Legendary Bison Bulls

Legendary Bison Bulls

In several credible sources,  I have read there was a bull or bulls in history, that weighed 3000lbs. I have yet to find their source for that information. Were they Woods or Plains Bison? I think 2400 is pretty common for a huge bull. In fact, ‘Demise” aka Mr Big was such a bull, while he was living. I believe “Willy” in south Texas, is also 2400lbs. The most common bison bull weight would be 15-1800lbs. 

Old Logan -1801 A Giant Coal Black Bull

A backwoodsman who saw them counted three hundred and forty-five in the procession, and probably a score of stragglers followed in the course of the next few hours. They were led by “Old Logan,” a coal black bull of immense size, which seemed to the settlers to have a charmed life. His spacious sides scarred with bullet marks and wounds left by attacks from wolves and half of his tail was missing.
The pioneer who counted the procession of coarse took a shot at the big fellow, but his gun miss fire, and on examination found it was out of order. That ended his hunt for the day, and he had to content himself with recounting his experience, without having a trophy to show for it.
At daybreak the buffaloes were at the foot of the mountains, grazing out over the dreary, snow-buried valley. There was a log cabin occupied by a young man named McClellan and his family about a quarter of a mile below where they were huddled together. The hearty young pioneer copied the brutes and lay in wait for them until they got into motion again and filed down the hollow of the stream which flowed from the mountains into Middle Creek.
When they reach a point opposite the cabin they were surprised by a fusillade which laid low first one, then a second, then a third, and a fourth of their number. More would have fallen had not the Hunter directed so many volleys at “Old Logan.” His impenetratable hide rolled off the bullets and he ambled away grunting amicably.
Four buffaloes before breakfast was a good bag, and the delighted nimrod set to work skinning them, and cutting out the choicest proportions of flesh, giving his most careful attention to the tongues. The four carcasses proved to be those of young cows, the meat of which was most highly prized, and there was less to leave to the wolves and ravens than had the victims been old bulls.
Half a mile below where they had been ambushed the bison fell into better luck. Martin Bergstresser, a recent arrival from Berks County, had cleared a nice sized farm by the creek, and his first seasons hay crop, a goodly pile, stood in the lea of his big log barn. It was needed to give feed for the winter to a number of cows and sheep, and team of horses, of which the former Berks countlan was the proud possessor. The animals were siding close to the stack, when they scented the approaching buffaloes, and commenced lowing and bleating with terror.
Led by “Old Logan” the famished herd broke through the rail fence, and crushing the farm animals beneath their mighty rush, were soon making short work of the hay pile. Bergstressor was cutting trees nearly a mile away when the stampede occurred, and he had not heard the bellowing of his livestock, the screams of his wife and daughters would have brought him back. He dropped his axe, and picked up his gun, hurrying over stumps and rocks to the scene of the onslaught.
Like his neighbor, McClellan, he singled out “Old Logan, “ as the first object of his attack, but it was wasting ammunition. His eldest daughter, Katie, a girl of eighteen, brought out a fresh musket, and shot too large buffaloes, which excited the herd so much that they turned away from the stack.
At this juncture McClellan appeared and shot two more. Evidently the animals possessed a strong communal feeling, for when they saw their companions kicking convulsively and covered with blood, they set up the most pitiful groaning imaginable.
“Old Logan,“ who had been more worried by the pioneers’ dogs then by their bullets saw the time had come to move, and striking a trot, led his party out of the barnyard and up the creek. When they had gone it looked as if a cyclone had swept across the premises.
The barn was standing all right, but the fences, spring-house and hay stack had gone, and six cows, for calves and 25 sheep lay crushed and dead among the ruins. Luckily the horses were safe and sound in the stable, although one had become so excited he got cast in his stall, and was rescued barely in time.
McClellan lingered around a couple of hours helping what he could to repair damages, and offering his sympathy to all the Bergstressers. Then he started homeward, but when he got within sight of his clearing he uttered a cry of surprise and horror.
Three hundred buffaloes were snorting and trotting around the lot in which his cabin stood, being sold numerous that the house was obscured by them. Boldly the pioneer rushed through their rearing masses, only to find “Old Logan” standing guard in front of the cabin door. Too terrified to reason correctly, he aimed his musket and fired carrying an ugly whole in the big bulls throat.
Enraged by blood and pain, the monster wheeled about, and plunged headlong through the door of the cabin. Being their leader, the herd were accustomed to follow him blindly, so when he disappeared into the cabin the rest strove to do likewise.
