same age in New England can either travel so fast or handle so heavy a load as those eight-months-old buffaloes. They have already shown what they are made of at the Sullivan County (N. H.) fair, and they will be tested again at the coming Sportsmen’s Show at Boston.

Of buffalo –  domestic cattle hybrids, I will say nothing at this time, beyond stating that in all probability the rearing of .them will be profitable. The American Bison Society will interest itself in the preservation of the buffalo. When this is assured it will be time enough to think about cross-breeding. If we don’t save the full-bloods we can’t even have hybrids.

It is so well known that, under proper management, buffaloes multiply rapidly and that they are both easy and inexpensive to rear, it is hardly necessary to repeat it; the point now is to have the government undertake this work until the herds are sufficiently large to warrant their distribution to stock-raisers, farmers and others who may desire to handle them. In order that Congress may feel justified in appropriating the money necessary to do this, it is necessary that a great number of Americans shall show their interest in the matter. There are many ways, in which they can do this, but the most direct way just now is to support the American Bison Society by becoming a member of it- – The annual dues have purposely been made very low in order that no one interested in the preservation of animals may be prevented from sharing in the good work. It is hoped that sportsmen’s clubs will be among the first to come to the front and that wherever possible the members of such organizations will join The American Bison Society in a body. The assistance of women’s clubs is also greatly desired, and women members will be heartily welcomed to the ranks of the new organization- – Girls and boys, too, should be urged to join it, partly for the immediate benefit to the cause for the buffalo, and partly because an early appreciation on their part of what is due to so noble an animal, will tend to make them better citizens. In short, let every man women and child who has love or sympathy for American animals; join hands in saving for the country the grandest of them all. Although on the brink of extermination, this rugged and typically American character must be saved; it can be saved, and, with the support of the people, the American Bison Society is prepared to do the work which will be necessary to save it.  ERNEST HAROLD BAYNES.

 

The Evening Statesman
Walla Walla, Wa. Jan 16, 1906

SOCIETY TO SAVE BISON
Plans of Organization Supported by President Roosevelt.

MOVEMENT STARTED AT NEW YORK

Congress Will Be Appealed to For an Appropriation to Provide Reservations For Maintaining Herds of Buffalo –  American Mammals Commercial as Well as Sentimental Value to Be Urged.

Supported by President Roosevelt and by the leading naturalists of the country, the American Bison society was organized recently at a meeting in the New York zoological gardens, Bronx park, says the New York Post. The object of the founders is to secure government and individual aid in preserving the bison, which is rapidly becoming extinct in the land where once his breed roved the plains by millions.

After securing as large a membership and as many contributions as possible, the society will appeal to congress for an appropriation large enough to provide one or more bison reservations great tracts of land on which the animals may flourish and multiply. At present, there are less than 1,000 of them in America outside of zoological gardens, and the owners are private citizens without enclosures of sufficient size to give a buffalo the range he needs. If the government will undertake the solution of the problem, say the naturalists, there will be no difficulty in warding off the destruction of the finest animals now existing.

At the meeting in the Bronx, Mr. Roosevelt was chosen honorary president of the society. He had agreed previously to accept the office on condition the active list should be composed of the proper men. and ever since the plan was broached to him by Ernest Harold Baynes he has been enthusiastic over its outcome. The other officers elected were William T.Hornaday, president; Professor Charles S. Minot of Harvard university and President A. A. Anderson of the Campfire Club of America, vice presidents; Ernest Harold Baynes, secretary, and Edward Seymour, treasurer.

Speaking of the reasons for the movement to save the bison, Mr. Baynes described several experiments he had; made to prove that the animals were superior to domestic cattle as draft beasts. He borrowed two baby bulls from the Corbins, who own a herd of 160 head in New Hampshire, and trained them to the yoke. Within a few months, they were entirely serviceable and could give points in pulling a load to any oxen of their own age. They were also drilled in single harness, and throughout their rearing were cared for like ordinary calves.

Once the government has acquired a herd and started to increase its numbers along proper lines, Mr. Baynes says, the bison’s commercial value to the United States will become established. Besides promising well as a draft animal, the buffalo furnishes meat that cannot be surpassed and fur robes that for certain purposes cannot be equaled by those from any other creature. With the breed systematically maintained there could be a large output from time to time for these uses, the animals being distributed throughout the country as fast as they overflowed their reservations.

Of the sentimental reasons for saving the bison much has been said, but hitherto no practical step has been taken for his preservation. Every one knows how his progenitors, when there were millions of them, served the western pioneers for food when no other food was obtainable and gave winter clothing to the first settlers when a buffalo hide was the most easily procured and often the only covering to be had. Even if they were of no commercial worth, as Mr. Baynes says, Americans who know of their part in the country’s history should not like to see them effaced from the earth.

The danger that the private herds will disintegrate may not be immediate, but it is certain the strength of the breed will gradually diminish unless the animals can have the freedom and wide range their natures require. Besides the herd in New Hampshire, there are large ones in Montana and Texas and smaller ones in other western states. The Montana herd, owned by a half Indian named Pablo, is said to be the largest, numbering 225. It is not known, however, that these are all full blooded. The “cattalo,” which is half domestic cattle and half wild buffalo, has come to be a common animal in the herds, and some owners have made a special effort to raise these crosses, which are noted for their valuable hides.

In addition to the weakening of the bison from being shut into small inclosures, his owners are hastening his end by selling an occasional head or hide. A buffalo robe these days brings from $150 to $200. A head, well mounted, costs $800 or $900 in a taxidermist’s shop. It is no small temptation to the owner when a buyer drops in once or twice a year and offers him fancy prices for a few of the animals. Mr. Baynes says the appeal to congress for a reservation and an appropriation will be made as soon as possible. In the meantime, a committee will confer with President Roosevelt.

 

Perth Amboy Evening News LOC
Perth Amboy N.J.  January 19, 1906

THE BISON SOCIETY
ORGANIZATION WHICH AIMS TO PRESERVE THE BUFFALO.

President Roosevelt at Head of the Society.- Only a Remnant Left. –  Place of the Buffalo in American History

Tile movement for the preservation of the last few hundred buffalo, which was started nearly two years ago. and which has been growing steadily ever since, will hereafter be conducted by The American Bison society, a national organization of which President Roosevelt is the chief officer and leading spirit.

The 5,000.000 or 6,000,000 buffalo which, less than 35 years ago, caused the western plains to tremble beneath their hoofs, and which constituted one of the wonders of the world, have vanished, and there remain, to represent them, some 600 or 700 head, exclusive of those in the zoological gardens, which do not count when we come to the question of the preservation of the species. Most of these are in a few widely-scattered bunches only two of which, the Corbin held at Newport, N. H., and the Pablo herd on the Flathead Indian reservation. Montana contains over 100 head. Of this little remnant of the once mighty hosts, not a single animal is safe: every owner in the country is willing and some very anxious to sell, and I doubt if there is a herd in the country which would not be sold to-morrow morning if a customer appeared with the money. In the large herds, there is another menace to the race, contagious disease, to several forms of which the buffalo is subject, though less so than domestic cattle. If tuberculosis or the hoof and mouth disease should attack one of the three or four comparatively large bunches, the fate of the buffalo might be sealed then and there, as even now the number of herds is so small that it will probably require careful management to prevent excessive inbreeding.

The American Bison society believes that these dangers can be avoided in just one way, and that is by governmental ownership of all available pure-blooded buffaloes.

Personally. I believe that the strong sentiment in favor of our greatest; American animal is sufficient to save; him, if those who feel it will only; speak. I believe there are tens of thousands of people who can appreciate the buffalo as a great character in American history, in whose living; presence only can we really understand the Indian and the life he led in the early days:

President Teddy Roosevelt

HEAD OF THE BISON SOCIETY.

I believe that these same people and many more will admit the debt we owe the buffalo for the great part he played in “the winning of the West.” Of Americans born, there must be many, many thousands whose relatives or friends’ would have suffered hunger, if not starvation, but for the presence of the vast herds of buffalo beyond the Mississippi and no doubt there are many who from personal experience can testify to the great value of the animal to those obliged to traverse the wilderness in times gone by.

Of buffalo -.domestic cattle hybrids, I will say nothing at this time, beyond stating that in all probability the rearing of them will be profitable. The American Bison society will interest itself in the preservation of the full-blooded buffalo. When this is assured it will be time enough to think about cross-breeding. If we don’t save the full-bloods we can’t even have hybrids.

It is so well known that, under proper management, buffaloes multiply rapidly and that they are both easy and inexpensive to rear it is hardly necessary to repeat it; the point now is to have the government undertake this work until the herds are sufficiently large to warrant their distribution to stock raisers, farmers and others who may desire to handle them. In order that congress may feel justified in appropriating the money necessary to do this, it is necessary that a great number of Americans shall show their interest in the matter. There are many ways in which they can do this, but the most direct way just now is to support the American Bison society by becoming a member of it. The annual dues have purposely been made very low, in order that no one interested in the preservation of animals may be prevented from sharing in the good work, it is hoped that sportsmen’s clubs; will be among the first to come to the front and that wherever possible the members of such organizations will join the American Bison society in a body.

ERNEST HAROLD BAYNES.

 

FIRST ANNUAL MEETING FOR THE AMERICAN BISON SOCIETY.

The first annual meeting of the American Bison Society was held on the loth of January 1907, at the
American Museum of Natural History, West 79th St. and Central Park West, New York City.
President William T. Hornaday was in the chair.The others present were: Herman C. Bumpus, Franklin
W. Hooper, Frederic A. Lucas, Edmund Seymour, Austin Corbin, George S. Edgell, William Lyman Underwood, Frederic H. Kennard, Charles H. Stonebridge and Ernest Harold Baynes.

The report showed that there were 9 Life Members, 125 Members, and 102 Associate Members.

It was decided to have the Flathead and Crow Indian Reservations examined with a view to having suitable portions of them set apart as buffalo ranges. It was further decided to take such steps as might be necessary to establish herds of Buffalo in the Adirondack region, and in Illinois, on public lands, and the Executive Committee was instructed to take steps looking to the establishment of buffalo herds on the forest reserves in New Hampshire and the southern Appalachian region.

 

In 1907 the American Bison Society arranged for 15 bison donated by the New York Zoological Society (now the Wildlife Conservation Society, or WCS) to be shipped by railway from the Bronx Zoo to the Wichita National Forest and Game Preserve in Oklahoma. Photo ©WCS.