Vainly McClellan fired his musket, and when the ammunition was exhausted, he drew his knife into the beasts’ flanks to try to stop them in their mad course. Inside the cabin were his wife and three little children, aged five, three and one year, at least they weren’t there when he started on the hunt a few hours earlier, and he dreaded to think of their awful fate. He could not stem the tide, and the brutes continued filing through the doorway and tell they were jammed in the building as tightly as wooded animals in a toy Noah’s Ark.
No sound came from the victims inside, all he could hear was the snorting and bumping of the giant beast in their cramped quarters. The other bison outside stamped their hoofs, moaning with disappointment. Seeing he could do nothing more, he was about to go back to Bergstresser’s for help, when he saw his neighbor and three other men, all carrying guns, coming out of the woods.
They had heard the noisy animals a mile a way, and formed themselves into a posse. McClellan signaled them to remain where they were, and ran towards them. They held a hasty council of war, deciding that the only thing to do was to tear down the log cabin, in the hopes that perhaps some of the family had hit in a corner, and were still living.
Two of the men ran back to the Bergstresser’s wife and daughters, twenty-five dead bison were lying in the lot. The live ones would not leave as long as “Old Logan” remained wedged in the cabin but remained stupidly clustered around the door.
The five men, armed with axes and with heavy poles for battering rams, repaired to the rear of the shack and began the work of demolition. It had been built to last, but the determined man Sioux made a generous opening, out of which the bison headed by “Old Logan” like giant bees from a hive.
The site of the King of the buffaloes with his bearded throat a mass of clotted blood, was too much for McClellan. He seized a gun and shot the brute through the head. The old fellow was slow to die, running bellowing hideously for three hundred yards before he fell and became rigid. The entire herd followed him, and surrounded is prostrate form, the air resounding with their moans as they battled with one another to lick his wounds.
The men entered the cabin, and were horrified to have their worst fears realized. On the earthen floor, crushed deep into the mud by the impress of the cruel hoofs were there remains of the unfortunate McClellan’s wife and three children. Strong man of the woods that he was he dropped down in a faint and it was over an hour before he could be resuscitated.
When he came in himself he was led, trembling like a leaf to the Bergstresser’s home, and put to bed. It was useless to follow the buffaloes anymore that day, as all the men were out of ammunition. They buried the mangled bodies of the family under the earthen floor and the log cabin, walled up the door and the opening that had been made to let out the buffaloes, leaving them to sleep their last sleep in what was so recently their home, but now their mausoleum.
When that bereaved husband and father recovered sufficiently he suggested to Bergstresser that they exterminate the surviving bison. Bergstresser was enthusiastic over the idea, and the two men started on horseback, one riding towards the river and the other towards the headwaters of Middle Creek, to invite the settlers to join a hunt of extermination.
Meanwhile there was another heavy snowfall, that every man invited excepted with alacrity. About fifty hunters assembled at the Bergstresser home, and marched like an invading army in the direction of the mountains. They were out two days before discovering their quarry as the fresh snow had covered all the buffaloes paths. The brutes were all huddled together up to their necks in snow in the great “Sink” in the White Mountains and the hunters, looking down on them, estimated their numbers at three hundred.
When they got among the animals they found them them from cold and hunger, but they had been physically able they could not have moved so deeply where they “crusted” in the drift. The work of slaughter quickly began. Some use guns, but the most killed them by cutting their throats with long knives.
The snow was too deep to attempt skinning them, but the tongues were saved, and these the backwoodsman shoved into the pockets of their leather coats until they could carry no more.
After the last buffalo had been dispatched the triumphant huntsman marched down the valley, singing German hymns. It was a horrible sight they left behind them. Three hundred dead buffaloes stood upright in the frozen “crust,” most with jaws broken, and all with tongues gone, and the ice about them resembled a shoot of crimson glass
Later in the season some of the hunters returned to see if they could procure a few of the hides, but the alternate freezes and thaws had rendered them worthless. In the spring and summer travelers crossing distant ridges could notice one portion of the sky black with pinions of huge birds. They were the carrion-seekers, bald eagles, golden eagles, a half dozen kinds of hawks, buzzards, ravens, crows, which picked clean the bones of Pennsylvania’s last herd of bison.
Whether they deserve their awful fate because the dumbness of “Old Logan,“ their leader, caused the trampoline to death of a pioneer family is difficult to judge, but they paid the penalty, and their executioners were content to rob posterity of these valuable game animals. To this day the barren flat where the McClellan’s cabin stood is known as “The Buffaloes Field,“ and on winter nights it is averred that the tramp of hoofs is herd incessantly pounding the hard earth in a ghostly stampede.]


Sir Donald 1872 – 1909 (as the article states)  Manitoba Morning Free Press April 21 1909

Story goes, he was captured about 1872 and thought to be two years old at that time. They say he was with his herd for “upwards of 28 years” Around 1905 he was challenged by a younger bull, where he lost one horn and an eye. He was pretty much by himself after that and was found dead in 1909. Sir Donald

Measured about 151/2 inches between the eye sockets. The remaining horn is 18 1/2 inches long and it’s girth is 14 1/2 inches. He answered best to the Indians description of the buffalo, being short and very thick and deep in the body, with great bone and extremely massive head and front. And he was undoubtedly a really pure-bred bison. (the article also says   “measuring about 19? inches from tip to tip of the horns”   Looks like 40 or 49, but it could be just excessive ink that makes it look that way)

Sir Donald Measurements

Buffalo Gored to Death

Winnipeg Tribune Apr 7 1909

Sir Donald Killed

Manitoba Morning Free Press Apr 7 1909


The rest of his story can be found at Canada History








Cleveland- 1888

……while the bison at Bismarck Grove are splendid specimens of their class, ‘Cleveland’ is decidedly the pride of the herd and as grand a creature as ever trod the soil of Kansas on four legs. He is just six years old and is a perfect specimen of the kings of the plains. There is a royal blood in his veins and his code is finer than the imperial purple. It is not possible to get at him to measure his stature and weigh him, but as he stands in the past year he appears to be as tall as a thoroughbred Norman-Percheron stallion and as massive as an elephant direct from the jungles. He must weigh fully 3,000 pounds, and it is doubtful is there is today living on the face of the earth a handsomer buffalo bull then he. His fur is just now in its best state, even thick and compact, while the long hair on his neck and legs is of a glossy seal brown. As he turns and faces the visitor, one can imagine what it must have been to see countless thousands roaming on the plains and to hear the thunder of their hooves in a stampede. “Cleveland’s” disposition is not so ugly as Old Barney’s was, but at certain seasons he is very wild and there is no one venturesome enough to go into the enclosure. It is then not altogether safe to even look over the high in heavy board fence at him, for he is likely to make a run for the visitor, as the numerous holes in the fence where he has knocked off the boards will testify.
Colonel Stanton is very proud of his herd, particularly of Cleveland, and he has a right to be. He would rather lose his best hotel that his buffalo, nor would any cash price induce him to part with them. He will probably, in the near future, place them in a more convenient location and tend to breeding them and crossbreeding with cattle. He certainly has a splendid foundation to begin on and it is a lucrative business, a single buffalo been worth more than of whole drove of common cattle.


Buffalo Bill and Jim 1895

The workmen at the Park were treated to a lively scene Friday, when the two mammoth bison bulls were transferred to different pens. These fellows, prior to January, were quite companionable, but one day that month their pugnacity was suddenly aroused, and is stiff and counter was engaged in, resulting in “Buffalo Bill” seriously goring “Jim.” The latter was placed in a stable to allow his wounds to heal, while the other warrior was left with the herd. Being thus separated, the two only engaged complements at intervals in the way of bellowing, but a few days ago “Buffalo Bill” forest and entrance into the abode of his enemy, where an angry and counter was precipitated. It was a perilous task to attempt to make peace between the enraged animals. Finally “Buffalo Bill” was ejected, and “Jim’s” home was securely guarded.