American Bison Society

 

The Coeur d’Alene Press LOC
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, April 25, 1907

BISON SOCIETY WANTS HELP

Asks Us to Do Our Duty to Our Grandest Native Animal

The American Bison society Is getting busy. In Country Life In America, the secretary pleads In impassioned phrases for “our grandest native animal.”

“A bill calling for national aid In the establishing of several buffalo herds Is already under consideration.” declares the secretary, whose address Is Meriden, N. H. “In the meantime the society purposes to make a determined effort to organize the interest of the public In the fate of the American buffalo and presently bring it to bear in such a manner that It will result in the governments of both the United States and Canada taking measures to insure that animal’s preservation and increase.

“The officers of the society are prepared to do the work incidental to this campaign, but in order that it may be carried on promptly and vigorous! they must have support. This can best be given by joining the American Bison society. The work to be done requires money, and for this, the society depends entirely upon membership fees and dues and private subscriptions.

 

SECOND ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN BISON SOCIETY.

The second annual meeting of The American Bison Society was held in the Board Room of The American
Museum of Natural History, 79th Street and Central Park West, New York City, on Thursday morning, January 9th, 1908, at 10:30 o’clock.

The President, in his report, spoke of the work which had been done by Prof. Morton J. Elrod for the purpose of selecting and recommending a suitable Buffalo range on the Flathead Indian Reservation, in Montana; of an Adirondack Bison Bill ; of the shipment of a nucleus herd from New York Zoological Park to the Wichita Forest and Game Preserve in Oklahoma, and of a census of the Bison now existing—all of which matters are treated elsewhere in detail.

The Secretary read the following letter from President
Roosevelt:—

The White House
Washington, Oct. 24, 1907.
My Dear Mr. Baynes:
I feel real and great interest in the work being done by the American Bison Society to preserve the Buffalo — the biggest of the American big game, probably on the whole the most distinctive game animal of this continent, and certainly the animal which played the greatest part in the lives of the Indians, and which most deeply imprest the imagination of all the old hunters and early settlers. It would be a real misfortune to permit the species to become extinct, and I hope that all good citizens will aid the Society in its efforts for its preservation.

Sincerely yours,
Theodore Roosevelt

The Executive Committee was authorized to raise a special fund with which to purchase Buffaloes or to procure Buffaloes by other means, if possible, to be placed on any state or government lands, provided the maintenance of the animals is assured by state or nation.

 

TREASURER’S REPORT,
AMERICAN BISON SOCIETY.
JANUARY 10TH TO DECEMBER 31ST, I 907.
Balance, January 10th, 1907 $1,332.23
RECEIPTS.

Dues, Subscriptions and Donations. $2,890.10
Interest 34.22
The King of the Corbin Herd2,924.32
Total $4,256.55
DISBURSEMENTS.
Postage $709.55
Exchange on Checks 4.21
Petty Cash (E. H. Baynes, Sec’y).. . 341.47
Salary K. H. Baynes, Secretary 273.74
Printing and Stationery 856.75
Travelling Expense 56.91
Miscellaneous:
Eugene M. Fisher, drawing bison 20.00
Caleb P. Buckman, burlap, labor. 18.75
Social Register Association, all issues, one year 25.00
Charles Logue, stock 5.oo
New England Forest, Fish and Game Association 3.50
Solatia M. Taylor, t; frames 7.75
Prof. Morton J. Elrod, account expenses, and services 150.00
New England Show Case Company, rent of case 6.00
E. H. Baynes, checks remitted in error 25.00
2,503.63
Balance $1,752.92
CLARK WILLIAMS, Treasurer

 

Yellowstone Monitor
Glendive Mont. April 2, 1908

TO PRESERVE BISON

The Chicago Examiner of March 29th has the following to say concerning the bill recently introduced by Senator Dixon, which has for its object the preservation of the bison: Through a bill recently introduced in Congress by Senator Joseph M. Dixon of Montana, the American Bison Society has formally called upon the government to establish a national herd of bison on the Flathead Indian Reservation, in northwestern Montana. The society offers a nucleus herd as a gift if Congress will provide the land for a range and fence it in. The recently issued annual report of the society shows that the plan has been very carefully thought out. A year ago the organization engaged Professor Morton J. Elrod of Missoula to spend the summer of 1907 in making a thorough investigation of the Flathead Reservation, which now is being thrown open to settlement, and recommend a site for a national bison range. Professor Elrod’s report is printed in full in the society’s annual volume and upon it is based the plan now before Congress.

Unfortunately, the society came into existence just one year too late to prevent the sale and removal to Canada of the great Pablo-Allard bison herd, which had grown up on the Flathead Reservation from thirty animals to a total today of 638 head, not counting between 200 and 300 head, previously sold. The history of that herd, however, has amply demonstrated the fact that bison suitably located on the Flathead Reservation can live all the year round by grazing and without being fed on hay.

The site proposed for the new national herd is situated immediately north of Ravalli, on the Northern Pacific Railway, which is the station from which 398 bison were shipped to Canada last year. The ideal range desired contains 20 square miles (12,800 acres) of ridges and hills, nearly all of it too steep for agriculture of any kind, and of no value to any one save as grazing lands. In the ravines and watercourses, there is an abundance of water and sufficient timber to afford shelter for bison in the severest storms. The grazing grounds are abundant for the support of 1,000 bison, without the necessity of feeding them. The proposed ideal range has a frontage of seven miles on the Northern Pacific Railway.

Unfortunately, the Indians will have, to be paid for any land that may be set aside for a bison range, probably at the rate of $1.25 per acre. To accomplish this purpose, and to provide for fencing, Congress is asked to appropriate $30,000. If this is done the Bison Society will at once set about the task of raising funds for the purchase of a herd of from fifteen to twenty bison, of pure blood, to present to the government for the new national range. In comparison with the great sum that is being expended by Canada – between.$150,o000 and $200,000 for the purchase, transportation, and care of the Pablo herd, the sum now asked of Congress seems very small. In view of the object to be gained, it is trivial. The American Bison Society is backed by a strong board of managers and there is reason to believe that it will make a very vigorous campaign in behalf of the proposed new herd.

One of the most interesting features of the society’s annual report is the bison census, which was made by Dr. W. T. Hornaday and completed on January 1. Its summary shows the existence at this date of 1,722 pureblood American bison in captivity throughout the world, and 325 (estimated) running wild. Of the latter 25 are credited to the Yellowstone Park and 300 to the region southwest of Great Slave Lake in Canada. In the United States, there are 1,116 bison in captivity, of which 506 are males and 610 are females. Of this total 203 are calves that were born in 1907. Canada now contains 476 captive bison, of which 214 are males and 262 are females, 98 of the total being calves of the vintage of 1907. Europe contains 54 male and 76 female bison, of which 22 are calves of the past year. The grand totals for the world, of captive bison, are 777 males and 948 females, and of these 323 were born last year

In 1903 there were living in captivity a total of 1,119 American bison. It thus appears that since 1903 the total net increase has been 603 head. If these bison were all owned by national or state governments the future of the species would be far more secure than it now is with these animals in the hands of sixty-four different owners. The temporary tenure of private ownership constitutes a great danger to the species and renders the establishment of several national herds imperatively necessary.

In advocating before Congress the establishment of the proposed national herd in northwestern Montana the American Bison Society desires the active assistance of all persons who are interested in the perpetual preservation of what once was our most conspicuous and valuable American animal. The thing to do is to request senators and representatives to facilitate the passage of Senator Dixon’s bill.

 

The Tucumcari News and Tucumcari Times
Tucumcari,  N.M. Nov 7, 1908

A National Bison Range

The bison range in the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, to establish which Congress at its last session appropriated $40,000, has been selected. The location of the range is the one recommended by Professor Morton J. Elrod, of the University of  Montana, alter he had carefully examined several parts of the country. It lies directly north of the Jocko River, near the towns of Ravalli and Jocko. Approximately 12,800 acres are embraced in the tract, which will be fenced in a substantial manner under the direction of the engineering department of the United States Forest Service.

Of the $40,000 appropriated only $10,000 will be available for fencing the range and constructing the shelter-sheds and other buildings necessary for the proper maintenance and care of the bison. The remaining $30,000 will be paid to the owners of the land, many of whom are Indians. Funds for the purchase of bison are being raised under the auspices of the American Bison Society, which was largely instrumental in securing the appropriation.

The first person to spend actual money in the effort to preserve the American bison from total extinction was the late Austin Corbin, who many years ago fenced some 6000 acres at Blue Mountain Park New Hampshire, and secured a herd of bison. The Corbin herd became in course of time the inspiration of the national movement which is now furthered by the American Bison Society, founded in 1904, and Montana bison range is directly the result of its effort.

 

A State Bison Herd  ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY -Harvard 1909

The initial effort of the officers of the American Bison Society to bring about the establishment of a state herd of American bison, to be permanently located on state lands, and owned and maintained by the state of New York, has been thwarted. The bill introduced and vigorously pushed by Assemblyman Frank H. Hooper was by Senator Armstrong kindly translated into an item of the annual supply bill, where it met the approval of Speaker Wadsworth, Assemblyman Moreland, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means, and all the members of the Conference Committee. It is a pleasing fact that the measure encountered no determined opposition, and all the leading Senators and Assemblymen have cordially favored it. The only necessity for the strenuous efforts in behalf of this measure that were put forth by Professor Franklin W. Hooper and the President of the Bison Society, ably assisted by Mr. Harry V. Radford, was by reason of the fact that the initial appropriation necessary is $20,000, and there were calls for state money beyond the amount available.

For a time it seemed that the proposed bison herd was desired by every citizen of this state. The item passed both houses of the legislature,
practically by unanimous consent, and went to (Governor Hughes in the supply bill. Without the slightest warning, and to the profound surprise of everyone. Governor Hughes picked out the item for the state bison herd and vetoed it.

WICHITA BUFFALO RANGE.

We are advised by the Bureau of Forestry, of the Department of Agriculture, that the fulfillment of the contract for the erection of the fences, corrals, barn, and sheds of the Wichita Buffalo Range has been satisfactorily carried

out. By July 15th, the work will be completed, and the range will be ready. For several excellent reasons, it is not best to send the herd southward in midsummer, but at the earliest satisfactory date, the shipment will be made.

It is the opinion of those most interested that October will be the best month for the transfer of the nucleus herd, and arrangements will

be made accordingly.

American Bison Calves Born in 1907

American Bison Calves Born in 1907

The American Bison Society was organized in 1906 for the purpose of promoting the perpetual preservation of the American Bison. It is the belief of its members that this end can be assured only through national and state ownership of several herds breeding and roaming free in very large ranges. The effort of the Society to secure the establishment of a New York State herd, located in the Adirondacks on a range embracing about twelve square miles of grazing grounds, came very close to achieving success. The Society’s measure was passed, unanimously, by both houses of the New York legislature, but was most unexpectedly vetoed by Governor Hughes, without a hearing.

The Society is now actively engaged in making a thorough examination of the Flathead Indian Reservation, in northwestern Montana, with a view to the establishment there of a national herd.

The active officers of the Society are Dr. William T. Hornaday, President; Professor Franklin W. Hooper and Mr. A. A. Anderson, Vice-Presidents; Mr. Ernest H. Baynes, Secretary, and Mr. Clark Williams, Treasurer.

THE NATIONAL BISON HERD.

An Account of the Transportation of the  Bison from the Zoological Park- to the Wichita Range.

By Elwin R. Sankorn.

AFTER a lapse of many months, the National Bison Herd has become an accomplished fact, and the energy and perseverance of the Director at last realized in the establishment in the Wichita Preserve of fifteen of the Zoological Park’s finest bison.

In 1905, an agent of the Society visited the Wichita National Forest and Game Preserve to select a suitable location for a range. The conditions proved to be all that could be desired, and Mr. Loring’s enthusiastic description of the wonderful possibility was a powerful incentive to the consummation of the plan.

The problem of successfully shipping these ponderous animals such a tremendous distance was one of the utmost importance. Experience had shown that animals, confined in small crates, ride uneasily and with serious results, often reaching their destination tired, emaciated, and wholly off their feed, with bruised flesh and sore bones, which necessarily must be overcome. An inspection of the various crates in which specimens had been received at the Zoological Park, indicated that most frequently the animals could neither recline nor stand with perfect freedom, and often were ill-fitted to journey hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles, with the never failing delays.

The Director planned a series of crates, which would in every case be comfortable for each individual, and these were constructed after his ideas. Each crate was large enough to permit its occupant to lie down comfortably and was carefully padded to relieve the inevitable jolting.

The Park herd was trained to the hour, and its members were as fine and healthy as human ingenuity and good food could make them. The animals had been selected months before their actual shipping time.

The work of rounding-up the herd was commenced in October, upon the arrival of Mr. Frank Rush, the Government agent, who was to accompany the bison on their long journey and the work of separating the selected stock from the main herd proceeded with precision and dispatch under Keeper McEnroe. 50" long Chute

A chute, fifty feet in length, had been erected between the two main corrals fronting the Buffalo House, communicating with both and terminating with a very ingenious sliding iron gate. Against this gate, the crates were placed. The herd of fifteen was driven into the north corral, and the animals, one at a time, liberated into the chute. As soon as each bison was selected, the properly marked crate, designated for this particular specimen, was fastened into position adjacent to the sliding door. Most of the animals were rushed down and into the crate before they could realize it. Occasionally one became obstreperous and delayed proceedings by hurdling and various other tactics, but from eleven o’clock until five of Thursday, October 10th, thirteen were crated and loaded into the cars at Fordham. On Friday, the last two were disposed of, and by noon of that day the last crate was placed in position in the cars. The Arms Palace Horse Car Company, of Chicago, furnished two forty-four foot cars, of the type used for transporting fancy stock. These were equipped with collapsible stalls, and water-tanks capable of holding water sufficient for the trip. The cars were arranged with high and low-speed air-brakes and steam connections. And no one would have dared to believe that such inoffensive apparatus could make as much trouble as those several bits of hose swinging from either end eventually did.

[ CRATE SIZE, for a large adult bull 9′ long 5.5′ high and 3.5′ wide. Bulls 4 years of age and cows; 8′ long 5′ high 3′ wide,  Cows and Bulls 2 years old; 7′ long 4.5′ high and 2.5 wide. Yearling calves 5′ long, 4′ high and 2.4′ wide]

Through the late Charles T. Barney, Esq., Mr. Dudley Evans, President, and Mr. H. B. Parsons, Vice-President of the Wells-Fargo Express Company agreed to transport the cars free of charge from St. Louis to Cache, Oklahoma, on account of the public interest in the shipment.

Mr. James C. Fargo, President of the American Express Company, was then advised of their offer, and at once decided that he would also do the same, provided the New York Central would concur. This President Newman promptly conceded on behalf of his company.

These arrangements having been quickly and satisfactorily arranged, the cars were stored with hay and water for the animals, provisions, and blankets for the attendants. On Friday night they were attached to train No. 37, of the Central’s fast passenger service, in charge of Chief Clerk Mitchell, and the long journey began.

We signed our lives away to the Express Company and secured accident policies at the Grand Central Station, for four days’ duration, to balance the account.

It was a bit awe-inspiring, a train of thought super induced no doubt by our reckless barter, to realize that in the midst of this vast station with its multitudes of people, its coughing, booming trains, in the center of the greatest city of the new world, were fifteen helpless animals, whose ancestors had been all but exterminated by the very civilization which was now handing back to the prairies this helpless band, a tiny remnant born and raised 2,000 miles from their native land. Surely the course of Empire westward takes its way.

But sentiment is forgotten when at the conductors’ “all-aboard,” we clamber into Arms Palace Horse Car 6026, and in the dim light of a swinging oil lamp with the accompaniment of rumbling wheels and snorting bison, realize we are at last actually in motion. When we close the side doors and throw over the cross bar, we are cut off from the outside world entirely. No bell rope, no signal of any kind! Enthusiasm is at its lowest ebb, 2,000 miles from our journey’s end, and anticipations only to buoy our hopes. As the train gathers speed, the clanking chains clash against the floor of the car, the partitions of the collapsible stalls thud dismally together, and the upper works in general creak and groan in the most cheerless way. It is Bison crates for the wagons at Cachethen that we realize how very comfortable must be the “Pullmanites.” Smoking would be a solace, but is out of the question. A fire once started in the midst of all that dry hay, fanned by sixty miles of speed, we would be hurled furiously through the darkness of the night a seething mass of flame, for we were then as helpless as the bison themselves. No exit for us except by flying, and no ingress for others, unless they adopted the same means. Very soon we left the yards and dropped into a steady roll, plunging through the night along the banks of the Hudson, occasional glimmers of the water showing through the glass covers of the crated doors. Every swing of the train was echoed by hoarse remonstrances from the bison.

An ample space at the head of the car had been partially filled with bales of hay, and at ten o’clock we made up our bunk there, as there seemed little else to do. Mr. Rush decided to try an upper berth, as he facetiously termed it, on the tops of two of the crates, and by spreading his blankets there upon a pile of hay, composed himself at a right angle to our direction, with true western resignation to all sorts and conditions of things.

With more hay, Mr. Mitchell and I laboriously constructed on the floor a bed of voluminous proportions and turned in. I can boast all my life of having slept within seven-eighths of an inch of an American bison. He resented it. and betrayed his feelings by stealing our bed; not all at once, but piecemeal. Very dexterously thrusting his flexible tongue through the openings of his crate, he would carefully get a firm hold on a wisp of hay and wait until I slept, then give a good, healthy pull. I could feel that rope of hay start at my feet, and gradually extend itself with a snaky motion to the wisps which curled over the blankets at my head. After six or seven of these alarms, I made a rapid calculation of the number of hours I actually could sleep before striking bottom, and by dividing the pile of hay by his capacity, figured that I could just reach morning by throwing in the gunnysack-full which we dubbed “pillow.”

We awoke in the morning many miles from Buffalo in a raw, cold air. We were thoroughly employed, caring for stock, until the train rolled into Buffalo, and it was a great relief to have the animals contentedly feeding and to find them enduring the journey so well.

The wisdom of the Director, in making roomy crates, was more than abundantly manifest even so early in the journey, for with but one or two exceptions, the animals were lying down. The big bull stubbornly resisted this provision for many hours, but before we reached Cleveland, he was glad to make use of it and stretched himself out with a grunt of satisfaction which was more expressive than words. We rolled into Buffalo late in the forenoon and gladly leaped out of our airy quarters to attend the needs of the animals in the rear car. Here we encountered the first obstruction to our journey, which afterwards occurred so frequently that it became a habit. The inspectors blandly reported to us that the steam-hose had been pulled off in the night and the bolts in one of the brake beams had loosened, almost dropping it to the level of the rails. The cars must be run into the cripple track and jacked up, and with the customary yards of railroad red-tape surrounding such events, Mr. Mitchell could readily understand what a delay this would mean. Moreover, to cap the climax, the Lake Shore road refused to handle the cars, declaring them not properly equipped for fast work. It was right here that the esprit de corps of the Zoological Park showed its true worth. Mr. Mitchell was a bulwark against all opposition, and his perfect familiarity with the proper railroad methods rendered him absolutely impervious to all opposition. Scarcely twenty minutes elapsed before the yardmen had expanded under the influence of Zoological Park spirit, and the cars were being whisked away to the repair yards. That was half the battle accomplished, but there yet remained the fact that we were denied the right to ride with the passenger service. Buffalo officials peremptorily refused. After a lengthy argument, Cleveland was reached by long-distance ‘phone and the Traffic Manager reluctantly gave his consent to couple us with the second section of 37. Our spirits arose appreciably and after assuring ourselves that the construction work was progressing rapidly enough to ensure our making this train, we awaited our leaving time with great satisfaction.Each Bison Was Sprayed With Crude Oil

At 1.30 we were attached to a train of express cars, running as the second section of 37, en route to Cleveland. We skirted the shores of Lake Erie, feeling the first real breath of winter sweeping across its surface. The season was three weeks earlier than the New York region, and autumn had laid her finger heavily on all the vegetation. Out of Dunkirk we ran into a smart storm of rain ;a cold, penetrating one, which the rapid motion of the train drove into every nook and cranny, finally dripping into the remnants which the bull had left of our bed, so that we were forced to erect a shelter over it with a piece of oil-cloth. The broken windows were repaired with New York dailies and overcoats donned. At every station the trainmen crept into the car, drenched, condemning the weather and accommodations with one breath. It was so delightful to see others miserable that our spirits rose in ratio. In spite of these discomforts, this was our smoothest ride. We arrived at Cleveland promptly on the hour, the first, last and only time it happened. So far we had experienced some trials and tribulations, but the unvarying courtesy of the rail-road people amply compensated us. We were not surprised to learn at Cleveland that the steam hose had once more been left along the line. This completely forestalled making the proper connections for St. Louis, and it was 3.50 Sunday morning before the Big Four could handle the cars.