Friday Keeper DeVry determined to give “Jim” the freedom of the yard, and put his antagonistic in durance vile. Accordingly “Buffalo Bill” was lassoed after considerable trouble, during which ropes were broken and one of his horns was badly fractured. He was fastened to a tree while “Jim” was led out to the herd. Then after another tussle the obstinate beast was led to confinement, where he will remain while his brother is taking an airing. However, negotiations were perfected Saturday for the purchase of three bisons for the zoological garden of Philadelphia. Keeper DeVry said that “Jim” would likely be one of the number.
It is interesting to know that this herd of 16 natives of the Western plains is the finest in captivity. The park has been successful in raising these animals. Some years ago there were but two bison; the rest are lineal descendants of this couple.


Sullivan and Old Pete-1897

A Gallant Battle by a Bison Bull Against Three Cow-Boys
……The superb bison at the Zoological Gardens known as John L Sullivan broke his neck yesterday. He met his death after a heroic battle for freedom. The battle ground was in the Zoo and a thousand men, women and children paid to see the buffalo chase, while twice that number stood on the elevated roadbed of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which skirts the garden. The army of people were thrilled by the brave and spirited defense Sullivan made against the combined efforts of three stalwart cow-boys, three strong ponies, three lariats and the big thick rope. Sullivan was only conquered by death, after he had gored a pony, broke several lariats and made the cow-boys weary. While wintering on Staten Island the Wild West Show lost almost a dozen buffaloes, and as spring approached in the time for the departure of Buffalo Bill’s aggregation for England grew nearer Col. Cody began to look about the country for bisons. When he heard that Sullivan and Old Pete, the big bulls of the Zoological Garden, in this city, could be bought he closed a bargain at once, the purchase price being several hundred dollars.

……The show sails on Thursday next for London, and Buck Taylor, Billy Bullock and Joe, Esquirel, the well-known cow-boys, with three big ponies, came over yesterday morning from New York to lasso the buffaloes. Shortly after 11 o’clock the cow-boys succeeded in conquering “Old” Pete, and he was led with little difficulty between two horses to the stockyard of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in West Philadelphia.
Sullivan, a big, vicious bull, whose pugnacious nature led to his sale by the society, was to be tackled later on. Sullivan, a proud and spirited animal, had made a bad record during the year. He thrice had put his head through a three-ply fence, broken down gates, almost killed “Rocks,” a bull much smaller than Sullivan, and had periodically knocked silly big, robust Dominick McCaffery, an ambitious bison and former champion of the buffalo yard.

……It was just 2 o’clock when the three cow-boys, mounted, jumped into the yard at the northwest corner. They each carried a lariat. Buck Taylor was seated on “Cheiftain,” a pretty bay with white marks. There were scores of dime novel readers there and they saluted the “King of the Cow-boys” in picturesque sentences. Taylor wore maroon colored shirt, embroidered, corduroy trousers, top boots and a white sombrero. A rich red and black silk handkerchief, which his girl had given him, was around his neck and a big diamond glittered on his black silk necktie. Billy Bullock and Joe Esquirel, who were less richly dressed, use the peculiar costume of the cow-boys. Bullock rode “One of a Kind” and “Streaks” was under Esquirel. The herd was gathered under the shed, discussing the abduction of Old Pete, when Buck Taylor through his noose at Sullivan’s head. It did not get there, but it started the battle. Sullivan and his relations dashed out from the shed, followed by the horsemen. Taylor led again, but missed him, and Sullivan dodged the lariats of Bullock and Esquirel. Sullivan was mad and with “McCaffery,” Rock and the other bison on his heels dashed around the yard. Bullock put his noose over the horns of the swift-footed beast, but Sullivan quickly shook it off and turned toward “One of a kind.” Bullock got out of the way and then Taylor again headed for Sullivan.

……The noose shot through the air, and, with the spontaneous shout from the crowd, Sullivan came to us stand with such abruptness as to almost lift Taylor off his horse. While the people were cheering Sullivan made a dash across the yard and swung around the tree in the northwest corner. The infuriated bull and the combination at the other end of the line played a desperate game of see-saw. The other horsemen were hurrying to the assistance of Taylor when the maddened Sullivan made a fierce pitch.
……The line broke and in an instant he rushed Chieftain and his rider. Taylor made an attempt to turn his horse, when the bull swept down and with a wild toss of his head ripped open the right haunch of Chieftain with his sharp, curved horn. The bull made another plunge, but the crowd saw the blood streaming from Chieftain, and gave a cry of alarm in time for Taylor to pull his horse away from the bull. In a second the gate was opened and Taylor and his horse dashed ahead of Sullivan and escaped from the bull. Billy Bullock and his partner made a dash for Sullivan and he was about to plan his horns into “One of a Kind,” when the Cow-boys were told to come out of the yard and Sullivan was left still champion of the Zoo. Dr. Huidekoper, dean of the veterinary school at the University, was in the crowd and he was soon by the side of Buck Taylor’s horse. The horn had opened an artery and torn muscles and flesh protruded from the wound, which sent out a stream of blood. Dr. Huidekoper immediately stuffed handkerchief into the wound, and then the horse was led to the stable, where the doctor filled the wound with oakum and had it bathed with cold water.

……Sullivan had to be captured, and Buck Taylor had mounted “Streaks” to return to the attack, when Agent O’Donnell, of the society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals, stopped him. Agent O’Donnell had agents Cox and Bowes with him. They said courteously, but earnestly that they would not allow the other horses to return to the yard. Sullivan was a mad beast of wonderful power and they believed that he would kill the other horses. “I don’t want to break your ____,” said Buck, “but we must take that buffalo, and I hope you won’t object to us doing it on foot.”
……“We won’t object to that, “replied agent O’Donnell, and then the towering “King of the Cow-boys” and smaller, but equally ____, companions sealed the fence of the buffalo yard. As Taylor’s smiling face was ___seen in the area he was given and enthusiastic welcome, like that which the _____ Mastantini is want to receive in the _____ pits of Spain. “Don’t git skeered, Buck, ____boy,” shouted a freckled face boy on the _____of a nearby tree: “were wid yer.”
……Taylor’s smile broadened, but he lost no time in hurling his lariat at Sullivan. The other Cowboys were on us Swift run at the ____ of Sullivan, when Taylor’s swung his lasso around the big neck of the bull, Sullivan dashed around, almost dragging Taylor ___feet. At last Billy Bullock and Esquirel caught up with Taylor and the ___ cow-boys slackened Sullivans speed gradually stopped him. Esquirel ____ his noose under the forefeet of the bull.. When it was drawn tight the cow-boys thought they had their buffalo, but Sullivan snapped the lariat. While he dashed about one side of the tree, near the shed, ___ cow-boys ran the other way. They looked for a rope, and “Weasel Bill” Loomis suddenly dashed into the arena with a thick rope. Esquirel, after several attempts, put the noose over the horns of Sullivan, and he madly plunged. The crowd sent up ___of victory, but at that moment, by a sublime effort, the bull for the ropes from the hands of the men.

……“Weasel Bill” was convinced that Sullivan was on to him and Loomis shot over the fence like the tail end of a cyclone. One lariat at was still clinging to the neck of Sullivan and the three cow-boys chased the buffalo for five minutes before Billy Bullock fished up the line. Two held him while Taylor hauled the rope again over the horns, and again Sullivan dashed about, finally getting himself tangled around the post of the shed. He was pulling down the shed, when the skinned hands that held the ropes let him plunge free of the post. Sullivan was blind with madness and dashed around the northwest tree. In an instant the cow-boys ran the ropes into the hands of the crowd of men at the bars and the plunging bull was tied fast, while the crowd shouted itself hoarse. The cow-boys had just left the yard and were preparing to lash to horses together to take Sullivan to the train when the bull grew fierce in his endeavors to free himself.

……With the wild plunge his forefeet caught the rope, and Sullivan dropped on his left shoulder blade. Buck Taylor thought the bull was choking, and with Dr. Huidekoper and the other cow-boys jumped into the buffalo yard. The noose around the neck was loose, but Sullivan was gasping his last breath. There was intense excitement, and the men began to blow into the nostrils of the fallen champion. It was of no avail. Sullivan would not go to England -he was dead. The poor beast in his fight for liberty had broken his neck. The tragedy caused great sorrow. Keeper John Ford, who knew Sullivan since his infancy, wept and Head Keeper Byrne stood at the side of the dead bison and spoke of his virtues. John L. Sullivan was born in the garden a dozen years ago. His sire was fresh from the prairies and his mother was one of the most respectable buffaloes that ever lived at the Zoo. When Sullivan’s three wives and other relatives saw that he was dead they gathered around him and licked his head.