The steam connections had to be repaired again at Indianapolis, and this, together with delayed trains, held us there until nearly ten o’clock Sunday night. The temperature still remained low, and when the train crossed Ead’s Bridge into St. Louis, the structure glittered with frost.

At St. Louis we encountered the worst obstacles of the entire trip, with their resulting disappointments. Train service had grown visibly heavier, on entering the border lines of the West, and our scheduled time had long since been completely lost to sight and memory, both by monotonous accidents to our equipment and lost time. At St. Louis the conditions were more congested than ever. The Frisco Road had already informed the Terminal

Association that it could not possibly accept the cars together. One car might go with No. 7 at 8.41 Monday evening, and the other at the same hour the next night. Better service than this was impossible. Mr. Mitchell then caA Portion of the Corrals Showing Shelterlled on the Superintendent to the Wells-Fargo Company, and explained how desirable it would be to retain something of our original arrangement. Together they went to the General Manager of the Frisco, but this was of no avail. As a last resort, the suggestion was broached of sending one car over the Rock Island to Oklahoma City, there connecting with the Santa Fe, but this the Santa Fe was unable to do, on account of heavy traffic. We, therefore, accepted the situation with the best grace possible and divided the force in a manner suitable to the occasion.

The cars were thoroughly taken care of and the stock watered and fed. We found every one of the bison in as good condition as we expected. All the animals had become thoroughly accustomed to the unusual situation and behaved exactly as if peacefully grazing in the Zoological Park.

Mr. Rush, in charge of car 6026, left St. Louis at 8.41 Monday evening and without delay or accident arrived safely in Cache Wednesday afternoon at 3.00 o’clock. Wagons were in waiting and the seven animals were safely transferred to the corrals at the Reserve before midnight of the same day. We remained until Tuesday evening at 8.41, at which hour we left St. Louis with the other car of eight animals.

No sleeping accommodations could be arranged in this car, and we transferred our blankets to the express car, where we slept on the floor the night through, arriving at Monette, Missouri, at 7 o’clock Wednesday morning. As nearly all of the western papers had described the bison transfer, our arrival at the various towns south of St. Louis was awaited A Portion of Winter Valley Showing the Location of the Corralswith considerable interest, and in some places, it approached enthusiasm. As the side doors would be opened throngs of men, women and children rushed up to get a glimpse of the famous animals, and if the stop was long enough, they climbed in and inspected the bison through the openings of the crates. In some places, the car was packed to suffocation, and the people only departed when they were forced out by the speed of the train. The signs attracted attention everywhere and the curious observers noted them all along the line, reading as long as the car remained in sight.

The word “Zoological” was pronounced in more ways than I thought ever possible. The air became milder hourly, and it was possible to open the side doors and view a country at once both interesting and strange. Gradually the hills gave way to low swells and the wooded portions were confined to the streams, whose course could be marked for miles by the narrow ribbons of green which finally lost themselves in the distant blue of the horizon. Fields of corn, some standing, others stacked, with an occasional field of cotton, lay on every side basking in the mellow light of the early fall. We reached Oklahoma City at 11.30 Wednesday evening, where we remained until noon the next day.

The station at Oklahoma City was thronged with interested people who crowded the cars on both sides; and in fact, these visits developed into ovations, the farther toward the promised land we progressed. At Lawton, we were surrounded by citizens who pined to see the bison, and as our hunger had by this time superseded all other considerations, we left the car in charge of a strong man who had kindly volunteered his services, so that we might satisfy the cravings of healthy appetites. After a ride of seventeen miles from Lawton, it was a relief to arrive at Cache at last, and know that our railroad trip was at an end, just seven days from the leaving time at New York.

Mr. Rush and Mr. Mattoon, the Acting Forest Supervisor, met us here upon the arrival of the train at 7.30 P. M. We commenced early in the morning to transfer the crates to the wagons provided, and by ten o’clock Friday all were safely loaded. The entire population of Cache turned out, together with a band of Comanche Indians, resplendent in their gayest clothes. At eleven o’clock we started for the Reserve. One small bull persisted in thinking that liberty was the only thing he desired at that moment, and played a perfect tattoo against the ends of his crate, but aside from that, the caravan moved away without a hitch.

Mr. Rush had planned every detail with the greatest care, and the success of all the arrangements at Cache and the Reserve was due to his tireless interest and forethought. We rode three miles over a flat, sandy road, bordered with prosperous farms, and through prairie land, studded with mesquite, and all along the streams with oaks, elms, and various hard woods. The line of the Reserve is just within the borders of the Wichita Mountains.

Once inside, the road was more uneven, and except for short distances became fairly rough, making the progress of the wagons rather slow. The direction was almost due north for a matter of six miles as far as Pattersons. Section of the fence

The eastern boundary of the Bison Range crosses the end of the valley and five miles beyond are the corrals, where the bison arrived about twelve o’clock. The wagons were driven in and the rear wheels dropped into depressions dug in the ground. After spraying the animals with crude oil, each was liberated. Aside from a very slight lameness, they were in perfect condition, greedily eating their allotment of hay. The corrals, three in number, each about 200 feet square, are placed just inside the southern boundary of the line fence, separated from it by a passage of 15 feet in width. Two long sheds with mangers have been erected on the northern side. Individual members of the herd may be quickly transferred from one corral to the next, through the lane on the south side, the ends of which can be closed with strong wire gates. The fence is 74 inches high, made by the Denton Wire Fence Company, of Denton, Texas, supported on oak posts twelve inches in diameter, set three feet in the ground. Above the fence proper, for greater security, are three wires extending parallel to the line of the top, about five inches apart. One of these will be insulated for a telephone service, which is being installed. The gates are most ingenious, handsomely constructed, and can resist the rush of a big bull as easy as the fence itself. The grass in the corrals has been burned off, and the animal can get no other food but the alfalfa upon which they are now feeding almost exclusively. Large galvanized tanks, of the type used exclusively in the west, have been placed in each enclosure, and a constant supply of running water will flow into each as soon as the windmill on the banks of Cache Creek has been completed.

The bison will be kept in the corrals until spring, when Mr.Rush expects to liberate them into a range of some 200 acres. This pasture will be fenced in the winter and the grass burned. A number of cattle graze through the valley, and as it is quite well known that they carry the tick which causes Texas fever, the spraying with oil and burning of the grass have been thought expedient to prevent the bison from becoming infected. ^Ir. Rush is thoroughly familiar with all methods of prevention and has adopted the most stringent measures to carry the animals through the dangerous season. Once they become acclimated, the danger line will be passed.

On October 23rd, with Mr. Rush, I rode along the line of the fence, which is being constructed, but scarcely more than half completed. Its ponderous character has made the task a heavy one, especially through the gorges, where in places but one post can be carried at a time, and even then by hands alone.

The fence is nearly fifteen miles around and encloses 6,200 acres of the best of the valley and the mountains on the western side. Four rangers will police the range at all hours, and the dangers from forest fires and breaks in the wires can be detected and reported with dispatch, as telephone boxes will be placed at each of the five range gates. Mr. Rush gives his entire time to the bison and Mr. W. R. Mattoon. Acting Forest Supervisor is in charge of the construction and working of the station.

It would be churlish and a neglect unpardonable not to award to Mr. Mitchell praise for the admirable manner in which the details of the transportation were executed. In every instance, his knowledge of railroad methods and his tireless energy overcame obstacles which would have meant hardship and perhaps death to some of the bison, and their safe arrival at Cache was due absolutely to his splendid work. The people of Oklahoma are enthusiastic over the Reserve and are duly grateful to the New York Zoological Society for having thus established, in the finest portion of the great southern bison range, a herd which will soon increase to grand proportions, and play its part in the permanent preservation of the great American bison.

Montana Nat’l Bison Range 1908

This fenced preserve was established by a special act of Congress, on May 23, 1908, at the solicitation of the American Bison Society. In response to the offer of the Society to present to the government the nucleus herd of bison. Congress has appropriated, in all, $30,000 for the purchase from the Flathead Indians of twenty-eight square miles of grazing grounds at Ravalli, Montana, and $13,000 with which to defray the cost of fencing it suitably.

In addition to the bison, this fenced range will be stocked as soon as possible with prong-horned antelope. The success of the bison in self-sustaining herds, on that range, is by no means an experiment. It is a demonstrated certainty.

The Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture is now at work erecting the fence around this great range, and it is hoped that it can be completed by October 1, in order that the Bison Society gift herd of about fifty-four pure-blood bison can then be delivered upon the range, and installed. This range can easily maintain 1,000 bison, and it is fairly certain that many members of the Bison Society will live to see that number of individuals grazing upon it.

The Bison Society has raised $10,560 in cash with which to purchase about forty-two bison, and fourteen head have been presented to the Society by their owners, for the benefit of the Montana herd.

British Columbia’s new game preserve.

On November 15, 1908, the Legislative Council of British Columbia issued a proclamation which converts into an absolute game preserve about 450 square miles of territory between the Elk and Bull Rivers, and around Monroe Lake.

With a subtraction on the south and an important addition on the northwest, it is otherwise the “Goat Mountain Park” territory, for the preservation of which John M. Phillips and William T. Hornaday for two years or more waged a strenuous campaign of education and appeal. In the final half of the struggle (against active opposition) they were joined by some of the most prominent citizens of Fernie, Mayor W. W. Tuttle, J. B. Turney and Hon. W.R. Ross, M. P. and by Warburton Pike, Clive Phillips-Wolley, and other sportsmen and naturalists in Victoria. The Provincial Game Warden, A. Bryan Williams, played a highly important part in the accomplishment of the final result, and it was he who established the boundaries.

The result is a great victory for the mountain goat, mountain sheep, elk, mule deer, and grizzly bear. The area in question is an ideal home for the goat and sheep. Of the former, the new game preserve contains about one thousand head, and of the latter at least two hundred, all of them living and breeding there, all the year round. The scenery of the preserve is surpassingly fine, and it is well stocked with many important forms of Rocky Mountain mammals and birds. It was in this region that Professor Henry F. Osborn and Mr. Phillips obtained in 1905 their famous photographs of living mountain goats in their haunts.

The Grand Canyon National Game Preserve

Even to most persons who are interested in conservation work, it will be fresh news that in northern Arizona the Government has established a game and forest preserve equal in scenic wonders as well as in area to the Yellowstone National Park. It is called the Grand Canyon National Game Preserve, and it consists of the Kaibab Plateau and Buckskin Mountain on the north, the first portion of the canyon of the Colorado, and also a great area southward there of. It contains, in round numbers, 2,019,000 acres, or 3311 square miles. It includes all of the area formerly comprising the “Grand Canyon National Monument,” and fully twice as much more.
The country south of the Colorado Canyon is comparatively well known, but to most Americans, the Kaibab Plateau is a veritable terra incognita. It is in that wild and rugged region of broken country, rocks, hills, valleys, brush and a splendid pine-clad mountain plateau looming up over all, that “Buffalo” Jones has located his herd of American bison and “cattaloes,” for his latest experiment in breeding a valuable strain of bison blood into range cattle. Fortunately for those interested, there has recently been published about that region a book of thrilling interest. It is Zane Gray’s “Last of the Plainsmen,” published by the Outing Publishing Company. It is valuable as a general view of a wild and almost unknown region, and also as a record of the almost incredible exploits of Mr. Jones in catching alive nine pumas, by strength of nerve, arm and lasso!

Already the Grand Canon Preserve contains a few mountain sheep, many mule deer, and far too many “mountain lions.” Buckskin Mountain and its environs would make a fine sanctuary for elk, but it would be necessary to introduce them. The lower slopes would graze ten thousand bison, but very few persons would ever see them. With the lapse of time and ‘cattaloes’ it will be in order for the National Government to purchase outright the pure-blood bison of Mr. Jones and his partners, and let them alone where they are, to find another national herd.

Success of the Bison Subscription Fund

Immediately following the passage by Congress in May 1908, of the bill appropriating $40,000 for the lands and fencing of the proposed Montana National Bison Range, the president of the Bison Society (W. T. Hornaday), set out to raise $10,000 by subscription. That fund was necessary to enable the Society to fulfill its pledge to the government that it would furnish the nucleus herd as a gift, as soon as the range was ready to receive it.

It was decided that the subscription should be national in scope; and accordingly, the people of every state and territory were invited to participate, in sums from one dollar upward. The call was sent to 150 mayors of cities and forty-eight boards of trade, but without securing even one dollar through any one of them!

In view of the fact that the New York Zoological Society already had presented a herd of bison to the national government, the members of that Society were not called upon to subscribe, save through the membership of a few in other organizations. At the same time, three members of the N. Y. Z. S. generously helped to close the canvass with large subscriptions, to the great relief of the chief canvasser. Mr. Charles E. Senff gave $1,000, Mr. William P. Clyde $500, and ^Ir. Andrew Carnegie.$’250.

The campaign for the bison fund lasted nine long months but finally closed in February 1909, with a total of $10,560.50. It contained a number of surprises; chief of which were the following:  The West, with but slight exceptions, was remarkably unresponsive and makes a pitiable showing in the total. The East has cheerfully borne 80 per cent, of the burden.

The women of America subscribed more than one-tenth of the entire sum; and a lady of Massachusetts (Mrs. Ezra R. Thayer, of Boston), raised one-twentieth of the whole fund!

The funds now in hand are sufficient to purchase forty-two pure-blood bison and deliver them upon the range. The government is now acquiring and fencing the twenty-eight square miles of range that were selected by the Bison Society, and it is hoped that the fence will be completed in time that the nucleus herd can be delivered next October.

Ex-President Roosevelt’s Record in Wild Life Preservation

AMONG other things left behind him of which he and his friends may well be proud, ex-President Roosevelt has gone out of office with a most enviable record as a promoter of measures for the protection of wild life. Of course, those who knew him best expected much of him, but it is safe to say that even the most hopeful anticipations have been surpassed.

In one short article, it is quite impossible to enumerate more than a very few of the measures that should be named in this connection. It is safe to say that during the whole of his six years as president, no measure calculated to benefit the wild life of North America ever was put before him without receiving his instant sympathy and consistent support. He never ignorantly and parsimoniously killed an act for the perpetuation of the bison, nor left the gray squirrel a prey to gunners because it was too much trouble to sign the bill that had been passed in its behalf, as did an executive officer of a most important state.

Even the briefest enumeration of the wildlife measures favored and promoted by ex-President Roosevelt must include the following:
The Alaska game laws of 1902 and 1907.
The establishment of the Wichita Game Refuge, Oklahoma, in 1902, and the acceptance of the bison herd in 1907.
The establishment of the Yellowstone Park bison herd in 1902.
The increased attention given the big game in the Yellowstone Park, including the vigorous prosecution of poachers in 1907-08.

The creation of the Grand Canyon game refuge, in Arizona, 1906.
The order prohibiting hunting or trapping of game on the Fort Niobrara Military Reservation, Nebraska, 1908.
The passage of the bill providing for the Montana National Bison Range in 1908, and two supplementary measures in 1909-
The creation of 53 Federal Bird Refuges, 1903-1907.
The creation of the Mt. Olympus National Monument, Washington, 1909.

The creation of the Superior National Forest and Game Preserve, Minnesota, 1909.
The meeting of the North American Conservation Commission, and its declaration for game protection, 1909.
Is not this record sufficient of itself to make a reign illustrious? We think it is.

The Wichita National Bison Herd

Presented to the Nation by the New York Zoological Society.

It seems strange that the East should undertake the task of restoring to a permanent basis in the West an important wild-animal species that was destroyed by the men of the West.

Greed and blood-lust is not, like the tariff, a local issue. It is thoroughly cosmopolitan. Wherever there is found an abundance of wild animal life, there will be found also the buzzards of commerce destroying life and “wrecking” carcases. It was the men of the West who got up the wild and bloody orgy of the buffalo plains and left behind them only foul carcasses, poisoned air, and desolation.

Strange to say, however, the West has shown little more than a bystander’s interest in the effort now being made to establish the American Bison species on national ranges with such a degree of permanency that it will endure for the centuries of the future. Most of the appeals of the Bison Society for contributions from beyond the head of the Ohio River have fallen on deaf ears and tightly-closed purses. The West as a whole has yet to learn what it is to give dollars for the preservation of wild life; but the record of Wyoming and Colorado in feeding starving Elk, last winter, constitutes a fine exception.

For many years, various individuals have urged Congress to “do something” for the Bison. I think it was the efforts of Col. “Buffalo” Jones, of Kansas, that finally resulted in the establishing of a national Bison herd in the Yellowstone Park. It cost a mighty effort, backed by the Biological Survey, to secure through that grand champion of wild life. Congressman John F. Lacey, of Iowa, the sum of $10,000 for that nucleus.

Later on, the New York Zoological Society conceived the idea of a corporate sacrifice in behalf of the Bison and proposed to the government a partnership arrangement for the founding of a new herd. The Society offered a nucleus herd of 15 pure-blood Bison as a gift, delivered on the ground, provided the National Government would set aside 12 square miles of fine grazing grounds, on what once was the range of the great southern herd, fence it in, and permanently maintain the herd.

The offer was promptly and graciously accepted, the money involved was immediately voted, and the fence was erected in a very satisfactory manner. Without any unnecessary delay, the Zoological Society selected 15 of the finest Bison in the Zoological Park herd, and with most generous aid from the American and Wells Fargo Express Companies (who carried the herd free of all cost), the gift was delivered at the southern boundary of the Wichita National Forest and Game Preserve in southwestern Oklahoma.

The National Bison Herds

Very satisfactory reports have been received from the wardens in charge of the Montana National Bison Herd, and the Wichita Herd. Concerning the former, Warden Andrew F. Hodges reports that the herd came through the winter in very fine condition and that up to May 20, several calves had been born.

From Warden Frank Rush, in charge of the Wichita National Herd, we have received the following report:

“The five calves which were due to arrive in the Wichita Buffalo herd are all here, 3 bulls and 2 heifers. This brings our total number to 23 head, 10 males, and 13 females, all in the very best condition. I wish you could see them. They certainly look very prosperous, and if you were here you could see in reality what you had predicted for the Wichita Bison herd many years ago.”

 

 

 

The Daily Missoulian LOC
Missoula Montana July 18, 1909
REARDEN MAKES PLEA FOR THE BISON

FORMER MISSOULA MAN URGES RETENTION OF REMNANT OF PABLO HARD

H. S. Rearden, formerly of Missoula and now established in business in Springfield, III, has not forgotten Montana. As’ was stated in The Missoulian yesterday, M. Rearden is bringing out to Missoula a party of Illinois people to register for the opening. Another evidence of his continued interest in. the town which was his home is found in a letter which he wrote a short time ago to Secretary Hornaday of the American Bison society. The letter is’ self-explanatory and it is as follows: July 13, 1900

Hon. W. T. Hornaday,

New York City, N. Y.

My Dear Sir:

I am sending you today a page from the Weekly Missoulian of Missoula, Mont., Friday, July 9th, containing an illustrated article by F. L. Bagby, on the shipment of 200 head of buffalo from the Flathead reservation to Canada.

As a member of the American Bison society, I write to know, or rather to protest, against the shipment of the balance which they are pleased in this article to outlaws if there be any possible way to prevent it.

Each week as I have read the progress of the loading, shipping and killing of these animals my blood has boiled and I have said ‘a little prayer; to the God of the buffaloes to lead them all back into the mountains where it ‘would be impossible to get them. It is an outrage that these animals should have been lost to us and I am wondering why the game law; which ‘prohibits the killing of buffalo, can not be applied to these men who have slaughtered several of them In this roundup.

Last year when so some true friend cut the wires and released the ‘herd that were ready for shipment, I shouted with I joy and so did thousands of other good citizens that I know of and we hoped there would be no further attempt to move them out; why can we not now take some effective action to prevent .the shipment of the remnant that got away?

Yours very truly,

H.S. REARDEN.

 

The Evening Times LOC
Grand Forks, N.D. Nov 17, 1909

Rescue of the American Bison

When a recent congress; passed a bill setting aside a great tract of land in Montana for a buffalo; range for the purpose of aiding in the preservation of “our national animal” it did something that appealed mightily to the hearts of Americans. The experiment is bearing fruit. Acquisitions’ are coming in from many quarters. Recently thirty-four animals were turned in on the reservation. They were purchased from the Conrad herd by the: American Bison society for $275 per head, crated separately at the place where they were purchased, shipped down Flathead lake by boat to the place where they were disembarked and then hauled on wagons to the range, a distance of twenty miles. Less than fifty years ago a herd of thirty-four buffaloes would not have excited remark if seen at any point on the Great American desert If any one had predicted then that a bison’ would ever be crated and shipped as freight such a statement would have been laughed down. That was when the huge beasts were numbered by hundreds of thousands. Half a century ago they were estimated by the million. In 1908 they had dwindled to 1.502 in the United States. The same year there were 470 in Canada and 150 in Europe.