……“I didn’t expect all this,” said Buck Taylor. “That buffalo was one of the finest bisons I ever saw. As for my horse, I would rather have lost $5,000 then have him gored the way he was. I had no spurs on or I would have got out of the way. I want to take my pony with me to England. We must sale on Thursday next. Dr.Huidekoper says he thinks he can have him in fit condition to be taken to New York by that time, and I leave ‘Chieftain’ in his charge. He will have the best all over at the college and no expense will be spared in giving him comfort and the finest medical skill.” The cow-boys were cast down at their ill luck. Buck Taylor stood in the telegraph office and had wired to Nate Saulsbury, one of the owners of the Wild West show: Sullivan broke his neck. What will I do with his body?

Cleveland and MCKinley 1900 

Owned by William C. Whitney and gave them to Hornaday for the NY Zoological Park


Black Dog 2800lbs cir. 1910

Black Dog cir 1916


Teddy- 1911 (catalo)

Several experiments in raising catalo have been conducted in the Dooly herd on Antelope Island. A cross between Hereford cattle and the buffalo has been obtained that is large and hardy. In every instance save one the catalo has been the of a buffalo cow, sired by a domestic bull. In only one instance has a catalo than the calf of the domestic heifer.
……This instance was a result of an experiment conducted on Antelope Island. I Hereford cow with considerable difficulty raised a monstrous hybrid, half buffalo and half Hereford. This hybrid was born on March 4, 1904, the date of the inauguration of Pres. Roosevelt, and was promptly christened “Teddy.” Recently his name, for some reason, was change to “Boaz.” Perhaps his nature was not fierce enough to justify the name of “Teddy.”
……“Teddy”remained with his mother all of the time, refusing to run with the buffalo. He was large and in color resembled the Hereford. His coat was black, within an immense shaggy mane hanging low from his shoulders and extended over his head. His for head was blazed and his horns short and blunt like the buffalo. He was constructed much after the buffalo within an enormous head and a large, on his shoulders. He was much larger than average buffalo and he was almost as large as the largest buffalo known. He was much larger than the other catalo heretofore produced and disposition was even more ferocious than that of the buffalo.

Keep Close to Mother
……When undisturbed this mammoth catalo would graze quietly with the rest of the Herford herd, always keeping close to his mother, who appeared tiny in comparison to her huge offspring who in three years time had become full-grown, but who still preferred to graze near his mother. “Teddy” resented the approach of man and was always ready to fly to the defense of his mother whenever he thought she was in danger.
……“Teddy”became quite an attraction at Antelope Island, especially for naturalist who examined him at a safe distance. He had upset all the “dope” because scientists had declared that no such animal could be so created. In the words of the farmer who viewed the hippopotamus they declared emphatically:” it’s a lie; there ain’t no such animal.” Finally they called him a freak and let it go at that.
……Finally show people saw exhibition possibilities in “Teddy” and he was purchased for touring purposes. His capture was interesting. After he had easily snapped a number of rawhide lariats tossed by cow men about his shaggy neck and charged the Mustangs on which his would-be captor were mounted, it was decided to resort to strategy.
……A large cage was built and placed out on the range on the island. All sorts of tempting grain and feed were placed inside of the open cage and every effort made to induce the monster to go inside. For several days he disdained the temptations, but finally he was attracted and stepped inside. The trap was so arranged that when “Teddy” once stepped inside he was a prisoner. This he did not seem to mind until the food supply was gone. Then he discovered that he was a prisoner.Teddy on Antelope Island

Does Stunt in Show
……“Teddy” roared loudly and attacked the cage viciously. It was strong, however, and that protesting catalo finally wearied in his efforts to get out. He was hauled away in triumph by the show people. Then he was christened “Boaz” and began his tour about the country. In captivity he was measurably tamed. The man who brought him feed and water he soon looked on as a friend and he never protested when the keeper entered the cage. As far as can be learned no one else ever tried. Spectators at a safe distance from the cage were kept in a state of constant terror by the bellowing, threatening animal.
……The exhibition tour was not of financial success and on a judgment an Ogden man finally came in possession of “Boaz.” The appetite of the monster was enormous and Ogden creditor soon devoutly wished “Boaz” back with the show people. Finally he was disposed of to another and amusement enterprise and is again touring the country and providing material for the lecture of the “harker.”
The transportation of ”Teddy” alias “Boaz” from Antelope Island was not the only transportation of animals from the island. A number of attempts, most of them successful, have been made to ship buffaloes from the island. Every year or two Mr. Dooley exchanges buffalo calves with the Montana herd in order to improve the strain of both herds. In most cases these calves are separated by some ruse or another from their mother when they are very young and transported as quickly as possible. Experience has taught buffalo owners that healthy young buffaloes as they become older are hard to handle.