The Montana national bison ranch is an accomplished fact. In addition to the herd on the range, more animals have been promised and will be delivered by next spring. The government’s construction party finished the erection of the fence about the range several weeks ago. The range and work were inspected by the purchasing committee of the American Bison society, consisting of Dr. W. T. Hornaday. president of the society, and F. H. Kennard of Boston. They reported that the range is as nearly perfect as can be conceived for its purpose and will support 1.500 animals. With this start, the American Bison society hopes to restore the nation’s animal to something like its former glory, although conditions are such that no living man or any that is to come will ever see what has been seen.J.J. Hill Bison Herd

The range is on the Flathead reservation. It is in the county of Missoula, Mont., eighty miles west of the town of the same name, six miles from Ravalli, a station on the Northern Pacific.

The cost of the land was about $30,000, and the fence was built for $10,000. The organization which brought about the passage of the bill by congress was the result of a national movement begun in 1904 for the express purpose of devising ways and means for the preservation of the buffalo. The society was organized in New York city in December. 1905. Many distinguished and patriotic citizens responded to the movement, and when the society was formed President Roosevelt was elected honorary president, and Earl Grey, governor general of Canada, was elected honorary vice president. That the plan to restore the bison is succeeding is attested by the fact that in 1906 there were only, by actual census, 943 in the country, in 1908 there were 1,502, all pure blooded.

The last great slaughter took place in the Indian Territory in 1878. A band of Cheyennes and Arapahoes was permitted by the government to go out to this extermination. In the course of a few hours, more than 1,000 buffaloes were killed mercilessly and their bodies torn to pieces after the fashion of the Indian after he had killed his game

KENESAW DAVIS’

 

Charlevoix County Herald LOC
East Jordan , Michigan March 5 1910

Buffalo Rapidly Becoming Extinct

American Bison Society

It is probable that during the Signature present session of congress there be a renewal of the effort to have the national government establish and maintain a herd of American bison, or buffaloes, as the nucleus for the preservation of this picturesque native animal, which is in such grave danger of extinction. The wanton slaughter of the buffalo during the previous generations has reduced the number of these animals running wild to less than 25, most of which are, roaming in Yellowstone park, whereas 23 or 33 years ago there were millions of bison grazing on the plains of the west. Practically all of the bison in existence, estimated at a few more than 1,700, are now owned by private individuals, except those owned by the national park at Banff, the few in Yellowstone park and those in various zoological gardens.

According to the census of living American bison, compiled by William T. Hornaday, director of the New York zoological park and president of the American Bison society, there was on January 1, 1905. a total of 1,722 bison in captivity, of which 1,116 were in the United States, 476 in Canada and 130 in Europe, besides about 300 wild bison in Canada and 25 in the United States. Most of these animals are under the control of 45 private owners in the United States and 19 in Europe. During the five years from 1903 to 1908 there was a total net increase of 603 head, which number has been somewhat augmented during the last two years.

It is conceded; practically by all authorities that, owing to the uncertainties of human life and the changes in fortune and in policy among private individuals and private corporations, the buffalo cannot be perpetuated for centuries and preserved from ultimate extinction save under government auspices. At present nearly all the buffaloes in the United States are in private hands and with few exceptions are for sale to anyone offering a reasonable price. Many are sold every year, some for propagating purposes and others to the butcher and taxidermist. Moreover, most of them are in a few comparatively large herds and should contagious disease at any time strike one of these, so great a percentage of the now remaining buffaloes might be wiped out at one blow as to make the perpetuation of the remainder practically an impossibility.

The national movement for the permanent preservation of the buffalo began In June, 1904, when Ernest Harold Baynes went to live on the border of the Corbin game preserve in New Hampshire, which, strange as it may seem to those accustomed to think of the west as the sole habitat of the buffalo, has for many years been the home of one of the largest herds of buffaloes in the world. Mr. Baynes became deeply interested in these splendid creatures and in the fate of their race and soon sought to arouse public interest in the matter. President Roosevelt took immediate and active interest in the subject. As a result, the movement took form on December 8, 1905, when the American Bison society was organized in New York City. Hon. Theodore Roosevelt was made honorary president, William T. Hornaday president, Ernest Harold Baynes of Meriden, N. H., secretary and Clark Williams of New York treasurer.

The purposes of the society are outlined in the following extracts from Baynes of Meriden, N. H., secretary. Ernest Harold Baynes:

“The American Bison society was organized in the strong belief that the people desired to have the buffalo preserved and that they would give their support to a body of men able and willing to work indefatigably for its preservation.

“The five or six million buffalo which less than 35 years ago caused the western plains to tremble beneath their hoofs and which constituted one of the wonders of the world have vanished and there remain to represent them some six or seven hundred head, exclusive of those in the zoological gardens, which do not count when we come to the question of the preservation of the species. Most of these are in a few widely scattered bunches, only two of which, the Corbin herd at Newport, N. H., and the Pablo herd on the Flathead Indian reservation, Montana, contain over 100 head. Of this little remnant of the once mighty hosts, not a single animal is safe; every owner in the country is willing and some very anxious to sell and I doubt if there is a herd in the country which would not be sold to-morrow if a customer appeared with the money. In the large herds, there is another menace to the race contagious disease, to several forms of which the buffalo is subject, though less so than domestic cattle. If tuberculosis or the hoof and mouth disease should attack one of the three or four comparatively largo bunches the fate of the buffalo might be sealed then and there, as even now the number of herds is so small that it will probably require careful management to prevent excessive inbreeding.

 

Charlevoix County Herald Bison Pair

 

“But there are good economic reasons why this animal should be saved and allowed to increase in numbers. Shorn of all sentiment and as he stands on his hoofs he is the most valuable native animal in this country; kill him and there is no domestic animal In America whose carcass will bring as much in dollars and cents. The meat is as good as domestic beef and some parts of if rather better, while the hide alone will sell for money enough to purchase three or four good cows. A fine head is worth much more and although the value of heads would probably decrease as buffaloes became more numerous, there would always be a good market for the skins,  as for many purposes we have nothing quite so good.

“Then the buffalo has wool almost as thick as that of the sheep. Naturally, there is much more of it and while it is coarser than sheep’s wool it can be woven into very warm and useful garments.

“Let every man, woman, and child who has love or sympathy for American animals join hands in saving for the country the grandest of them all. Although on the brink of extermination, this rugged and typically American character must be saved; it can be saved and, with the support of the people, the American Bison society is prepared to do the work which will be necessary to save it.”

 

The Wellsboro Gazette August 17, 1910
Starting A Bison Herd

Uncle Sam Has Three in All Now, Numbering 161 Animals

It is only within the last few years that people have awakened to the fact that if the American buffalo were not going to disappear from the face of the earth something would have to be done to preserve the species. There was a time when the whole Northwest of North America, as well as parts of the South, were thickly tenanted by wandering herds of these big, clumsy looking, wooly animals. The Indians used to hunt them and use their meat as well as the hides and horns. The beef was good eating, and the red men dried it into a kind of pemmican. The skins made comfortable robes and clothes, and the hides were turned into huts and boats. And so the buffalo was a useful fellow to the red men who hunted him fair and square in the open and killed in rational numbers so that the stock was never really diminished.

But it took the white man – the civilized white man- to do the work. When he came into possession of the New World he went at it. The buffalo were hunted and trapped in millions. Sometimes an animal was killed and just one slice of steak taken from his hump, the rest thrown away to be eaten by coyotes. As short a time ago as seventeen or eighteen years, there were stacks of buffalo horns and bones piles along the line of the Canadian Pacific railway – for all the world like old stump fences, only much higher. Between 1855 and 1865 the slaughter was so great that by 1870 the species had all but disappeared from the continent.

Then the people began to think. Naturalist and men of science generally wanted to see the bison or buffalo, saved from extinction, and they set their heads to heads to try to accomplish this end. Small remnants of herds still lived in secluded mountain fastnesses and prairie wilds, and a few stray animals had been captured and were living in captivity. To set apart a tract of land specially for the use of the defrauded monarch of the plains, just as reservations have been made for the Indians, was the thing decided upon. And so there are several parks in existence now where the great bison has full sway, and runs things to suit himself.

 

 

The American Bison Society is the leading force in the movement to preserve this American species of animal. The big work undertaken and accomplished by this society since its beginning about three years ago has been the buying and establishing of the Montana national bison herd.
The first thing the society did was to send out Professor Morton J. Elrod, of Missoula, Mont., to examine available sites with an eye to finding a spot suitable for a bison park. After a careful search, a tract of land covering some 29 square miles was hit upon. It is a splendid range, extending over mountains and valleys, rich in bunch grass and fringed with dark green foliage – just such haunts as the natural wild bison would choose for himself are to be found within it’s limits. The Jocko and the Flathead rivers wind about two side of the tract, giving rocky variety to the scenery. So, having selected a spot that it wanted, the society went about having Congress appropriate money to buy it. Through Senator Joseph M. Dixon this was done. The cost of buying the range and fencing it in with a fence strong enough to keep buffalo within amounted to $40,000.00.

The society had pledged Congress in return for this expenditure to buy a herd of buffalo as a nucleus. So it went about raising $10,000.00 for that purpose. Having done this, the next step was to secure the animals. Several private owners of bison had promised to contribute beast until ten were assured. A buying committee was then appointed and the business of buying buffalo was made a real business.
At Kalispell not far from the range selected, was a herd of bison founded by the late C.E. Conrad and managed by Mrs. Alica D Conrad, after her husband’s death. After much considering and talking and making of prices, to say nothing of naming the animals and selecting the best a purchase was finally made of 34 buffalo. These were the pick of the 32 contained in the Conrad herd.

There are 95 bison in Yellowstone Park reservation, 19 at Wichita and 47 on this Montana range, making a total of 161 head owned by the United States Government. In choosing these animals care was taken to pick specimens that were of absolutely pure blood and free of disease. It is supposed that within our time, would be enough to save the bison race from extinction and to make up the United States for the loss of the Pablo herd to Canada.

 

The Cimarron News and Cimarron Citizen
Cimarron, N.M. July 15, 1911

Buffalo Increasing

The American Bison Society made a careful census and found that there were 2,108 pure-blood buffalo in North America as compared with 1,917 when the 1908 census was made. Of these buffalo 1,007 are in captivity in the United States, 626 are in captivity in Canada, and 475 are wild. In 1908, there were 1,116, buffalo in captivity in the United States, and of these, a considerable number was purchased by the Canadian Government, but the buffalo census shows an actual increase of about 200. The largest herds in private hands now are at Belvedere Kansas; Rona, Mont.; Newport, N. H.; Pawnee, Okla. ; Goodnight, Texas; and on Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake.

 

The San Francisco Call LOC
San Francisco Calif. July 12, 1912

Saving The Bison

The American Bison society, now In the fifth year of its existence, is doing a good work. The announcement by Director Hornaday, of the New York Zoological society, that it will aid the Bison society in stocking the proposed Wind Cave National bison range in South Dakota with a “nucleus herd” as soon as the range is established by congress, follows the recent shipment by it and interested individuals of gift bison to the national ranges in Montana and south-western Oklahoma, Yellowstone park of course, includes a flourishing herd, and the Corbin herd at Newport, N. H. and the well kept group in the Bronx zoological garden show how far east these fine animals may graze and increase in number. Yet there are but 2,000, more or less, of the American buffalo in existence. There should be millions of them, as once there were. They are still in imminent danger of extinction. It is not merely that the bison makes a valuable beef animal, and that its hide is more valuable than that of any domesticated beast; there in a sentimental value in its preservation. It is the most conspicuous of the American fauna. The New York Zoological society has not abandoned its efforts to establish a state preserve in the Adirondacks, and in each of the states in which the bison originally ranged. It is difficult, however, to stir state pride in this matter. The bill now before the senate committee on agriculture appropriates only $32,000 for the purchase and fencing of a valuable tract in the Black Hills district of South Dakota. It is little for the nation to pay. The return will be rich and lasting.- New York Times.

 

 

The Saturday News
Watertown South Dakota May 21, 1914

Criminal Massacre of American Buffalo

(extract)

In the United States, the buffalo are increasing. Professor Hooper, president of the American Bison Society,  at a recent meeting of the organization, said that renewed interest among the people of the United States and Canada assured the future of the buffalo. Census statistics presented showed that there were 3,453 buffalo in the United States In 1913, an increase of 19 per cent over 1912. There were 649 buffalo calves born last year. This society during 1914 plans to add fifteen buffalo to Wind Cave National Game Preserve in South Dakota, and establish herds in the national park of North Dakota and in either Highland Park or the Adirondacks in New York.

In Canada, all the buffalo are east of the Rockies in the province of Alberta. Most of these are confined in the three government parks, Rocky Mountain, Buffalo and Elk Island. During the year 1913, eight head were shipped from Montana by M. Pablo and placed in Buffalo Park. These, with the possible increase of 250 for 1913, brings the total number of buffalo in Buffalo Park up to 1,300. At Banff, there are approximately 25 and at Elk Island 75. Scattered at different points throughout the Dominion there will be probably 50 more, make a total for the whole dominion of buffalo in enclosures of 1,400. This is a very excellent showing for Canada, considering that ten years ago there were less than 100 buffalo in captivity in the whole dominion. The government is doing all in its power to purchase every available animal, and it is hoped that the few remaining of the Pablo herd now in Montana will be rounded up and shipped to Buffalo Park this year. Mr. Pablo asked for an extension of time that he might be able to track the outlaws after a snowfall this winter.

 

Dearborn Independent
Dearborn, Michigan Sept 25, 1920

Can the American Buffalo Stage a Come-Back-?

By H. O. BISHOP

 

In the old frontier days of the western section of the United States, it was generally estimated that from ten to twenty million head of wild buffaloes roamed up and down through this country and Canada.

In 1889 these millions of valuable animals had dwindled in numbers until there were only 1,091 of them left in all North America, distributed as follows: 550 in Canada, 85 roaming wild in the United States, 200 in the Yellowstone Park, and 256 held in captivity in various parts of the country.

At that time it looked as if it were only a matter of a few years when the buffalo, once the pride of all America, would become extinct.

But a few public-spirited men of the type of the great Dr. W. T. Hornaday got busy and made a noise that was heard by Congress and a lot of individuals. These men pointed out the utter shame and disgrace of permitting such animals to become mere memories of a glorious past.

The American Bison Society was organized, composed of big-hearted and get-busy men from all sections of the country. This organization, working in harmony with the United States Department of Agriculture, the Canadian Government, the New York Zoological Society, and many private individuals, undertook the colossal job of not only rescuing the buffalo from extinction but again making him one of the big economic assets of this country.

In this laudable undertaking they are succeeding most admirably, as is attested by the fact that on the first of January of this year there was a total of 8,473 pure-bred buffaloes in North America, as follows :

Captive in the United States, 3,303; wild in the United States, 90; captive in Canada, 4,580; wild in Canada, 500; total, 8,473.

The captive buffaloes are located in the different states at the present time as follows: California Pasadena, J. H. Henry, 4; San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, 30; Santa Cruz, 3 total, 37.

Colorado Castle Rock, Richard Dillon, 12; Denver, Mountain Parks, 23; Durkley, B. A. Dawson, 4; Fort Garland, W. B. Turner, 173 total, 212.

Washington, D. C. National Zoological Park, 21.

Georgia Atlanta, Department of Parks, 2.

Idaho Pocatello, S. M. Nixon, 8.

Illinois Bloomington, Miller Park Zoo, 1; Chicago, Lincoln Park, 22; Freeport, Freeport Zoo, 2; Granville, A. W. Hopkins, 2; Naponset, E. F. Norton, 1; Paris, Reservoir Park, 2; Rushville, Warren R. Leach, 8; Rockford, City Park Zoo, 1 total, 39.

Indiana Fort Wayne, J. H. Bass, 1

Iowa Davenport. City Park, 9; Iowa Falls, City Park, 3; Keokuk, Rand Park, 1; Keota, J. O. Singmaster, 13; Keota, C. A. Singmaster, 11; Laurens, H L. Ryon, 2; Spirit Lake, John Reinhart, 19 total, 58.

Kansas Topeka, Gage Park, 7 ; Wichita, City Park, 4 total, 11.

Kentucky Junction City, Joe E. Wright, 2.

Louisiana New Orleans, Department of Conservation, 3.

Maryland Baltimore, Druid Hill Park, 7

Massachusetts Auburndale, Norumbega Park, 1 ; Boston, Franklin Park Zoo, 3; Springfield, Department of Parks, 7; West Brookfield. H. E. Richardson, 7; West Brookfield, Indian Rock Farm, 9 total, 27.

Michigan Detroit, Bell Isle Zoo, 6; Oscoda, Carl E. Schmidt, 2 total, 8.

Minnesota Hibbing, Board of Park Commissioners, 3; St. Paul, Department of Parks, 3 total, 6.

Missouri St. Louis, Forest Park, 6.

Montana Butte, Columbia Gardens, 3; Kalispell, Estate of C. E. Conrad, 73; Moiese, Montana National Bison Range, 298 total, 376.

Nebraska-Crete, Anton Vavra, 4 ; Lincoln Antelope Park, 2; Omaha, Department of Parks, 11: J valentine, Niobrara Reservation, 21 total, 38.

New Hampshire-Newport, Blue Mountain Forest Association, 43; Tilton, William H. Moses, 2– total, 45.

New York Brooklyn, Prospect Park, 1 ; Chazy, W. H. Miner, 11; New York City, Central Park 4; New York City, Zoological Park, 19; Rochester, Seneca, Durand, Eastman Parks, 6 total, 41.

North Carolina Andrews, George G. Moore, 7; Asheville, Pisgah National Forest and Game Preserve, 6 total, 13.

North Dakota Fort Totten, Sullys Hill National Park, 7.

Ohio Burton, W. B. Cleveland, 3; Cincinnati, Zoological Garden, 14; Cleveland, City Park, 1; Toledo, City Park, 2 total, 20

Oklahoma Bliss, Miller Brothers, 62 ; Cache, Oklahoma National Game Preserve. 119: City, State Game Preserve. 24; Oklahoma City .Wheeler Park, 2; Pawnee, Major G. W Lilly, 84 , Sand Springs, Zoological Garden, 2; Sulphur. Platt National Park, 3 total, 296. ,

Oregon-Pendleton, The Round-Up- , 1; Portland, Washington Park, 4 total, 5.

Pennsylvania Allentown. General Harry C Trexler, 51 ; Philadelphia, Zoological Society, 18; Pittsburgh Highland Park Zoo, 4 total, 73. .

South Dakota-Ashton, James M. Custer County State Game Preserve, 64; Fort Pierre, Estate of James Philip, 825 ; Hot Springs, Wind Cave National Game Preserve, 55 total, 948

Tennessee Memphis, Overton Park Zoo, 3

Texas El Paso, City Park, 3 ; El Paso, E. W. and R. E. McKenzie, 48 ; Goodnight, W. J. McCalister, 157; Hartley County, George T. Reynolds, 6; Kent, The Rock Pile Ranch, 5; Stamford, R. V. Colbert & Son, 11 total, 230.

Utah Salt Lake City, John E. Dooley, 300

Washington Seattle, Woodland Park Zoo, 5; Spokane, City Park, 4; Tacoma, Metropolitan Park, 10 total, 19.

Wisconsin Madison, Dr. Corydon Dwight, 2; Milwaukee, Washington Park Zoo, 5 total, 7.

Wyoming Cheyene, Charles Irwin, 2; Padlock Ranch, Lee Simonson, 5; Thermopolis, Thermopolis Hot Springs Reserve, 4; Worland, State Reserve, 10; Yellowstone National Park Tame Herd, 412; Yellowstone National Park Wild Herd, 90 total, 523.

It will be seen that South Dakota leads with 948 animals. The other six leading states being Wyoming, 523; Montana, 376; Utah, 300 ; Oklahoma, 296; Texas, 230 ; Colorado, 212.

In these days of expensive steaks and chops and meats of all kinds, almost any one might be pardoned for reproachfully pondering over the inexcusable waste and greed of those who preceded us by a few generations. The greater proportion of those millions of buffaloes that roamed our plains and valleys were ruthlessly slaughtered for their hides, which after tanning brought fancy prices as “buffalo robes.”

National Zoological Park Wa. D.C.

Many hunters whose appetites were of the dainty and puny variety shot thousands upon thousands of buffaloes, and after removing their tongues left the carcasses lying on the grass to be devoured by buzzards and wolves.

Another class of hunters killed them just for the mere fun of killing, taking neither hide, tongue nor carcass.