Starves Himself to Death
……Some years ago John E. Dooly decided to present the late John Sparks, Gov. of Nevada, with the young buffalo for his large stock farm. Mr. Dooly’s cowboys roped several young buffaloes, but each on finding himself taken captive through himself headlong breaking his neck. Finally one was separated from the herd and driven to the barnyard. A cage was built for him and he was placed inside of it. Then he was transported successfully to Gov. Spark’s farm. There the young buffalo refused to eat. A vicious hunt forestalled all efforts of the ranch hands to make friends with him. On the range where there was excellent pasturage the young buffalo refused to eat and soon grew so weak and starvation that he could not stand. Still he resisted all efforts to make him eat and he was finally shot to and his sufferings.
……The buffaloes at Antelope Island are theoretically in captivity. Actually they are as wild as their forebears which roamed the plains long before the arrival of the white man. They live on the wild range and do not encroach on the cultivated portion of the island. The wild buffaloes Only a few have been domesticated and these few animals remain close to the ranch house, they are educated taste been satisfied by the domestic food that the wild provender of their roaming kin.
……The wild buffalo on Antelope Island have exactly the same traits that characterize their ancestors and__noted by the early naturalist who studied the wild buffalo. There is ___ ways a king for the herd, but his government is as unstable as that of ____ head of a South American republic.
Revolutions are constant and so ____as the King buffalo can put down ___insurrections he is the recognized _____r. When he fails he is not only ____ osed, but ostracized. Conflicts are constantly going on between the old buffalo who is leading the herd, and the younger Bulls who are ambitious to succeed him. Ungrateful great-grandson’s of the monarch are always leading as an attack against him. Long experience wise generalship and superb strength often wins for the monarch, but he grows older and his adversaries ____ powerful and skillful his ___ totter. Finally the old bull is best and expelled from the herd and a new leader of the attack on the old bull is recognized as the king. The —-____ of the King buffalo is about the years.

Doesn’t Emulate Jeffries
……An ostracized and deposed monarch never tries to “come back.” He becomes grouchy and melancholy as ___ as very vicious. He ranges by himself and often lives to an extreme old age. Last winter in a buffalo hunt on the Antelope Island eight at bees ex monarchs were slain. They were all old, but despite their age and loss of power they were in the full glory of ____ majesty of their beautiful heads and coats.
……One of these old bull estimated to be nearly 25 years old, was one of the largest buffaloes ever measured. His head, coat and bones were sent to the Smithsonian Institute at Washington D.C. Some of the others also will be mounted, while the robes of some will be made into rugs. All of the heads will be mounted.


Bronx and Black Diamond- dod 1915

Black Diamond was born in 1893 of a bull and cow given to the zoo by Barnum and Bailey (most reports claim his age to be 20 at the time of his demise)

The popular Indian Head, or Buffalo, five-cent coin (nickel) was introduced February 22, 1913 Black Diamond was put up for auction June 28, 1915. However, no bids were received. He was purchased for slaughter in a private sale for $300 by A. Silz, Inc., a game and poultry dealer. He was slaughtered November 17 and “Black Diamond Steaks” were sold for $2 a pound. Fred Santer, a New York taxidermist, mounted Black Diamond’s head and turned his hide into a then-fashionable 13-foot automobile robe.

The model for the beastly figure on the reverse of the coin was Black Diamond, an American bison that resided at the Central Park Zoo. Some numismatic scholars theorize that the bison model may have actually been a herd leader at the Bronx Zoo named, appropriately, Bronx. In reading the article below, you to will wonder. Was it really Black Diamond?


Black Diamond on the 1901 United States ten-dollar bill, drawn by Charles R. Knight







Ole Sikes – Charles Goodnight 

"Old Sikes" bronze by Douglas Clark

“Old Sikes” Bronze by Douglas Clark













Seems to me there is a Bill in our history. I’ll publish him, shortly.


The Patriarch of Michel Pablo herd

He survived the trip to Ravalli (read more)
Legendary Bison Bulls


Monster est 2000lb












Hitler -1930’s

This is the South Park “battle front” scene as Hitler, 2000-pound buffalo was driven back toward his corral after defying

policemen for 12 hours. The little truck bumped along behind Hitler across snow covered fields, edging to the pen, the big bull bolted gain and was shot a few hours later.

The DigsHitler Bull 1930sHitler Hitler in the paper

In his youth he was just another shaggy headed, slump-shouldered nobody. He was anonymous. Truly anonymous. He literally had no name.

He did have a vice: envy. He wanted to be the bison boss. So one day he challenged Napoleon, head bull of the South Park buffalo herd.

Things didn’t work out so well for our nameless friend. He suffered a solid butt-kicking. As a result, gamekeepers decided to give the bull a moniker suiting his foolish ambition.

This was in the 1930s, before the world knew of death camps and blitzkrieg. So when seeking an appropriate name for their silly bison, gamekeepers thought of the ridiculous man then at the helm of Germany, the guy with a silly toothbrush mustache and combover hair that flapped in his eyes when he ranted.

They dubbed the bull Hitler.

 For years Hitler the bison nursed his wounded pride, if indeed bison have such a thing. He sulked around the South Park game preserve, eating grass, chewing cud, napping and, uh, standing. And perhaps plotting in his bison brain.

 Then, on the night of Jan. 20, 1940, Hitler and his one-time rival Napoleon made their move, butting their massive heads against the fence that enclosed their corral. Soon, the bulls crashed through and lumbered into a nearby woods.

Authorities caught up with the two the next day. Napoleon was lounging in an obscure section of the park where he was no threat to anyone, so police let him be.

 But Hitler had invaded a snow-covered field outside the park, near Brownsville Road. Soon, the 2,000-pound bull was surrounded by 20 police officers, all sheltered in cars. Officers feared Hitler would, at any moment, attack them in a savage rush.

 “This bull is tough,” warned game warden Hugh Q. Turner. “He’s mean. He’d be sure to get one of us if we went after him on foot. He could turn a car over like an empty bucket if he wanted to.”

 Tension filled the frigid air. Hitler lay down and took a nap.

 When he awoke, he sauntered toward a nearby intersection. Alarmed that the bull was nearing civilization, authorities took drastic action. First, they pelted Hitler with snowballs. Then then they honked their automobile horns in an effort to frighten the wandering bull.

 Hitler glared. Apparently annoyed, he strolled to an old schoolyard.

 Four police cars bounced along after him. They stopped 15 feet from Hitler, who once again was lying in the snow. One vehicle ventured a bit closer. Hitler shook his head, awkwardly rose to his feet and moved toward the auto, which beat a hasty retreat.

 Now authorities summoned their heaviest weapon — a two-ton truck, which edged in reverse toward the bull. Hitler lowered his head and lunged, putting a sizable dent in the vehicle. Satisfied, Hitler meandered away.

 Police regrouped. They needed a new strategy. Perhaps food would entice Hitler back to the bison corral, someone said. But no one would volunteer to carry the food near enough so the bull could smell it. One officer suggested slinging a lasso around Hitler. That idea was scrapped when another policeman recalled that a buffalo with a lasso around its neck once did considerable damage to eight cowboys in Wyoming.

 Hitler stood a distance away and watched as police gathered their wheeled armada, which now included two snow-scraping trucks, in a “V” shape and moved the wedge close to Hitler. This did the trick. Hitler moved the only way open to him — back to the park.

A mile from the corral, most of the vehicles dropped away from the chase. Only one little truck followed, veering left and right to keep Hitler on track.

 Suddenly, as he neared his destination, Hitler lowered his head, turned and ran into the woods.  This was too much for the frustrated authorities.

 “If he gets into civilization,” warned a county police inspector named James Hoey, “we’ll put him out of circulation.” As if Hitler were an errant postage stamp.

 Police and park attendants followed the bull in the gathering darkness. As Hitler neared the town of Library, an assistant park custodian ended the bull’s big adventure by pumping two bullets into its head.

 The wily Napoleon, meanwhile, calmly returned to the corral. Now no bull was strong or mean enough to challenge his control. On this night, there would be no Waterloo.

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