All this slaughter was carried on when it was known that the buffalo was the one thing absolutely needed by the thousands of Indians of the country as a source of supply for their food, clothing, shelter, bedding, saddles, rope and various other uses. With this natural supply of all these things taken away from them, the Indians quite naturally became a burden on the government, and ever since then, it has been necessary to supply them with beef, clothing and other articles at great expense to the taxpayers. Right now. during this good year of 1920, Congress had to appropriate between thirteen and fourteen million dollars which is being expended through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

It is up to the present and future generations to assist in retrieving the mistakes of their forefathers by exerting all possible efforts within their power to develop the breeding of buffaloes throughout the country. And furthermore, with this picture of gross wastefulness of other years before them, it might not be a bad generation to pause for a new idea for the present minute and ponder over the prospective possibility of their children and grandchildren a few years hence them for their disregard, of reasonable conservation even more than those of bygone generations being reproached at this time.

The ability successfully to cross buffaloes with cattle will doubtless result in an immense and profitable development of that phase of animal industry within the next few years. This cross of buffalo and cow is called “catalo.” It was given that name by the late “Buffalo” Jones, of Kansas, one of the most famous cattlemen that ever twirled a lasso. It will be observed that in coining this name Mr. Jones used the first syllable of cattle and the last syllable of buffalo.

One of the important differences between a cow and a buffalo is the fact that a buffalo has 14 ribs, whereas a cow has but 13.

Mr. Charles Goodnight, of Texas, is admittedly the most successful raiser of catalo in the world. He has experimented along that line for many years. In speaking of Mr. Goodnight’s catalo development, Mr. Martin S. Garretson, Secretary of the American Bison Society, says: “The many years of continuous experimenting in the production of catalo places Colonel Charles Goodnight known throughout Texas as the Father of the Panhandle at the head of the list. Colonel Goodnight is a broad-minded man, a deep thinker and one not easily discouraged. With him, it is no longer an experiment but an accomplished fact. For forty years he has given his time and means without stint, first to create, then to improve. The result is he has established a breed that will not only reproduce its kind but one far superior in many ways to any other breed of cattle.

“In this new breed, Colonel Goodnight has succeeded in incorporating all the good qualities and hardiness of the buffalo, also the extra fourteenth rib, the same as in the buffalo. In regard to this feature, he states that it varies greatly. A few of the higher grades have the extra rib. Time and patience alone can add this perfectly and only as the blood becomes purer will it become thoroughly established. The advantage of this extra rib is not only evidence of greater hardihood, but lengthens the carcass, fills out the flank and gives more and better meat. Colonel Goodnight has demonstrated beyond doubt that the catalo is a valuable animal and one that will continue to breed much longer than domestic cows. These facts and many others obtained by continuous and close observation have created a standard by which others can hope to succeed and avoid the costly mistakes of their predecessors. “Colonel Goodnight has the largest herd of catalo in the world, and as he is well advanced in years and unable to continue or make further investigations, it would seem like a calamity for this herd to be broken up and dispersed. Should some individual, or better, the United States Government, take advantage of the opportunity and acquire the herd, they would not only have the result of forty years’ experience but would also avoid the difficulties and loss to be encountered in securing the first cross. This herd of fifty catalo is past the experimental stage, and only lacks the means for further improvement.”

It is not generally realized that when North America was first explored by white men, they found buffaloes scattered all through the valleys of the Allegheny range of mountains, particularly in sections now known as Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia; they were also found’ in the Mississippi Valley. They were found in greatest numbers, however, upon the grass-covered plains between the Missouri River and the Rockies. Those east of the Mississippi were all killed off or driven westward by the end of the eighteenth century. By 1850 none were left east of the dry plains.

When the first transcontinental railroads were built the buffaloes were so plentiful that trains were frequently obliged to come to a halt for hours at a time, while herds of hundreds of thousands leisurely crossed the tracks.

In the old days, buffalo herds were made up of small companies consisting of a patriarchal old bull, and cows and calves of varying ages. Thousands of these family companies would feed in the same region, all moving along slowly in one general direction, making it possible for travelers never to be out of sight of buffaloes during a whole day’s journey. They seemed to have temperaments somewhat akin to those of gypsies, constantly wandering from one locality to another, ever on the lookout for something better in the eating line.

Upon the approach of winter, a general movement always took place from the high sections to the warm valleys and plains of the South. In these journeys they invariably traveled single file, thus forming long narrow paths, which the natives referred to as “buffalo trails.” Despite their clumsy bulk they swam rivers with ease and rambled about the mountains almost as easily as goats.

Dearborn Independent Sep 25 1920 pic1

The sexes kept together throughout the year, and as usual among gregarious animals, there was constant fighting among the bulls for leadership, the old leaders being overthrown by younger and more vigorous aspirants as soon as their strength began to wane.

Maintaining a close herd was a matter of necessity in keeping off preying animals. Wolves were ever on the alert to pounce on a calf or weak old animal. The grizzly bear was the only beast able to whip a male buffalo in a fair open fight. When attacked the herd would quickly form a close crowd, with the cows and calves in the center, and the bulls forming a protecting circle around them, heads lowered ready for terrific action.

 

 

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Jan 21, 1923

BUFFALOES IN U.S. GROW IN NUMBERS
3654 in Country Now as “Compared to 969 in 1903, Statistics Show
American Bison Society Responsible for Added Interest in Animals

The Indian and the bison, both aborigines in this land of ours, at one time were early in danger of becoming extinct at the hands of the white man. The American Government saved the Indian by setting aside land as Indian reserves that the red man might live.

Now comes a report, paralleling the saving of the American Indian from a possible total extinction, to the effect that the buffalo has been saved from similar fate, largely through the efforts of the American Bison Society, organized in 1003. The report of the society, which was issued by M. S. Garretson, secretary, following the annual meeting recently held in New York, states that the United States Government and private herds of buffalo are increasing each year arid are in a healthy condition.

Throughout the United States there are, including government and other herds, a total of 3654 buffaloes, where in 1903 there were only 969. Of this number, the current total of government herded buffalo, according to the latest statistics, is 1282. Including the bison in Canada, there is a total of 11,904 of these bovines in North America.

Nine Buffalo Preserves
The United States Government and private interests also have done much to save these wonderful creatures from extermination. The government now owns nine buffalo preserves, the largest herd, about 600 head, being in the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The Montana bison range has about 400 head and is the second largest. This preserve was established by the American Bison Society, which placed 40 head there originally. A substantial increase for the Wichita National Forest and Game Preserve in Oklahoma is reported. From 15 animals, this preserve has increased its stock to more than 200.

About twenty years ago, the buffalo was to be found in only
twenty-four States of the Union, whereas it is now roaming in about forty. Many cattle ranchers have become interested and own small buffalo herds. This has resulted in many of the bovines being crossed with domestic cattle, producing what is commonly known as the “catalo.” This name was invented by the celebrated ranger, the late Colonel Charles A. Jones, known from coast to coast as “Buffalo Jones,” and was obtained by taking the first three letters of “cattle” and. the final three letters of “buffalo.”

And so it is that the bison, for which we have named one of our important American cities, is in no danger of extinction.

 

 

Arizona Republic
Phoenix  Arizona June 21 1930 

Bison Society To Help State Obtain Lands

FLAGSTAFF, June 20. (UP) The American Bison society today announced steps will be taken to aid the Arizona state game commission in its fight to add 100.000 acres to the Houserock valley buffalo grazing area.

An inspection trip over the area was made by Edmund Seymour, president of the bison association, who announced the organization he represented had joined forces with the state body.

At present, the buffalo herd, numbering 89, has to be moved from the range each summer because of lack of water and feed.

“Utah cattlemen who send herds into the district during the summer months, will fight the move of Arizona,” Tom McCullough of the Arizona commission said, “but with help of the American Bison association we hope to secure the grant of land from the government.”

 

The News-Herald
Franklin Pa Dec 8, 1933

Saving the Bison

With Dr. William T. Hornaday, zoologist and wild-life conservationist, quietly celebrating his 79th birthday anniversary at Stamford, Conn., the noted lover of wild animal life expressed gratitude for particularly one thing the “wonderful luck,” he had in preventing the American bison, or buffalo, from being exterminated.

Far back in 1888, Dr. Hornaday wrote an exhaustive article on the threatened extermination of the American bison, and demanded that measures be taken to keep it from passing from the scene altogether.

“The future of the American bison is now secure, thanks to the efforts of private breeders and the United States and Canadian governments,” he declared. “Our grand battle for the saving of American feathered game from being snuffed out began in August, 1923. Ever since that date, it has been one prolonged and bitter fight against exploiters and exterminators of game.”

Partial success crowned the efforts in 1930, and since then additional headway has been made. It takes men of the courage and foresight of Dr. Hornaday to protect for today, and for the future, the wild life and the bird life which has been so much a colorful part of this continent down through the years.

 

In 1938 Mount Hornaday was named

Conservationist William Temple Hornaday brought a strong sense of environmental stewardship to the BSA. He also helped save American bison from extinction, so it is fitting that a mountain in Yellowstone National Park, home of many bison, is named after him.1938-Mount Hornaday

The 10,000-foot Hornaday summit in Wyoming can be reached by experienced backcountry travelers coming over Druid Peak several miles to the south. You can also discover one of Yellowstone’s best hikes with a 20-mile backpacking trip that circumnavigates Mount Hornaday. Follow Pebble Creek upstream, climb over Bliss Pass and descend the Slough Creek watershed to enjoy unspoiled valleys, a taste of the high country and fine vistas of the mountain.

 

 

Lubbock Morning Avalanche
Lubbock, Texas Jul 25 1957
Message Of Past Found Under Hoof Of Bison Exhibit

WASHINGTON m – From beneath a bison’s hoof at the Smithsonian Institution has come a message from the past. Workmen dismantled an old bison (buffalo) exhibit and found in the plaster base on which it stood, a rusty, battered metal box.

Henry Setzer, curator of mammals, mammals, found in the box two copies of Cosmopolitan magazine for 1887. They contained an account by William T. Hornaday on “The Passing of the Buffalo.”

Hornaday was chief taxidermist for the Smithsonian National Museum in the 1880s. At the top of one article he had written a note addressed to “my illustrious successor.”

Tells Of Capture

The note read: “Dear sir, enclosed please find a brief and truthful account of the capture of the specimens which compose this group. The old bull, the young cow and the yearling calf were killed by yours truly. “When I am dust and ashes I beg you to protect these specimens from deterioration and destruction. Of course they are crude productions in comparison with what you produce, but you remember that at this time (A.D. 1888, March 7) the American School of Taxidermy has only just been recognized. Therefore give the devil his due and revile not. W.T. Hornaday.”

Hornaday became the first director of the Bronx Zoo in New York in 1896. He died in 1937. ! The Smithsonian said it will save Hornaday’s bison and set them up in a new exhibit.